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well as other difficulties had made the Sioux tribes restless, and in August 1862 the hungry and angry Indians attacked the offices of the Indian agents at Yellow Medicine and Redwood Falls and many white settlers were also attacked. Volunteers being trained for the Army had to be sent into battle against the Indians instead, and the attacks against Fort Ridgely and New Ulm were repulsed. The Indian war went on for about a month, in the course of which about 600 white men were killed, a great number of them being helpless women and children, until the Indians were beaten in the battle of Wood Lake. About 300 Indians were taken prisoner near Mankato and Fort Snelling, and 39 of them were found guilty of cruelties and were condemned to die. This rebellion brought to an end the history of the Sioux in Minnesota; they were banished to South Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming, although some managed to flee into Canada. Their chief, Little Crow, tried to attack Minnesota again the following summer, but he soon met his death, and peace returned for good.

American policy in the distribution of public lands had always been generous, but in the Homestead Law passed during the Civil War it reached its peak of generosity. The law provided that any citizen, or any non-citizen who took his `first papers' for citizenship, could take title to 160 acres of land - on condition that he agree to live on his land for five years and pay the small fee required for making out the ownership papers. So popular did the government offer become that in the first period from 1862 to 1880 approximately 20,000,000 acres were granted to persons eager for homestead lands."

The needs of war veterans returning home, over-population in eastern cities, and the need of the rest of the world for wheat and food were factors to spur on the increase in agricultural production. The railroads pushed out westward persistently, to cross the prairies and bring ever greater areas of what had been wilderness into contact with civilization. Minnesota, together with Iowa, Kansas and Nebraska, began to take its place among the states leading in wheat and corn production. Within a brief period, the harvests of wheat, oats and barley were doubled, as were the heads of cattle, sheep and pigs. In spite of all obstacles, the wheat of the Minnesota prairies became a "bonanza" product and king of the grain market; in short order, as much as 62 percent of all tilled soil in Minnesota was planted in wheat, and

8. Krout, John A. United States since 1865. New York, 1953. p. 15.


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