Redline History Tour
Gateway to the Wild West
The Redline History Tour is a 35 mile route, just north of present day
Tappen/Dawson, North Dakota, that takes you to historical battlefields and
wildlife observation areas. The tour covers the first large scale hostile
encounters between the Lakota Sioux and the US Army in the summer of 1863
following the aftermath of the 1862 Dakota Conflict, also known as the
Minnesota Massacre. The 6 stops along the tour include:
- Indian Village
This was the site of an estimated 2,500 to 5,000 Hunkpapa and Blackfeet
village. They were a hunting party in search of the many buffalo that
roamed this area because of the abundance of water and grass. Fleeing the
aftermath of the Minnesota Massacre, Chief Inkaputa and his renegades of
1,500 Minnesota Sioux warriors including Sitting Bull and Gall, took
refuge in this peaceful camp. Hide'n Hunt Lodge is actually located
right on this site.
- McPhail's Battle
This Butte or overlook was where Colonel Samuel McPhail 1st Minnesota
Mounted Rangers took his position during the Battle of Big Mound. This
butte would have given him a great vantage point of the Indian Village
below. This battle continued to Dead Buffalo Lake 14 miles to the
southwest until the fighting was halted due to darkness.
- Camp Whitney
Searching for drinkable water, the camp moved 3 miles from Camp Sibley to
Camp Whitney. The lake to the northeast is still named Sweetwater Lake for
this reason. It was here that Dr. Weiser was buried.
- Battle of Big Mound
This rough terrain of what was then Dakota Territory is the site of the
first battle of the United States and the Lakota Sioux, including Sitting
Bull and Gall. Scouts of General Sibley reported a Indian village nearby.
Indians appeared and signaled they wanted to talk. Dr. J.S. Weiser rode
out to meet Indians, where he was shot and killed by one of the
renegadesbeginning the battle.
- Camp Sibley
Located on the south shore of Kunkel Lake, this is where the US soldiers
started their attack and where Dr. Weiser met his fate.
- Battle of Dead Buffalo Lake - Camp
Following a day of rest the expedition marched 15 miles to Dead Buffalo
Lake and since the Indians were waiting, it was decided to make camp here.
The Indians encircled the camp and staged a raid on the north side of
Calvary drove the Indians back where the Indians retreated and started
their trek to the Missouri River and escape.
For more information, visit the Dawson Area Visitors Center Exit 208.
Dawson Area Visitors Center
Site #1 of the Redline History tours