Fort Ridgely State Monument

Fort Ridgely State Monument (HM1CAX)

Location: Fairfax, MN 55332 Nicollet County
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Country: United States of America
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N 44° 27.178', W 94° 44.063'

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Erected A.D. 1896, by the State of Minnesota, to preserve the site of Fort Ridgely, a United States military post established in 1853, and especially to perpetuate the names and commemorate the heroism of the soldiers and citizens of the State, who successfully defended the Fort during nine days of siege and investment, August 18-27, 1862, and who gallantly resisted two formidable and protracted assaults upon it, made August 20 and 22, 1862, by a vastly superior force of Sioux Indians under command of Little Crow and other noted Indian leaders and warriors.

August 18, 1862, the Sioux Indians of the Upper Minnesota River, in violation of their treaties, broke into open rebellion, and within a few days thereafter, massacred about one thousand citizens in the south western part of the State, and destroyed property of the value of millions of dollars. Many men, women and children fled to Fort Ridgely and were under its protection during the siege. The successful defense of the Fort by its garrison, consisting of parts of Companies B and C, Fifth Regiment, Minnesota Volunteer Infantry, the "Renville Rangers," and citizens and refugees, was very largely instrumental in saving other portions of Minnesota from ravage and devastation, and greatly contributed to the ultimate defeat of the Indians and their expulsion from the State.


During the entire siege of Fort Ridgely, the garrison was skillfully commanded by Lieut. Timothy J. Sheehan, of Co. C, 5th Regiment, Minnesota Infantry. He was ably assisted by Lieut. Norman K. Culver, Co. B, of the same regiment, Acting Post Quartermaster and Commissary, in charge of detachments; Lieut. Thos. P Gere, Co. B, 5th Minnesota Infantry, in command of the portion of his company present, {Capt. John F. Marsh and 23 men of that company, and Peter Quinn, U. S. Interpreter, having been killed by the Indians at Redwood Ferry, August 18, 1862}; Lieut. James Gorman, in command of the Renville Rangers; Hon. Benj. H. Randall, in charge of armed citizens; Ordnance Sergeant John Jones, of the Regular Army, in general charge of the Artillery, with Sergt. James G. McGrew, Co. B., 5th Minnesota Infantry, and Mr. John C. Whipple, each in charge of a gun. Dr. Alfred Muller, Post Surgeon. The names of the other defenders of the Fort appear elsewhere on this monument.


Renville Rangers, 1st Lieut. James Gorman, Commanding, (wounded).
Sergts. Theophile Richer, John McCole, Warren Carey.
Corpls. Louis Arner, Dieudonne Sylvestre, Roufer Burger.
Privates. Urgel Amiot, Joseph Auge, Geo. Bakerman, Rocque Berthiaume, Ed. Bibeau, John Bourcier, Pierre Boyer, Samuel Brunnelle, David Carpenter, Antoine Chose, Geo. Dagenais, Fred. Denzer, Henry Denzer, Alexis Demerce, Francois Demerce, Carlton Dickinson, James Delaney, Louis Demeule, Joseph Fortier, (w'd), B. H. Goodell, R. L. Hoback, Geo. La Batte, Fred. La Croix, Joseph La Tour, Cyprian LeClaire, (w'd), Medard Lucier, Moses Mireau, Theophile Morin, A. B. Murch, Ernest Paul, Henry Pflaume, Henry Pierce, Joseph Pereau, Thos. T. Quinn, Magloire Robidoux, Chas. Robert, Joseph Robinette, (w'd), Francois Stay.

Armed Citizens, B. H. Randall, Commanding.
Wm. Anderson, Robt. Baker, (killed), Werner Boesch, Louis Brisbois, Wm. Butler, Clement Cardinal, M. A. Dailey, J. W. De Camp, Frank Diepolder, Henry Diepolder, Alfred Dufrene, J. C. Fenske, (w'd), Jo. Jack Frazer, T. J. Galbraith, E. A. C. Hatch, Patrick Heffron, Geo. P. Hicks, Keran Horan, John Hose, Joseph Koehler, Louis La Croix, James B. Magner, John Magner, Oliver Martelle, Pierre Martelle, John Moyer, John Nairn, Dennis O'Shea, Joseph Overbaugh, B. F. Pratt, J. C. Ramsey, John Resoft, Adam Rieke, August Rieke, Geo. Rieke, Heinrich Rieke, (died), Victor Rieke, Louis Robert, Louis Sharon, Chris. Schlumberger, Gustav Stafford, Joshua Sweet, Louis Thiele, Nikolas Thinnes, Onesime Vanasse, (killed), A. J. Van Voorhes, John Walter, J. C. Whipple, C. G. Wykoff; Xavier Zolner.

A number of women cheerfully and bravely assisted in the defense of the Fort.
The following named rendered especially valuable services: Anna Boesch, Kenney Bradford, Elizabeth M. Dunn, Margaret King Hern, Mary A. Heffron, Eliza M?ller, Juliette McAllister, Mary D. Overbaugh, Agnes Overbaugh, Julia Peterson, Mrs. E. Picard, Mrs. E. Pereau, Wilhemina Randall, Valencia J. Reynolds, Mary Rieke, Mrs. R. Schmahl, Mrs. Spencer, Julia Sweet, Elizabeth West.

Ezekiel Rose, Co. B. 5th Reg't. Minn. Vols., was wounded when Capt. Marsh and 22 men of his company were ambushed and killed. Sergt. J. F. Bishop, Co. B. 5th Minn. Vols., was in charge of a reserve gun during the siege.
The following citizens also rendered valuable services. Rev. S. D. Hinman, Alfred Valliant, John Robinson, James B. Robinson, W.R. La Framboise, John Loeffelmacher, Henry Elfkamp, Peter Glaser, Patrick Murnane, Wm. Haley, Wm. Smith, John Smith and Miss Elizabeth West.


Co. C. 5th Minn. Infty., 1st Lieut. T. J. Sheehan, Commanding.
Sergts. John P Hicks, F. A. Blackmer, (w'd) John C. Ross.
Corpls. M. A. Chamberlain, Z. C. Butler, Wm. Young, Dennis Porter, (w'd).
Privates. S. P Beighley, E. D. Brooks, J. M. Brown, J. L. Bullock, Chas. E. Chapel, Zachariah Chute, Sidney Cook, L. H. Decker, Chas. Dills, Chas. H. Dills, Daniel Dills, S. W. Dogan, L. A. Eggleston, Halvor Elefson, Martin Ellingson, C. J. Grandy, Mark M. Greer, (killed), J. P. Green, A. K. Grout, Andrew Gulbranson, Peter E. Harris, (w'd) Philo Henry, James Honan, D. N. Hunt, L. C. Jones, N. I. Lowthian, A. J. Luther, (w'd), John Malachy, John McCall, Orlando McFall, F. M. McReynolds, J. H. Mead, J. B. Miller, Dennis Morean, Peter Nisson, Andrew Peterson, J. M. Rice, Chas. A. Rose, B. F., Ross, Edward Roth, C. O. Russell, W. S. Russell, Isaac Shortledge, (w'd), Josiah Weakley, G. H. Wiggins, J. M. Albright, James Young.

Co. B, 5th Minn. Infy., 1st Lieut. N. K. Culver, Post Quartermaster and Commissary.
2nd Lieut. Thos. P Gere, Commanding.
Sergts. Jas. G. McGrew, A. C. Ellis, Jno. F. Bishop.
Corpls. W. E. Winslow, T. D. Huntley, C. H. Hawley, Michael Pfremer, Arthur McAllister, Allen Smith, J. C. McLean.
Drummer, Chas. M. Culver, Wagoner, Elias Hoyt.
Privates. Geo. M. Annis, Jas. M. Atkins, Chas. H. Baker, Chas. Beecher, Wm. H. Blodgett, Christ. Boyer, John Brennan, L. M. Carr, W. H. H. Chase, James Dunn, Caleb Elphee, A. J. Fauver, J. W. Foster, Columbia French, Ambrose Gardner, Wm. Good, W. B. Hutchinson, L. W. Ives, J. W. Lester, Isaac Lindsey, Henry Martin, J. L. McGill, (w'd), John McGowan, J. M. Munday, Jas. Murray, E. F. Nehrhood, Thos. Parsley, W. J. Perrington, H. F. Pray, Antoin Rebenski, Heber Robinson, Andrew Rufridge, (w'd), Lauren Scripture, John Serfling, R. J. Spornitz, (w'd), Saml. Steward, Wm. J. Sturgis, Wm. A. Sutherland, Ole Svendson, M. J. Tanner, J. F. Taylor, J. A. Underwood, Stephen Van Buren, Eli Wait, O. G. Wall, A. W. Williamson, M. H. Wilson.
Additional InformationI did not take any photos of the 4th side of the monument when I was there. I've also been unable to find any on the internet. Please contact me if you have pictures of the 4th side.
Series This marker is part of the Minnesota State Monuments series
Historical Period19th Century
Historical PlacePark, Monument, Military Installation, Memorial, Fort, Battlefield
Marker TypeMemorial
Marker ClassBoth
Marker StyleFree Standing
Marker Number8
Year Placed1896
Placed ByThe State of Minnesota
Marker ConditionNo reports yet
Date Added Saturday, October 25th, 2014 at 2:35pm PDT -07:00
Locationbig map
UTM (WGS84 Datum)15T E 362009 N 4923647
Decimal Degrees44.45296667, -94.73438333
Degrees and Decimal MinutesN 44° 27.178', W 94° 44.063'
Degrees, Minutes and Seconds44° 27' 10.6800" N, 94° 44' 3.7800" W
Driving DirectionsGoogle Maps
Area Code(s)507
Can be seen from road?Yes
Is marker in the median?No
Which side of the road?Marker is on the right when traveling West
Closest Postal AddressAt or near 99-101 Co Hwy 30, Fairfax MN 55332, US
Alternative Maps Google Maps, MapQuest, Bing Maps, Yahoo Maps, MSR Maps, OpenCycleMap, MyTopo Maps, OpenStreetMap

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