The Last Letter Home - Study Guide Part 2, Chapter XVII, XVIII and XIX Summary & Analysis

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In Chapter XVII: Song Under Thirty-Eight Gallows, Fort Ridgely and New Ulm are relieved in the end of August, and Little Crow is defeated at Wood Lake on September 23. In the bloodiest Indian war in North America, over one thousand white settlers are killed and thirty thousand are left homeless. Of 303 Sioux sentenced to death, President Lincoln offered a reprieve to 265, and the other thirty-eight hung at Mankato on December 26, 1862. As the prisoners were led to the gallows, they sang in unison until their last moment, the song dying as thirty-eight men dangled from ropes. "The song of the thirty-eight under the gallows ropes at Mankato was the death song of the Minnesota Indians. Thus ended their last attempt to drive out the intruders and take back their land" (p. 152). The Indian cliff, though, remained, blocks falling...

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