Indian Captive in MinnesotaWakefield was one of over 100 white women and children who were captured along the Minnesota River in the Dakota War in the late summer and early fall of 1862. Wakefield spent six weeks living among the Mdewakanton Dakota, often in danger from those who felt captives should be killed, but a brave named Chaska intervened on her behalf.
The Dakota War
In the years prior to the Civil War, relations between the Dakota people and white settlers had deteriorated considerably. The Dakota had been pushed into a narrow strip of reservation land along the Minnesota River. Once the Civil War began, already scarce resources were further strained, and the supplies promised to the Dakota in a "a series of broken peace treaties" were no longer available.