Bill Colehour's story

  • August 21, 2012 - 9:15 AM

My wife, Jean Kreger Colehour is a descendant of Pierre (Peter) Perrault.

On the morning of Aug. 18, 1862, Peter Perrault was killed at his home near Birch Coulie by the Indians, becoming one of the earliest victims, along with his son-in-law, Eusebe Picard.

His son, Pierre, joined the Renville Rangers to fight the Indians and was killed in an Indian battle.

Peter's wife and five other children escaped to Fort Ridgely to safety. Tradition noted that Peter was found near a haystack in his yard with an arrow in his heart. His farm and house was totally burned out.

On August 31, 1862, General Sibley sent out a burial party from Fort Ridgely, perhaps this was when Peter was buried, probably on his property. His daughter, Marguerite Cardinal,  was captured by the  Sioux Indians, possibly Little Crow, during the infamous raid, along with her son, Clement Cardinal. Her father, brother and a brother-in-law were killed by the Indians that day. One theory was that they were not killed because the Indians had a superstition about red hair, which the younger Clement had.

The captives were taken upstream to Camp Release near Montevideo, Minn., where they were kept in tents and nearly starved to death. While being held captive, Marguerite was raped by an Indian named Tehe-do-ne-cha (meaning "one who forbids his tent"). Marguerite and her son were among 269 captives being held, mostly women and children. Their existence was miserable, with a minimum of food and clothing. Marguerite and Clement Jr. finally received their freedom at Camp Release on September 26, 1862, over eight weeks later.

Two days later the Indian trials began, and the Indian who raped her was the second Indian to be tried. Marguerite charged Tehe-do-ne-cha with raping her on the third day of her captivity, he confessed and was one of the 39 Indians who were hung in Mankato on December 26, 1862.

Bill Colehour


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