Surviving members of the 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in 1897. Robert K. Boyd and other Birch Coulee veterans are pictured.

Survivors members of Company F, 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry at the home of Captain Horace B. Wilson at Red Wing

Surviving members of the 6th Minnesota Volunteer Infantry in 1897. Robert K. Boyd and other Birch Coulee veterans are pictured.

Birch Coulee Monument in Renville County, c. 1900.

Birch Coulee Monument, Renville County

Birch Coulee Monument in Renville County, c. 1900.

U.S. Model 1841 Percussion Rifle. This rifle was struck by a bullet and disabled during the Battle of Birch Coulee.

US Model 1841 "Mississippi" rifle

U.S. Model 1841 Percussion Rifle. This rifle was struck by a bullet and disabled during the Battle of Birch Coulee.

Joseph Anderson, who claimed that the command was his, criticized the choice of campsite.

Joseph Anderson

Joseph Anderson, who claimed that the command was his, criticized the choice of campsite.

Joseph R. Brown, nominal leader of the burial party, c. 1853.

Joseph Renshaw Brown

Joseph R. Brown, nominal leader of the burial party, c. 1853.

Big Eagle, one of the Dakota leaders at the Battle, c. 1863.

Big Eagle, leader in the U.S.-Dakota War

Big Eagle, one of the Dakota leaders at the Battle, c. 1863.

Lithograph interpretation of the Battle of Birch Coulee, 1912.

The Battle of Birch Coulee

Lithograph interpretation of the Battle of Birch Coulee, 1912.

The Battle of Birch Coulee, September 2–3, 1862

The Battle of Birch Coulee, fought between September 2 and 3, 1862, was the worst defeat the United States suffered and the Dakotas' most successful engagement during the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. Over thirty hours, approximately 200 Dakota soldiers pinned down a Union force of 150 newly recruited U.S. volunteers, militia, and civilians from the area, holding them until Henry Sibley's main army arrived.

Sandy Lake Dam near McGregor, Aitkin County.

Sandy Lake Dam near McGregor, Aitkin County.

Sandy Lake dam in the mid-20th century

Franklin Cook, Minneapolis.

Franklin Cook, Minneapolis.

Franklin Cook circa 1880

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