|Death: ||Dec. 26, 1862|
Blue Earth County
Dakota warrior who fought in the US-Dakota War of 1862. Also known as Te-he-hdo-necha, or Tipi Hdonica, "One Who Forbids His House", he was one of 38 Sioux condemned to death for alleged war crimes or atrocities committed during the US-Dakota War of 1862.
On Sep. 28, 1862, the Military Commission convened at Camp Release opposite the mouth of the Chippewa River in Minnesota. The Commission had been ordered by Col. Henry H. Sibley to try participants in the war for murder or other "outrages upon the whites" -- war crimes or atrocities committed against non-combatant civilians.
The Military Commission consisted of the following members:
Col. Williams Crooks, 6th Minnesota Infantry
Lt. Col. Marshall, 7th Minnesota Infantry
Capt. Grant, 6th Minnesota Infantry
Capt. Bailey, 6th Minnesota Infantry
Lt. Rollin Olin, 3rd Minnesota Infantry, Judge Advocate
Adjutant Isaac Heard, McPhail's Mounted Rangers, Recorder.
Tihdonica was charged with the following:
Murder -- for going upon a war party against the white citizens of the United States and "did participate in, or by his presence and participation, direct and indirect, cause to be killed the father, husband, and nephew of Martha Classen on or about the 19th day of August, and the 28th day of September 1862 -- This at or near Beaver Creek, Minnesota.
Rape -- that he "did forcibly ravish Margaret Cardinell, he having been of the party who killed her father and brother-in-law on or about the 10th [20th?] day of August 1862, when she was taken prisoner by the same party.
In answer to the charges, Tihdonica said that he didn't remember killing any white persons or committing any depredations, and that was the reason he was not with the other Indians. He said he knew nothing of the killing of whites at the Lower Agency until two days afterwards and then he went down there. He and nine others went East of Beaver Creek. They saw a wagon load of white people. The men ran off and the other Indians ran after them. He said that "This woman (Margaret Cardinell)" is one of them. I think there were ten women and children there and the Indians wanted to kill them and I prevented it. If I killed any she will know it..."
He said that he was compelled to go to the Fort [Ridgely] and New Ulm, but that he didn't participate in the fight. He went to the Fort twice but didn't kill anyone. He said that he was out of bullets at Birch Coulee and came home without firing again; that he was at Yellow Medicine late in the battle but did not fire a gun. He made the statement, "If I had killed a white man I would not be here."
Shortly before their execution, the prisoners made statements to the Rev. Stephen Riggs as to their participation in the war. Tihdonica confessed, on trial, to having gone east of Beaver River with a party who committed murders, and that he took a woman prisoner, with whom he slept; and that he was in five battles, but denied firing a gun or killing any one. A woman swore he ravished her against her will, and was delighted with the acts of the war party. He said he was asleep when the outbreak took place at the Lower Agency. He was not present at the breaking open of the stores, but afterward went over the Minnesota River and took some women captives. The men who were killed there were killed by other Indians.
Heard, Isaac V. D. and Whipple, Henry Benjamin. "History of the Sioux War and Massacres of 1862 and 1863."
The New York Times, "Execution of the Indians in Minnesota: Their Confessions of Guilt--Descriptions of the Parting Scenes--The Execution," Jan. 4, 1863. Includes summaries from Whiting-Ruggles Report of Dec. 5, 1862.
Whiting and Ruggles Report, Case No. 2. Te-he-hdo-ne-cha. Engaged in the massacres; took a white woman prisoner, and ravished her.
Dakota (Sioux) Memorial - 1862
Blue Earth County
Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
Record added: Feb 05, 2010
Find A Grave Memorial# 47616561