Hundreds mark 1862 mass hanging
Hundreds of people gathered in Mankato, Minn., Wednesday for the unveiling of a memorial to 38 Dakota men who were hanged 150 years ago in what is the largest mass execution in U.S. history. The Dec. 26, 1862, mass hanging marked the end of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862, which took place along the Minnesota River valley that fall. Following the war, 1,600 Dakota were held at a camp at Fort Snelling until being sent out of state. Originally, 303 men were sentenced to be hanged. President Abraham Lincoln reviewed all the cases and wrote a letter to Minnesota Gov. Alexander Ramsey, listing 39 men who should be hanged, including one who was later given a reprieve.