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December 12, 2012

Letter from Lyman W. Ayer, forwarded by his father to Governor Alexander Ramsey, regarding raising a “Four Gun Battery” in Minnesota for State defense – December 12, 1862

Filed under: Civil War Daybook — Lori Williamson @ 9:00 am

*Learn more about the US Dakota War of 1862, as well as its causes and consequences, by visiting this website or by viewing the exhibit at the Minnesota History Center.

In the Field Near Nashville
December 12th, 1862
Dear Father  […] Lieut. Kinkead of this battery and myself wish to raise a “Four Gun Battery” in Minnesota for the defense of the State and to be stationed at the Abercrombie or some other convenient point as a center of operations.
Among other reasons you might present in favor of our propositions are first (and most potent) the absolute necessity of this arm of service, for the proper protection of the rapidly increasing north Western, and Red River trade, which already contributes so greatly to the wealth of our State, and also of the Sauk Valley and Red River country; which with adequate protection will soon become the most populous as well as the richest portion of the State.
Even before the present Indian troubles the frequent raids of the Yanktons or Prairie Sioux along the Red River State route and the unsatisfying situation of affairs with the Red Lake and Pillager Bands of “Chippeways” demonstrated the wisdom of locating a fort at Abercrombie while the fact of the Indians stealing horses and robbing citizens with impunity in the vicinity, and almost under the very walls of the fort shows the utter inadequacy of infantry to prevent their depredations or afford sufficient protection to the country.
[…]
You will perceive the necessity of moving soon in this matter if any thing is to be accomplished, as the Company ought to be organized and ready for service as early next spring as possible for it will probably be most needed about the commencement of transit and travel on the Red River route; and doubtless the assurance of protection it would afford would do much to restore confidence to the settlers and revive business and trade in that region of country, which must otherwise suffer much.
Hoping you will give this your immediate attention
I remain truly Your affect. Son,
Lyman W. Ayer

See whole letter: 1862-12-12_Ramsey_combined

Citation:  December 12, 1862, Letter from Lyman W. Ayer, Appointments: Military—Cavalry and Mtd. Rangers. Minnesota: Governor: Ramsey. Records. Minnesota Historical Society. State Archives. Minnesota Historical Society. [111.E.20.3B]

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