Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Great Plains Quarterly 33:1 (Winter 2013)


© 2013 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


On October 21, 1862, two months following the first violent outbreak of the U.S. and Dakota War, Alonzo J. Edgerton, captain of Company B of the Tenth Minnesota Regiment, pursued “quite a young looking Indian” after he was spotted crossing the Blue Earth River headed toward the Winnebago Indian Agency, twelve miles east of Mankato in Blue Earth County. Unarmed and riding bareback, Edgerton’s suspect was not a Dakota warrior on the lam but a Ho-Chunk Indian trying to return home. Nothing but a dirty rag covered his head, while his pierced ear lobes flashed a pair of shiny brass clock wheels. Maznopinka, as he was called, or He-who-wearsthe- iron-necklace, was noticeably weary from his nine-day journey. His hair was shorn and ash smeared his youthful face, indicating he was, as a newspaper later reported, “in mourning for the death of some relative.”