Trial 15: Ta-te-mi-ma

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.

Tatemima’s is the ninth of forty-one trials in this series. Tatemima received a last-minute reprieve and was not executed on December 26, 1862.

Transcript: Trial 15 Ta-te-mi-na

Page Images: #15 Ta-te-mi-na


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 15. TA-TE-MI-MA.—Convicted of murder, and of the capture of women and children.[1]


Trial Record October 1862

[Trial #15 –Ta-Te-Me-Ma]

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 Ta-te-me-ma, a Sioux Indian, was arraigned on the following charge and specification –

Charge – Murder

Specification 1st.  In this that the said Ta-te-mi-ma, a Sioux Indian, did on or about the 20th day of August 1862 shoot and kill one white man a citizen of the United States at or near Kiztman’s farm about eight miles from Beaver Creek.

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

[Frame 140]

[By order of, etc.]

The prisoner being asked what he had to say in answer to the charge says-

I am not guilty.

Augustus Gluth being duly sworn says I saw this Indian hunt up a man and kill him- They took me prisoner where they shot this man.  This was about two hours before dark – Six weeks ago at Kitzman’s fence (?) eight miles this side of Beaver Creek – ON the other side there were twelve Indians in the party.  Don’t know the name of the man who was killed.  I was standing about twenty paces from the man when he was killed.

The man who was shot was praying.  Ten women were taken prisoners besides myself.  Some of them are here – Mrs. Frost [Frass] – Mrs. Lange. Both have two children.  Mrs. Krouse (sp?) – Mrs. Emifilch [Inhenfeldt]  – Mrs. Greburch [?] – Mrs. Eiservich [Eisenriech] – Miss Lest [Lenz] and one named Mary all taken at the same time but Miss Lest and Mary.

A great many were killed – All the people had come together there. He (deft) was preaching to the Indians while they were killing – They took me prisoner about two miles this side of the Fort.

Louis (sp?) Getzman [Kitzman] being sworn says.  I am twelve years old. Saw this old Indian shoot my mother.

[Frame 141]

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

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

Guilty of the Specifications.

Guilty of the Charge.

And do therefore sentence him the said Ta-te-mi-ma, a Sioux Indian, to be hung by the neck until he is dead –

(Note – Several of the women alluded to in the above testimony were called in but could not identify the prisoner.)

[Signatures of Mil. Com. Members][2]


Riggs Synopsis December 1862

Ta tah-ta-me-ma (Round Wind) is a brother-in-law of the former well known Mr. Joseph Renville; he was the public crier for Little Crow, before and during the outbreak; after the battle at Wood Lake he came over to the opposition, and was the crier at Camp Release when the captives were delivered u; he was condemned on the testimony of two German boys who said they saw him kill their mother; the old man denies the charge –says he was not across the river at that time, and that he was unjustly condemned. He is the only one of the thirty-nine who has been at all in the habit of attending Protestant worship; on last Sabbath he requested Dr. Williamson to baptize him, professing faith in Jesus Christ, which was done on Monday, before he knew that he was among those to be hung at this time.[3]


Williamson translation of Tatemima’s last words written to his wife

Tatemima to his wife December 25, 1862

My wife

Now you have been a member of the church for many winters. You know that I did not murder any person and so I thought I should see you again, but now I shall soon die. I wish you to think much of the Great God. My mind is now upon him and I think I shall soon go to him. I shall walk in the path of the son of the Great God. I wish you also to walk in it and so you will see me again. Command your three children who are with you to pray very much to the Great God.

My nephews and all my nieces all pray to the Great God. I think I shall now soon be happy in his house so pray much that you may see me there.

Tate Mima, Round Wind

This man was convicted of participating in the murders and sentenced to be hung on the testimony or two small German boys who doubtless mistook him for another man. I never believed him guilty because my son in law in his flight saw him and spoke to him and was completely in his power and yet was not molested by him, though at the time neither of them recognized the other, and a week after the massacre going to some of the deserted houses he found a little girl about five years old almost starved to death took her home and had her carefully nursed till she got well, and was restored with the other captives. Yet I fully expected he would be executed with the others as he did himself, but the night before the execution a dispatch was received from the President countermanding the order for his execution, which however was not made known either to himself or me till after the others were executed. T.S.W. [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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