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Comment: 100% guaranteed delivery with Fulfillment By Amazon. Edges of this book show some slight discoloration/smudging. Pages inside are clean. This book shows minor shelf wear associated with use. Book has circulated the library since 1998 and is in very good condition considering it's age. Purchase of this item will benefit the Joplin Library Foundation. This is a former Library book with normal library stamping and stickers.
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The Great Sioux Uprising Paperback – March 1, 1997

11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Library Journal

Oehler here offers a detailed account of the Sioux Nation's 1862 revolt against the settlers of Minnesota, one of the bloodiest massacres of the West. The weeklong rampage left 800 dead and countless others wounded and sent thousands fleeing for their lives. This 1959 volume chronicles the circumstances that led to the uprising, the event itself, and its aftermath.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc.

About the Author

C. M. Oehler wrote Time in the Timber, a memoir of his experiences as a lumberjack.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Da Capo Press (March 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0306807599
  • ISBN-13: 978-0306807596
  • Product Dimensions: 5 x 0.7 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #332,639 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Paul on March 5, 2010
Format: Paperback
This book is unlike many others on the subject of the 1862 war. Oehler does an excellent job of interweaving the main themes and quotes of several different accounts from both whites and Indians, and in doing so he creats a story from begenning to end, rather than just a collection of individual accounts.

The chapter "Little Crow Will Lead Them All" does a masterful job at showing the internal conflict of the Indians in the decision to go to war. Taking quotes from several witnesses, he puts together a story that is a true page turner!

Written in 1959, this book avoids the Politically Correct downfall that plagues many other titles, and at the same time written 100 years after the fact, gives a historical perspective that many of the original accounts lack- as they were mostly written immediately after the events happened.

As to be expected, you will find accounts of poor treatment of the Indians, broken treaty promises, stories of those caught up in the war, and in the end, a mistaken identity of Chaska who was hanged to death for the acts of another.

You will also find out why the conflict is often called the "Minnesota Massacre" as some Indians committed such savage acts of brutality and terror to random farmers, in a misguided attempt to literally clear Minnesota of all whites, as to see the settlers anger that would fuel the overly strong punishment of actually removing the Indians from Minnesota instead. Though not a subject of this book, it concludes with an act of "white savagery matching the Minnesota performance of the Sioux".

Not PC by any means, this book shows a history, where you will find that the tit for tat events are anything but noble, but have plenty of savagery.

If you really want to get into it, go for reading *a lot* of personal accounts...But if you want a fair, basic, 250 page overview of the events around 1862 in Minnesota, I highly recommend this book!
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19 of 23 people found the following review helpful By SteveS on May 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
The Santee Sioux uprising is not taught much in American history and has not captured the imagination of Hollywood (though there are movies of the same name, it is not the same event) and as such, most Americans have never heard of the largest massacre that occured in American history, nor is it generally known that the victims were white as opposed to Indian.

Oehler does an excellent job describing an extremely ugly moment in American history, from the murder of farmer Robinson Jones and most of his family which precipitated the 'uprising' to the execution of a relatively few Santee Sioux. In a time when political correctness is the rule of thumb for television or movies, describing the horrorific murders of so many innocent men, women, and children (primarily German or other immigrants) by Indians is inherently unpopular. Most common sources of this event apparently try to minimize the death toll suffered by whites, whereas Oehler gives a range of 400+ to over 1000 persons and then explains how we could never know the exact number then or now of the dead.

I recommend this book highly for the person who wants to know the reality of the greatest single massacre in American history and is not afraid of facing the truth.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John D. Sens on February 2, 2011
Format: Paperback
Good detailed account of the events in Minnesota in 1862. The author accurately refers to the "uprising" not to a "war." It is clear that the killing of settlers - men, women, and children, and the accompanying looting were the acts of hotheads, not the unified actions of involved tribes. Significant is that as soon as the troops appeared, the uprising largely ended and many of those guilty of murder and looting ran away. There was never any thought of facing the union troops in battle notwithstanding the troops' execrably incompetent leadership by Sibley and Pope. After 1862 Indian attacks on settlers again became a nuisance, not a significant threat.

Warning: The book is not politically correct; hard facts of the brutality and incompetent military leadership make for much unpleasant reading.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Sam Adams on November 16, 2011
Format: Paperback
This book was originally published in 1959, and is the story of the Dakota War of 1862 in Minnesota during which over 500 Americans were slaughtered. One respected calculation at the time (see page 235) was 644 civilians and 93 soldiers, totaling 737. I've reviewed two other books on this subject: Duane Schultz' [1992] Over the Earth I Come, and Kenneth Carley's [1961/76] The Sioux Uprising of 1862. CM Oehler's narrative covers the events in detail including some reports by survivors of Indian savagery. Carley, in his bibliography, says of Oehler's book that it "Emphasizes the lurid stories of settlers caught in the uprising." (Carley: 95) Lurid or not, these events occurred.

These are not nameless victims. Oehler has researched the history and footnoted his story of the uprising. We learn, for example, that it was Caroline Schwandt, daughter of John and Christina Schwandt, who was murdered at home on Sacred Heart Creek by Santee Sioux in August of 1862 and cut open to get at her unborn baby that was then nailed to a tree; and that it was her twelve-year-old brother August, sole survivor of the Schwandt family, who saw the atrocity of the Sioux gleefully killing his unarmed, helpless family. (57) This is gruesome, and it is true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Mohe on February 5, 2013
Format: Paperback
I am joining the chorus of five star reviews to make some comments about the edition.

First this is a fantastic book, written long enough ago that it focuses primarily on what happened and where it happened. Oehler is the starting point for almost all later studies of the topic. It is beautifully written, is an easy read, and gives a very sound starting point for who was who and the sequence of events. I would highly recommend reading this first before tackling more detailed studies. Oehler gives a sympathetic if damning explanation for Little Crows behaviour, which in my mind seems the most convincing yet offered. It is mostly focused on the plight of the settlers, which goes a long way toward explaining the hatred felt toward the Sioux in numerous small towns in Minnesota that I encountered in childhood summers with my mother's people. but don't think this is an anti indian book, Oehler draws a perfect line between the events of August 1862 and Wounded Knee, and his great villain in General Sibley. Further reading should start with "Through Dakota Eyes" to get the Sioux side of the story.

Now to my purpose in writing this review. The Da Capo edition is alright but the illustrations are so badly reproduced they might as well have been omitted. The maps, adequate but never that great to begin with, have been horribly effected too. You can still make out details if you squint, but they are so fuzzy and dark that it will require some eyestrain to puzzle them out. I highly recommend finding an older edition and buying that. For the Minnesotan this won't be that much of an issue as almost all the localities are well known, but for others this may be an issue.
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