OVER THE EARTH I COME: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862 by Duane Schultz

OVER THE EARTH I COME: The Great Sioux Uprising of 1862

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KIRKUS REVIEW

Another sad chapter in the history of the American West sharply and colorfully rendered by Schultz in a fitting successor to his vivid Month of the Freezing Moon (1990). The Sand Creek massacre in Colorado in 1864, the subject of Schultz's previous book, is closely linked to the events described here in that the violent, weeklong uprising in Minnesota in August 1862 placed the whole western frontier on edge. Tricked and betrayed by broken treaties, cheated incessantly by traders, and brought to the brink of starvation by delays in dispensing the government's annuity payments, the Santee Sioux had finally had enough. The flash point was reached over hens' eggs, so legend has it, when warriors mocked as cowards after refusing to steal the eggs shot the hens' owner, his wife, and friends in cold blood. Faced with certain reprisals from whites, the most respected Sioux leader, Little Crow, sided with his war chiefs and the rampage began in earnest. Hundreds of isolated settlers in the area died, with only occasional prisoners taken, while massive attacks took place against the nearby Army garrison and the prosperous town of New Ulm. Even with superior numbers, these assaults failed, however, leaving many warriors dead and the rest disheartened. The Army quickly rounded up all the Sioux to be found (Little Crow's dwindling band escaped to Canada, but he later returned and was killed), sentencing hundreds to death in military court without allowing them a defense. President Lincoln reduced the number of condemned to 38, who were duly hung, but the conflict continued for decades as other tribes took up the fight. Skillfully interwoven from personal and local histories and contemporary accounts--an intimate view of desperation and bloodshed on the Great Plains that's as poignant as it is tragic.

Pub Date: March 17th, 1992
ISBN: 0312093608
Page count: 320pp
Publisher: St. Martin's