|In August 1862, the Santee Sioux of Minnesota under Chief Little Crow, angered by the failure of the
Federal government to provide annuities and by the poor quality of rations, went on the offensive. They killed
approximately 800 settlers and soldiers, took many prisoners, and caused extensive property damage throughout
the Minnesota River Valley. Fort Ridgely, about twelve miles from the Lower Sioux Agency, became the refuge for
white civilians. The fort’s commander, Capt. John S. Marsh, set out with most of his men for the Lower Sioux
Agency. Before reaching the agency, a large Native American force surprised the soldiers, killed half of them,
including Marsh, and pursued the survivors back to the fort. On August 20, about 400 Sioux attacked the fort but
were repulsed. On the 22nd, 800 Sioux attacked the fort again, but the garrison and civilians held the fort.