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 Mathew Patrick Ahern

Mathew Patrick Ahern

Birth
Death 23 Aug 1862
New Ulm, Brown County, Minnesota, USA
Burial Saint Thomas, Le Sueur County, Minnesota, USA
Memorial ID 34664749 · View Source
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In 1862, the Dakota Indians who lived on a reservation in Minnesota were very frustated with their situation, for a variety of reasons. So, on August 18, 1862, they began an uprising against the whites, killing hundreds of men, women, and children. New Ulm was one of the towns threatened by the Dakota, so the word went out that assistance to defend the town was needed. Militia units from towns in the area were hastily organized, and LeSueur was no exception. Two units of militia, the LeSueur Tigers No. 1 and No. 2 headed for New Ulm on August 19 and 20 respectively. Mathew Ahern was a member of No. 2, and they arrived at New Ulm on August 20. The Dakota had attacked New Ulm the previous day, but the defenders were able to fend them off. The Dakota attacked the town again on August 23, with a much larger force. It was a hard-fought battle, with the outcome hanging in the balance. But the defenders were once more able to hold on, although some 26 defenders, including Ahern, were killed. Those killed were buried in temporary graves in that part of New Ulm where the defenders had erected barricades. Most of these bodies were moved in October and early November 1862, and that was likely the case with Ahern.

The inscription on his gravestone reads "Father Mathew Ahern, Aug. 22, 1862." Although the date cited is August 22, he very likely was killed on August 23, as the Dakota did not attack on August 22, and no casualties are recorded for that date. His gravestone rests beside two of his fellow Tigers, one Luke Smith, and the other unknown.

Ahern's story is related in "The Dakota Uprising: A Pictorial History," page 324, published in 2009 by Curtis Dahlin.


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  • Created by: Curtis Dahlin
  • Added: 10 Mar 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 34664749
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Mathew Patrick Ahern (unknown–23 Aug 1862), Find A Grave Memorial no. 34664749, citing Saint Thomas Cemetery, Saint Thomas, Le Sueur County, Minnesota, USA ; Maintained by Curtis Dahlin (contributor 47099816) .