1862 Trial 14: Sua-ma-ni

For an overview of this series publishing the trial records of the 38 Dakota men executed at Mankato Minnesota on December 26, 1862, see the first post.

Suamani’s (Snamani’s) is the eighth of forty-one trials in this series.

Transcript: Trial 14 Sua-ma-ni

Page Images: #14 Sna-ma-ni


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 14. SUA-MA-NI.—Convicted of the murder of two persons.[1]


Trial Record October 1862

[Trial #14 – Sna-Ma-Ni]

Proceedings of a Military Commission convened at Camp Release opposite the Mouth of Chippewa River by virtue of the following order

Order No. 55                           viz:

Head Quarters CampRelease

September 28th 1862

A Military Commission composed of Colonel Wm Crooks of the 6th Reg., Lieut. Col. Marshall of the 7th Regiment, Captains Grant & Bailey of the 6th Reg. And Lieut. Olin of the 3rd Reg. Will convene at some convenient point in camp at 10 o’clock this morning to try summarily the Mulatto, and Indians, or mixed bloods, now prisoners, or who may be brought before them, by direction of the Col. Commanding and pass judgment upon them, if found guilty of murder or other outrages upon the Whites, during the present State of hostilities of the Indians, the proceedings of the Commission to be returned to these Head Quarters immediately after their conclusion, for the consideration of the Col. Commanding.

The Commission will be governed in their proceedings, by Military Law and usage.

(Signed) H. H. Sibley

Colonel Commanding

CampRelease opposite the

Mouth of Chippewa River, Minn.

Sept. 28 1862

The Military Commission met pursuant to the above order-


Col. Crooks – 6th Reg. M. V.

Lt. Col. Marshall, 7th Regt. M.V.     Members

Capt. Grant, 6th Regt. M.V.

Capt. Bailey, 6th Regt. M. V.

Lt. Olin – 3rd Regt. M. V., Judge Advocate

Adjutant Heard – McPhail’s Mounted Rangers – Recorder

The Military Commission was then duly sworn and Te-he-hdo-ne-cha Sna-Ma-Ni, a Sioux Indian, was arraigned on the following charges and specifications.

Charge – Murder.

Specification 1st. In this that the said Sna-ma-ni, A Sioux Indian, did on or about the 20th day of August1862 shoot and kill two (?) white men citizens of the United States at or near Kitzman’s farm about eight miles from Beaver Creek.

Specification 2nd – In this that the said Sna-ma-ni, a Sioux Indian, did between the 18th day of August 1862 and the 28th day of September 1862 join with and participate in various murders and robberies committed by the Sioux tribe of Indians on the Minnesota Frontier.

[By order of, etc.]


[Frame 134]

And thereupon the prisoner being asked what he had to say in answer to the charge made the following statement.

I plead not guilty.

Augustus Gluth being sworn says I have seen this Indian before – I saw the prisoner kill two men near Kitzman’s farm near Beaver Creek.

Sophy (sic) Loomis (sp?) says – I was of the party that Augustus Gluth was when taken prisoner. I think I saw the prisoner then but I can’t swear to it.

Pauline Urban being sworn says – I was {in?] the party in which this boy was taken prisoner.

The old man Ta-te-mi-nah went along with us after we were taken prisoners. Was one of the worst – The old man appeared to be the leader and preached several times a day to them.  The old man was not where we we (sic) were taken prisoners.  We were 9 hours going from where we were captured.

The testimony being closed the Commission was then cleared and proceeded to the finding and sentence.

The Military Commission after due deliberation on the testimony adduced find the prisoner as follows:

Guilty of the Specification.

Guilty of the Charge.  And do therefore sentence him the said Sna-ma-ni, A Sioux Indian, to be hanged by the neck until he is dead.[2]


Riggs Synopsis December 1862

Qua-ma-ne (Tinkling Walker) says he was condemned on the testimony of two German boys; they say he killed two persons; the boys told lies, he was not at that place at all.[3]


Williamson translation of Snamani’s last letter

Sounding Walker [Snamani] to his wife & children December 25, 1862

My wife you will see me no more. My children I greatly desire you to attend the schools taught by the missionaries.

Snamani [4]

[1]Whiting-Ruggles Report to Abraham Lincoln December 5, 1862.

[2] Dakota Trials Records. Microfilm and holograph records in Center for Legislative Archives, U.S. Senate Records, National Archives. Transcription by Walt Bachman. See corresponding digitations of microfilm by John Isch.

[3] Mankato Independent December 26, 1862, “Confessions of the Condemned” p. 2. Editorial introduction reads: “Rev. S. R. Riggs has kindly prepared for us the following synopsis of conversations held with each one of the condemned prisoners, wherein is contained much interesting information.”

[4] Thomas S. Williamson to the American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions January 29, 1863. Northwest Missions Manuscripts, MHS.

Transcriptions by Walt Bachman and Carrie Reber Zeman. Page images provided by John Isch.

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