|Cemetery notes and/or description:|
The Slaughter Slough Monument was erected on historic slough grounds maintained by the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The site is the location where settlers from Lake Shetek fled when they were attacked by 100 hostile Dakota Indians on August 20, 1862. Chiefs Lean Bear and White Lodge led the attack. The settlers had attempted to negotiate with Pawn, a Dakota who often lived at Shetek, for their release. They were allowed to leave in a single wagon driven by a team of horses and headed east to go to New Ulm.
They had only traveled about 3 miles when Pawn and a group of hostile Dakota came toward them. The families fled down an incline into the tall slough grass, where many of them were killed. Others were killed as they tried to leave the slough.
Eleven women and children were taken captive by White Lodge and his warriors. In November of 1861, a group of Teton Lakota men known as "Fool Soldiers" risked their lives to negotiate with White Lodge for the release of the captives.
The monument at Slaughter Slough rests on three stones. Each stone represents a group to be honored:
1. The Dakota: The original inhabitants of this land who showed much restraint in reacting to the government that took their land with broken promises. Finally, they arose in anger toward all white inhabitants in the area.
2. The White Settlers: Most were brave, hard working young families trying to make a living in a harsh environment. They became the innocent bystanders caught up in a larger conflict.
3. The Fool Soldiers: Young Teton Lakota men who negotiated the release of the captives at risk of their own lives and received no payment for their bartered goods. They were not honored for their deed and were shunned by much of the Lakota community after the rescue.
The monument was built by the Works Progress Administration (WPA).