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Historian to speak on Civil War and Minnesota’s Dakota War

September  14, 2012

Historian Stephen Osman will discuss the Dakota Conflict of 1862 in a lecture on Monday, Sept. 17, at 7 p.m. in the Hanson Hall of Science (738 35th St.), Room 102. The lecture is free and open to the public.

In his lecture, titled “Minnesota’s Other Civil War: The Dakota Conflict of 1862,” Osman will outline the causes and the legacy of the Dakota War. This conflict led to the largest mass hanging in the United States and the imprisonment of numerous Dakota in Davenport. In the six tragic weeks of the Dakota Conflict in Minnesota, more Minnesotans were killed than during the American Civil War, the western half of the state was depopulated, and Minnesota’s Dakota people were evicted from the state.

Osman, who recently retired as senior historian with the Minnesota Historical Society, managed Historic Fort Snelling for more than three decades. He researches, speaks and writes about Minnesota’s role in the Civil War and the Dakota War.

Osman served in the U.S. Army Reserve in Psychological Operations at Fort Snelling. He is an elected fellow of the Company of Military Historians and currently serves on the boards of the Minnesota Military Museum, the Friends of Fort Snelling and the new scholarly journal Minnesota’s Heritage.

To supplement this lecture, Augustana’s Thomas Tredway Library will feature books and materials about or from the conflict through the end of October. Among the items featured on the library’s second floor are books that show how publications chronicled the conflict and two Dakota objects on loan from the Putnam Museum—a beaded hatband and a pipe bowl in the shape of a hatchet.

On the library’s first floor, the newly renovated Special Collections area will exhibit manuscript materials and photographs about the Dakota Conflict, particularly items related to the imprisonment of 200 Dakota at Camp McClellan in Davenport. Most of these items come from Thomas S. Williamson, a missionary to the Dakota, and John Henry Hauberg, whose research contains accounts from those who remember Camp McClellan as a prison camp.

Sam Schlouch
Director, Public Relations and Arts Promotion
(309) 794-7833
samschlouch@augustana.edu