©2019 by Don Hepler. Proudly created with Wix.com

More About MASSACRE!

The city of New Ulm, already short of men because of the Civil War, prepares for mass attacks.  There are only 66 firearms in the entire town of 900 souls.  A desperation militia is formed, armed with pitchforks, scythes, kitchen knives, anything.  As refugees from the surrounding slaughter pour into town, the few frightened defenders prepare to sell their lives as dearly as possible.  And then the Sioux come.  Again and again.

 

At Fort Ridgely, a fort in name only...no walls, 29 soldiers commanded by a scared nineteen-year-old Lieutenant, try desperately to protect 250 women and children refugees, not to mention seventy thousand dollars worth of gold.  Reinforcements trickle in; fifty here, thirty there.  Fire arrows arc across the sky and hissing bullets hunt flesh in the hot August air as 800 naked, shrieking savages make repeated, coordinated attacks. 

 

At Birch Coulee a patrol of soldiers is ambushed and fights endlessly, desperately for their own survival.  Hours pass, then a day, then more, and the fighting never stops.  There is no water, only a single leaf of lettuce per man.  The wounded suffer and die, the remaining few fight and wait for rescue.  Fifteen miles away the sounds of their struggle are heard by a commander with hundreds of troops but he is too timid to respond.

 

Worst of all, is the widespread appalling savagery toward helpless men, women and children.  The brutality is unimaginable, the cruelty unthinkable.  But it is true.

 

Many women and young girls are captured to be used and abused in the most demeaning ways conceivable by human beings.

 

And there are fantastic, incredible stories of personal survival.

 

Over a thousand rescuers are put under the command of an ex-governor, a politician whose bureaucratic style is infuriating, ineffective and slow-moving even while people are dying in great numbers.  A rescuer who will not rescue.  A savior who will not save.

 

The story ends with the largest mass hanging in the history of the United States.  Those executed are selected by President Abraham Lincoln himself.

 

All the facts, names, places, dates and destinies are accurate...sometimes horrible, but nevertheless accurate.  I have attempted to bring the characters to life, to tell what happened to them as they lived through this most horrible of times.