1862 Trial 254: Ma-kat-e-na-jin

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.

Makatenajin’s is the twenty-eighth of forty-one trials in this series. 

Transcript: Trial 254 Ma-kat-e-na-jin

Page Images: #254 Ma-kat-e-na-jin


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 254. MA-KAT-E-NA-JIN.—Convicted of participating in the massacres near New Ulm, and of encouraging the young men to do so.[1]


Trial Record October 31, 1862

[Trial #254 – Mu-kat-na-jin]

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 Camp Release 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

Col Commanding

Head Qtrs. Camp Release Min. Oct. 15 1862

Order No. 65

I. The Military Commission of which Col. Wm Crooks 6th Regt Minn Vols is President will reconvene tomorrow at 10 Oclock AM or as soon thereafter as practicable and proceed with the business before it.

II.Lieut. Col. Wm R Marshall 7th Minn Vols being absent on duty Maj. Gen Bradley of the seventh is hereby detailed to fill the vacancy thus occasioned.

By order of Gen.l H.H. Sibley

S.W. Fowler Lieut Col. A.A.A. Gl

Camp Sibley Lower Agency

October 31 1862

The Military Commission met pursuant to the above order-


Col. Crooks – 6th Reg. M. V.

Maj. Bradley, 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 duly sworn and Ma-kat-e-na-jin a Sioux Indian was arraigned in the following charge and specifications, viz

Headquarters Camp Sibley

29 October 1862

            Charge and specification against Ma-kat-e-na-jin a Sioux Indian

Charge –Participation in the murders, outrages & robberies committed by the Sioux Indians on the Minnesota frontier

Specification –In that Ma-kat-e-na-jin a Sioux Indian did join with and participate in the murders robberies and outrages committed by the Sioux Tribe of Indians on the Minnesota frontier between the 18th day of August 1862 and the 28th day of September 1862 and particularly in the Battles of the Fort, Birch Coolie, New Ulm, and Wood Lake

By order of Gen.l H.H. Sibley

S.W. Fowler Lieut Col.

A.A.A. Gl



[c. Frame 940]

Prisoner states –

I was not at the Fort or Birch Coolie.  I got to Wood Lake after the fight was over.

I was at New Ulm.  I went there to take care of my son.  He was killed.  I had no gun at New Ulm.

Na-pay-shan-doota, sworn, says –

I know the prisoner.

I heard the prisoner say that at the Yellow Medicine he got there too late.

Godfrey, sworn says – I saw Godfrey the prisoner with a gun at New Ulm.  I didn’t see him do anything.  I heard the prisoner encouraging the young men to fight.

Prisoner states – I had my son’s gun coming down.

I saw him when the Indians fired on whites who were in a wagon with a flag.  I did not fire.

I dissuaded the young men from fighting.

Godfrey says further – On our way to New Ulm prisoner was along when they were killing the whites and he was encouraging the young men.  He said they were young – to go in – that they had nothing to fear.

And there upon the case being closed the Commission was cleared and proceeded with their finding and sentence.

The Military Commission after due deliberation on the foregoing, the evidence being closed and Commission was cleared and proceeded with the finding and sentence.

The Military Commission find the prisoner, the said Ma-kat-e-na-jin, a Sioux Indian, as follows –

Guilty of the specification

Guilty of the charge,

And sentence him to be hung by the neck until he is dead.

                                    [signatures of Mil. Com.][2]


Riggs Synopsis December 1862

28. Ma-ka-ta-e-ne-jin (One who stands on the earth) is an old man; says he has not used a gun for years; was down at New Ulm, but didn’t kill anyone; had two sons killed; wants to have the truth told.[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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