1862 Trial 333: Han-tan-in-koo

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.

Hantaninkoo’s is trial thirty-three of forty-one in this series. 

Transcript: Trial 333 Han-tan-in-koo

Page Images: #333 Han-tan-in-koo


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 333. HA-TAN-IN-KOO.—Convicted of participating in the murder of a man at Green lake; admits he struck him with an axe after he had been shot by others of the party.[1]


Trial Record November 2, 1862

[Trial #333 – Ho-tan-in-koo] 

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.

                                                            H.H. Sibley

Col. Commanding Military Expd.

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

November 2 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 Ho-tan-in-koo a Sioux Indian was arraigned in the following charge and specifications, viz

            Head Quarters Camp Sibley

29 October, 1862

             Charge and specification against Ho-tan-in-koo a Sioux Indian

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

Specification –In that Ho-tan-in-koo 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


David Faribault

David Faribault, sworn, says –

I haven’t seen prisoner do anything but take care of the horses at the last battle.

Thos. Robertson, sworn, says –

I heard prisoner say he was out at Green Lake and killed someone with an axe –while they were firing he said he struck him with an axe.

Prisoner says –

About 10 of us went in the party to Green Lake.

Other Indians shot the man.  I struck him after he was dead.

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 Ho-tan-in-koo, 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

33. Ho-tan-in-koo (Voice that Appears Coming) says he did not have a gun; was at the Big Woods, and struck a man with his hatchet after he had been shot by another man; did not abuse any white women.[3]


Williamson translation of Hotaninku’s last letter

Coming Voice to Half Metal Woman December 25, 1862

Now I am about to die trusting in the Great God. I wish you also to regard and trust him. I love you and you are very dear to me.

Hotaninku [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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