NEW ULM - The New Ulm Junior Pioneers hosted the 150th Commemoration Banquet on Saturday to remember the events of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862.
The keynote speaker was Walter Bachman, a former Minnesota lawyer living in New York who became enthralled with his family history in New Ulm. His ancestry was among the party from New Um that was ambushed while seeking more recruits for the U.S. Civil War. He said that his family fosters no ill-will towards the Dakota and only seeks to have a better understanding of the history.
He said that learning how his ancestor died led him to become fascinated with the conflict. He said that it also led him to discover the story of a black Minnesota slave who was among the Dakota during the war. He said he could only provided limited details about his research because he plans to return soon with the book he has written on the subject.
Walter Bachman was the keynote speaker at the Junior Pioneers 150th Anniversary Banquet for the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862. The event focused on the love of history and the value of keeping family histories alive for future generations.
Bachman added that he also came to the conclusion that he rejects the modern interpretation that the Dakota primarily took women and children as captives during the war. He said his own research lead him to find more than 100 children killed during the war in Brown County. He said that a true understanding of the war requires recognizing these deaths. He also called for the erection of monument to commemorate the child deaths that occurred during the war.
The other speakers for the event emphasized the value of keeping personal history to keep memories of New Ulm alive. They encouraged people to share their family history as much as possible and the recognize the deeper understanding that sharing history brings.
The Junior Pioneers group was formed during the 50th anniversary of the U.S.-Dakota War. The group is intended to keep the memories of the pioneers and those that survived the war alive through banquets and retellings.