On this day in Duluth in 1900, Captain (later Colonel) Hubert Eva received the following communique from Minnesota Governor John Lind: “Permit me to congratulate you most heartily upon the efficiency with which you executed my orders on the recent expedition to the Rainy Lake country. Your reports…are a credit to the officers of the National Guard.” Eva was in command of the Minnesota National Guard in Duluth, and Lind had earlier ordered him to take troops to Rainy Lake on the Canadian border to quell an “Indian rebellion.” The Duluth News Tribune reported that, “For some time the Indians around Rainy Lake have not behaved themselves as the state government thinks they should, and a little liquor has helped make matters worse,” but failed to mention just what their behavior entailed. So 25 members of Duluth’s Company A, under the command of Eva, performed what was described by historians Dwight Woodbridge and John Pardee described as “one of the most strenuous details in [the company’s] history.” Here is their description of the feat: “The company left Duluth on July 2 for Tower, Minn., from whence it took boats across Vermillion lake to Vermilion dam, arriving at this point about 8:00 o’clock in the evening during a heavy rain. Here a halt was made, and supper prepared, after which, at 9:30, the company again started out, covering the portage to Crane lake in ten hours and fifty-five minutes in heavy marching order. From thence it proceeded up lake by boats and portages at different stages, arriving at Koochiching on the evening of July 5. Maps of the roads and country were made and the company remained there about three weeks until all trouble was over, and returned to Duluth none the worse for wear, but with great experience gained.” We’re not sure how that effort ended the conflict, but it ended without anyone firing a single shot. Read more about Colonel Hubert Eva here.
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