NEW ULM – On horseback, bundled against the cold, a band of riders passed near New Ulm Tuesday, one day away from arriving in Mankato to commemorate one of the saddest, angriest moments in Minnesota’s history.
The Dakota 38+2 Memorial Ride originated in Lower Brule, S.D., has been making its way across South Dakota and southern Minnesota to Mankato, where on Dec. 26, 1862, 38 Dakota men were hung in the largest mass execution in U.S. history. Two other participants were hung elsewhere. It was the final act in the US-Dakota War, which had raged across this area in August of 1862, but just the beginning of the U.S. war against the Native Americans that ended with the Wounded Knee massacre. It was an act that has affected the souls and psyches of the survivors and relatives of those involved in the war, even today.
Since December 2008, the Dakota 38+2 Ride has covered the 330 miles from the Lower Brule reservation to the hanging site in Mankato.
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