1862 Trial 359: Chan-ka-hada

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.

Chan-ka-da’s is trial thirty-fifth of forty-one in this series. 

Transcript: Trial 359 Chan-ka-hada

Page Images: #359 Chan-ka-hda


Whiting-Ruggles Summary December 5, 1862

No. 359. CHAN-KA-HADA.—Is proven to have been of the party, and present when Patville was killed, and to have saved Mary Anderson (who had been wounded) from being killed, and to have taken her prisoner.[1]


Trial Record November 3, 1862

[Trial #359 – Chan-ka-hda]

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

 Colonel Commanding Military Expedition

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 3 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 Chan-ka-hda a Sioux Indian was arraigned in the following charge and specifications, viz

Head Quarters Camp Sibley

29 October 1862

            Charge and specification against Chan-ka-hda a Sioux Indian

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

Specification –In that Chan-ka-hda 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 — said to have captured Mary Anderson when Patwell was killed.

H.H. Sibley

Brig Gen Commanding


Alexis LaFromboise

Prisoner states –

I was behind the spring at the Fort.

I did not fire at New Ulm because I did not see any white man in the street.  I fired at a horse once.  I was way behind the others at the place where Patoile was killed.  I took one wounded woman prisoner.

Godfrey, sworn, says –

I saw prisoner present when Patville was killed. The Indians wanted to kill Mary Anderson, but this Indian saved her.

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 Chan-ka-hda, 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

35. Chan-ka-hda (Near the Woods) says he took Mary Anderson captive after she had been shot by another man; thinks it is rather hard that he is to be hung for another’s crime.[3]

Note: Mary Anderson died in captivity of her gunshot wound. Carrie Reber Zeman

[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.

This entry was posted in 1862 Dakota War trials and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to 1862 Trial 359: Chan-ka-hada

  1. Sale A Weston says:

    Is there a reason you are showing the cases out of order?

    • Dale A Weston says:

      Is there a list of the Mdawakanton that were kept by Pond, Sibley, Fairbault, and others?!

      • Carrie Zeman says:


        Do you mean the Dakotas who remained in Minnesota under the protection of white people? There is no official list because these were private acts of relief on behalf of Dakotas with whom the men you name had some preexisting relationship. No one ordered them to do it. Didn’t the Wolfchild lawsuit generate claims about this? Or how about asking the Mendota community?

    • Carrie Zeman says:


      I am not publishing all 392 of the 1862 trials, only the 39 whose execution order Lincoln authorized. The cases appear here in the order they were heard, which is the same order they appear on the list Lincoln approved.

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