Events set at Whitestone Hill historic siteA series of free public programs commemorating key anniversaries at the Whitestone Hill Battlefield State Historic Site near Kulm will be featured Sunday, Aug. 30, and Friday, Sept. 4. The events for both days are sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the site’s Friends group, the Whitestone Hill Battlefield Historical Society.
A series of free public programs commemorating key anniversaries at the Whitestone Hill Battlefield State Historic Site near Kulm will be featured Sunday, Aug. 30, and Friday, Sept. 4.
The events for both days are sponsored by the State Historical Society of North Dakota and the site’s Friends group, the Whitestone Hill Battlefield Historical Society.
On Sunday, Aug. 30, beginning at 2 p.m., there will be a public program featuring a re-enactment of the 1909 dedication of the bugler monument. Former SHSND Eastern Regional Manager Vance Nelson and members of the Whitestone Hill Battlefield Historical Society will portray members of the original cast of speakers from the 1909 dedication ceremony. At 2:30 p.m., a concert by the Mighty Cash Cats, from Los Angeles, Calif., will take place at the site. The Mighty Cash Cats perform a Johnny Cash tribute. Visitors are encouraged to bring lawn chairs and blankets. Admission cost for the program and concert is $8 for adults, $5 for students K-12, and preschool children will be admitted free. The Monango Fry Bread Wagon will be on site to serve drinks and snacks during the afternoon.
On Friday, Sept. 4, the 10th annual Education Day will be held at the site, marking the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Whitestone Hill. That day’s programs are targeted to attract fourth grade and upper elementary students and teacher groups from area schools, but the general public is also invited to attend. A variety of demonstration areas will be set up around the site, and school groups will rotate from one demonstration area to another throughout the day. Two demonstration areas will feature the popular Suitcase Exhibits for North Dakota programs that are designed to bring an additional dimension of interpretation to the site’s history.
Visitors will be able to visit several stations from 9 a.m. to noon and from 1 until 3 p.m. There will be a noon lunch break. Demonstration stations will include a replica tipi, the SEND programs “Dakota (Sioux)” and “Military,” visitations to the site’s museum and historical monuments and markers, simulated drill instructions in the proper rifle drill techniques, story telling, a display of battle artifacts found on property adjacent to the site, a frontier military bugler, a frontier military laundress and old-fashioned kids games.
Also during both the Aug. 30 and Sept. 4 events, the SHSND will host an on-site museum store which will offer items that are relevant to the history of Whitestone Hill Battlefield State Historic Site. On Aug. 30, the store merchandise will appeal more to adults, and on Sept. 4, the merchandise will be suitable for children, with a special emphasis on targeting -grade students.
Whitestone Hill Battlefield State Historic Site, managed and maintained by the SHSND, is where the Sixth Iowa and Second Nebraska Volunteer Cavalry troops under Brigadier Gen. Alfred Sully battled with Dakota (Sioux) warriors on Sept. 3 and 5, 1863. The attack on the Two Bears Dakota (Sioux) village at Whitestone Hill was the last battle of the 1863 campaign, and the last major battle between soldiers and American Indians east of the Missouri River. Twenty-two soldiers and some 100 to 300 Indian people were killed and another 150 captured. The Army’s victory confirmed U.S. control of the Northern Plains east of the Missouri River. The site commemorates the Indian and white participants in the confrontation.
The Whitestone Hill Battlefield State Historic Site can be reached by traveling from Kulm south 12 miles on North Dakota State Highway 56, then east four miles on a gravel road, then north nearly two miles to the site. The site features a small museum, two monuments, an adjacent park and picnic and recreational facilities. The site is open Thursdays through Mondays, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., through Sept. 15.