Chatfield Public Library, Basement Program Room
When the Dakota people (the eastern Sioux) went to war with the United States on August 18, 1862, the first soldiers they engaged in battle were men from Company B of the Fifth Minnesota Infantry Regiment, posted at Fort Ridgely. The 85 men and boys of Company B were almost all from Fillmore County. Two-thirds of them were from Chatfield.
The 1862 Dakota War was the most dramatic, deadly and transformative event in Minnesota history. And soldiers from Fillmore County and Chatfield were in the middle of it for 10 crucial days.
On August 18, 2012—the 150th anniversary of the beginning of the Dakota War— Joe Chase will give a talk at the library about the Fillmore County Boys and the Dakota War. Chase, a native of Chatfield, wrote the play The Last Boy in Blue—Wits’ End Theatre’s 2012 Western Days production—which tells the story of the first 24 hours of the Dakota War at Fort Ridgely. The story of Company B and the Dakota has only just begun, however, as The Last Boy in Blue ends. In his talk, Chase will describe the complete siege of Fort Ridgely, including the two day-long pitched battles fought between Chief Little Crow’s Dakota warriors and the fort’s defenders.
If you want to know the whole story of The Last Boy in Blue, join Joe Chase at the library at 1 in the afternoon on August 18. See you there.