On the 24th, of August, orders were issued to Col. B. F. Smith, commandant at Fort Snelling, directing him to arm and equip the company of troops under command of Captain Strout then of the l0th Regiment, and detail them to proceed “to Forest City and such other places in the vicinity as expediency might require, for the purpose of protecting and assuring the inhabitants of that region.” As heretofore narrated in Chap. VI, p. 64, Strout arrived at Forest City on the eve of the 27th of August, and went into camp near the residence of Judge Smith, and stated that he could remain there if necessary till further orders. He was reliably informed that all the Indians then known to be on the frontier were at Swede Grove about ten miles west of Forest City.
On the 3d of September the stockade was built by the citizens then in Forest City about 120 feet square, by planting a double row of logs on end, three feet in the ground and about ten feet high, with bastions-it was built and finished up in less than 24 hours and I venture to say on the quickest time that any such edifice was ever erected in the United States-and well that we did so for we were treated to a ceremonious call at 3 o’clock on the morning of the 4th by about two hundred and fifty Savages.
Our hasty uncarpeted accommodations took the red devils by surprise. They had not previously discovered our accommodations, and at once gave up the idea of assailing us in quarters, and con fined their operations to a little promiscuous, careless shooting of old guns, and stealing horses, which unfortunately we had not secured within the stockade prior to their polite arrival.
Some ten or twelve Indians lost their lives here that morning in consequence of the inexperience, and un-soldier-like careless shooting by our boys. The boys all meant well but they didn’t know any better, and notwithstanding the , assertion of dapper-fingered historians to the contrary, the Indians falsified said history by carrying their dead from the field of carnage before day. Only one white man was seriously wounded.
A gentleman from Canada had arrived at Forest City but a day or two before and was sleeping in the back of Mr. Hoyt’s house and awoke just in time to see the Indians firing the front end of the house, and had the good luck to slip out at a back window and secrete himself in a corn patch in the garden, and while in this interesting position saw five dead Indians piled into a double wagon by the side of the burning house.
The next morning, at the request of this gentle-man, we gave him a letter to Gov. Ramsey which enabled him to get out of Minnesota, and have not seen him since, but we have heard that he is not a believer in “going west.”
The celebrated “crazy” Irishman came strolling into town some days prior to the attack, as a spy for the Indians, and had he been allowed to return to his employers. .the attack would probably have been more successfully made some days earlier.
Not being able to pronounce the word “Shibboleth” he was placed in `durance vile’ and ultimately shipped under guard to Monticello-thence to St. Paul where he was magnified into a harmless martyr by the moccasin aristocracy of the Saintly City and thence was allowed to depart to parts unknown.
This was the same “crazy” Irishman described by Mrs. Baker, and who passed Howard Baker’s house just after the Indians, and who robbed the dead body of Baker of 50 to 70 dollars in gold. Six dwelling houses and one barn were burned at Forest City on the morning of the 4th, of Sep tember, viz: of Wm. Richardson, Milton Gorton, James P. Howlett. Dudley Taylor, A. B. Hoyt, William Richards and A. C. Smith, Mrs. T. C. Jewett, Mrs. Whitcomb and Mrs. Brown were the only ladies that remained at Forest City the entire period of these exciting times.
There were 12 persons killed in Meeker County and 12 in Monongalia the names of which were, in Meeker, Robinson Jones, Ann Baker, Viranus Webster, Clara D. Wilson, Philip Deck, Joseph Page, Linus’ Howe, Wilmot Maybee, Nels Olsen, Caleb Sanborn and Cross, and in July 1 863 James McGannon. In Monongalia three Olsen’s, father and two sons, Anderson and son, Carl Carlson and son, Mr. Backland, Mr Lawrenson and the Lumberg family, and nine in McLeod County, contiguous to Meeker, viz: Mr. Spondy, wife and two children, one child of John Adams (taking John Adams prisoner) and four of the White family at Lake Addle. Mr. Adams was taken prisoner Sept. 4th.
Total killed in Meeker and vicinity, thirty-three, and probably some who have never been reported.
July 1st, 1863 McGannon was shot between Kingston and Fair Haven, probably by Little Crow in person, as this distinguished chieftain was a few days after shot by Mr. Lamson on section 30 Town 118-29 (Collinwood) Meeker County, and was found in possession of McGannon’s coat.