1862 Trial 19: Rda-in-yan-kua

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.

Rdainyanka’s is the tenth of forty-one trials in this series. 

Transcript: Trial 19 Rda-in-yan-kua

Page Images: #19 Rda-in-ya-kna


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 19. RDA-IN-YAN-KUA.—Took a prominent part in all the battles, including the attack on New Ulm, leading and urging the Indians forward, and opposing the giving up of the captives when it was proposed by others.[1]


Trial Record October 1862

[Trial #19 – Rda-in-yan-kna]

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.



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 Rda in ya-kua a Sioux Indian was arraigned on the following charges and specifications

Charge –Participation in the Indian Murders & Robberies on the Minnesota Frontier

Specification –In this that the said Rda in ya-kua a Sioux Indian did between the 18th day of August 1862 and the 28th day of September 1862 join with and participate in the various Indian Massacres and Robberies committed by the Sioux Tribe of Indians on the Minnesota Frontier.

(official)                                              [signed By Order of H.H. Sibley etc.]

The prisoner being asked whether he is guilty or not guilty says he is not guilty and knows nothing because he half blind.

David Faribault sworn says – When I was first brought into Red-Wood I saw the prisoner very active among those who shot at the soldiers. Then I saw him at the Fort and at New Ulm and at the last battle.  I saw him firing at all the battles. He took a prominent part in them. He was the speaker and did all he could to get them ahead at the last battle in going down to it he made a speech in which he showed 2 bunches of wampum for the man who killed the first white man and that the one who would bring the scalp of Forbes or Sibley he was to have bunches of Crows feathers.  He ran through the camp before the last battle and exhorted the Indians to kill everybody and take all their guns —

Paul being sworn says – The band to which he belonged had the prisoners and I asked them to deliver them to me to give to the whites.  They refused.  I then killed a beeve and made a feast at which I again asked them to deliver over the prisoners.

When I asked them the prisoner got up and told me that Little Crow’s Soldiers were not willing to give up the prisoners and then another got up and said that it was the decision of the Soldiers not to give them up.

[Frame 153]

Sourvio [?] being duly sworn says – The Indians were all making a feast and were about to called. Paul and I were called to the feast and Paul asked the Indians to give up the prisoners.

Then they had a conversation and after that this Indian got up and said they have received bad treatment from the whites & etc. & that he intended to die with the captives.

Prisoner states further – I have said a great many things but I was compelled to say so.  There were 130 [150?] soldiers with arms in their hands who compelled me to say so. 120 soldiers of the lower Indians controlled the camp. They would go around the campfire with their guns and compel the other Indians to join them.

And thereupon the case being closed the commission was cleared and proceeded with their finding and sentence.

The Military Commission after due deliberation find the prisoner the said Rda-in-yan-ka, a Sioux Indian, as follows:

Guilty of the Specification.

Guilty of the charge and sentence him to be hung by the neck

[Frame 164]

until he is dead.

[Signatures of Mil. Com.][2]


Riggs Synopsis December 1862

10. Rda-in-yan-ka (Rattling Runner) Says he did not know of the uprising on Monday, the 18th of August, until they had killed a number of men. He went out an met Little Crow and tried to stop  the murders, but could not. The next day his son was brought in wounded from Fort Ridgley. He forbade the delivering up of the white captives to Paul when he demanded them, and supposes he is being hung for that.[3]

[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.”

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

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