40 Colum. Hum. Rts. L. Rev. 743 (2008-2009)
Explaining the Sioux Military Commission of 1862

handle is hein.journals/colhr40 and id is 749 raw text is: EXPLAINING THE SIOUX MILITARY
Maeve Herbert*
From the doorway of her family's house, it looked to fourteen-
year old Cecelia Campbell as though a boa constrictor was moving
across the Minnesota plains.' The approaching form was in fact a
steady column of organized forces, drawn primarily from the
Mdewakanton Sioux tribe,2 and poised to launch the first of a series
of attacks on Minnesota's frontier settlements.3 Over the next four
days, from August 18 to 22, 1862, as reports of what some claimed to
be the largest killing of civilians in the country's history sounded
across the frontier press and Cecelia trudged to the enemy's camp
* Maeve Herbert is a 2009 J.D. candidate at Columbia Law School and Articles
Editor of the Columbia Human Rights Law Review. Many thanks to Professor
John F. Witt, Sagar Ravi, Maureen Herbert, Brad Herbert, and Noah N. Glass for
their helpful comments on earlier drafts and to the Columbia Human Rights Law
Review for editorial assistance.
1.   Cecilia Campbell Stay's Account, in Through Dakota Eyes: Narrative
Accounts of the Minnesota Indian War of 1862, at 44, 45 (Gary C. Anderson &
Alan R. Woolworth eds., 1988) [hereinafter Dakota Eyes] (I went and stood at
the door and saw something dark moving along the ground as far as I could see[:]
it was shaped like a boa constrictor.).
2.   The Mdewakanton tribe is part of what is often identified as the Sioux
confederacy or Sioux Nation, a group comprised of seven major tribal divisions.
See Gary Clayton Anderson, Little Crow: Spokesman for the Sioux 6 (1986).
Where possible, this Note will refer to the specific tribal division. Otherwise, this
Note will use the term Sioux for conformity with historical records, recognizing,
however, that Dakota is the more accurate term and preferred among many
Mdewakantons today. Id. For details on the reported scope of Mdewakanton
involvement in the initial attacks, see infra notes 39 and 92.
3.   See Roy W. Meyer, History of the Santee Sioux: United States Indian
Policy on Trial 119-20 (1967).

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