Tuesday, May 04, 2010

White Earth Chippewa Civil War Veterans

Chippewa civil war veterans at White Earth Reservation 1873 or 1874 (photo credit Hoard & Tenney Winona now in Minnesota Historical Society)

White Earth Family Connections to the Civil War
On June 3 of 2003 I received a message from John Lundstrom an Associate Curator at the Milwaukee Public Museum which indicated that he had learned from Dr. Nancy Lurie, at the Museum, that I might know of Captain Charles Beaulieu and the other Chippewa soldiers from White Earth who fought in Company G of the 9th Minnesota during the Civil War.

He informed me that his great great uncle had also served in the 9th Minnesota, and that he was writing a book on the Regiment for the Minnesota Historical Society. He was interested in speaking with me about his research, hoping to learn how he might find more about the Chippewa who were in the Regiment. He indicated that the Chippewa played such a gallant role in the Battle of Brice's Cross Roads, that he intended to examine it in detail in the book.

I wrote back telling him I would be very interested in helping him and informed him that I had a picture of Chippewa Civil war veterans at White Earth around 1873, that I obtained from the Minnesota Historical Society in the late 1960’s and that I believed I might have been able to identify Capt. Charles Beaulieu in the photo as there was an individual that had an officers’ sword which may be him. Charles Beaulieu was a cousin to John Beaulieu who had also been in Company G. Both were cousins to my great grandfather, Truman Beaulieu, John Beaulieu’s brother. So both John Lundstrom and I had great great uncles in the 9th Minnesota regiment. I had years prior to 2003 gathered some Information about these Chippewa that fought in the Civil War primarily because of my interest in family genealogy.

Both Charles and John had enlisted on August 16 1862 , Charles, at the age of 22, as a private and John at age 17 as a corporal. Charles became Lieutenant August 1862 and was promoted to full Captain April 20 1864 before being mustered out because of a disability May 10 1865. John was named a 2nd Lt. in Co. G and served as such for a time, but before he was formally mustered in, he was returned to the ranks for "unsoldierly conduct. John was mustered out at Fort Snelling August 24 1865

Clement Hudon dit Beaulieu who was the father of Charles Beaulieu was born 10 September 1811 Lac du Flambeau Wisconsin (Michigan Territory) and died at White Earth 14 February 1892.. He was half Chippewa and French. His father Basile Hudon dit Beaulieu is buried at La Pointe, on Madeline Island. His mother was the grand daughter of Keskemum the the noted head of the crane clan and leader at Lac du Flambeau. He was an agent of the American Fur Company, established a trading post at Crow Wing and removed in 1868 to White Earth.

He attended mission school at Mackinac and married Elizabeth Farling the daughter of a Scotch Irish missionary and an Anishenaabe woman. Clements H Beaulieu’s son Reverend Clement Hudon Beaulieu, a brother of Charles wrote that when General Sibley became the first Governor of Minnesota he commissioned some of his old fur trading associates. My father was made a Colonial of a Guard in the Northern counties of the State. As the military status of the Pioneer Guards was more or less nebulous, its real function for the greater part was social. Clement H Beaulieu was responsible for organizing the Chippewa out of St. Cloud Minnesota into a unit for the Civil War. At the end of the Civil War Captain Charles Beaulieu was an agent of the Bureau of Indian Affairs at the Bena District of the Leech lake Agency.

Charles H. Oakes who married Julia Beaulieu entered the banking business with Charles Borup who married Elizabeth Beaulieu both sisters of Clement H Beaulieu and John and Truman’s father Paul H Beaulieu my grandfather’s grandfather. The two families moved from La Pointe in Wisconsin to St. Paul, Minnesota. Oakes and Borup were important to the development of the city of St. Paul. David Oakes son of Julia and Charles fought in the Civil War and was killed in the Battle of Pittsburgh Landing in 1862.

Paul Hudon Beaulieu was born 1820 at Mackinac Michigan and died in White Earth 10 February 1897. Paul H Beaulieu led the first party of Ojibwe to settle the White Earth Reservation and is recognized as the first settler of the White Earth Reservation. He was selected as the farmer for the reservation. He was an interpreter for the Federal government.

He was an explorer that had led the Stevens' survey expedition which left from Minnesota in June 1853. The expedition was responsible for documenting the potential route of the railroad, and recording information about the flora, fauna, and the Native American tribes whose homelands were being surveyed. On November 19, 1853, the expedition arrived at Fort Vancouver on the Columbia River; eventually, it produced the most thorough report of all four surveys also undertaken for the railroad projects.

Steven’s eventually became the first Governor of Washington Territory
When the civil War broke out Stevens offered his services to the Union government and was appointed Colonel of the 79th New York Highlanders. He was commissioned Brigadier General of Volunteers in September 1861, and promoted to Major General of Volunteers less than a year later. He met his death fighting gallantly in the battle of Chantilly—the battle in which his son, Hazard, was also wounded—on September 1, 1862.

Following the Civil War John H. Beaulieu was appointed village post master at Beaulieu, Minnesota after the Civil War. I heard that the village was named for the post master.

William and Albert Fairbanks were brothers and uncles to John H Beaulieu whom along with Charles Beaulieu were all in Company G of the 9th Minnesota. William and Albert were brothers to Maria Fairbanks who married Paul H Beaulieu

William and Albert’s father was John Fairbanks was born in "The Chazy" New York July 27 1798 and died in White earth April 20 1880. He was a useful scout for the American Army during the War of 1812 and was in the battle on Lake Champlain and render efficient service during the engagement.

In 1822 he was employed by the American fur Company under John Jacob Astor until the dissolution of the company in 1835. He then entered the Northwest Fur Company and remained until 1848 when it also dissolved.

He married Mary Sayer who was the daughter of John Sayer and an Anishenabe woman. Maria's brother William was born in Mud lake Minnesota August 20 1837 and lived with his parents in Crow Wing until 1861 when he enlisted in the company of his brother Albert Fairbanks born September 23 1840.

William married Zoway McGillas August 28 1859. They had no children. After the Civil war he removed to Winnebagoshish where he engaged in trade.

Henry Hudon Beaulieu, was a Sgt in Co G and the younger brother of Paul H Beaulieu and Clement H Beaulieu. He was an Uncle of Charles and John Beaulieu. Henry was omitted from the official list of the regiment but John Lundstrom found collaborating evidence that he was indeed within Company G of the Minnesota 9th.

According to John Lundstrom Theodore Beaulieu in 1914 most likely using official rosters developed a list of Minnesota Chippewa Indians who took an active part in assisting the State and Government during the Sioux Uprising and the Civil War. The list was given to the Minnesota State Historical Society which has it in Beaulieu document collection.

Theodore Beaulieu’s list of Company G 9th Reg't Minn.
Charles H. Beaulieu, Lieutenant afterwards Captain
Roger Aitkin
Salem Aitkin
John Beaulieu
Edward Belland
John Brown, Quaysegood
Thomas Butts
Henry Charon
Alex. Chaboilley
Joseph Comptois
Joesph Charrett Wain ge mah dub, Chief (pensioner living 1914)
Louis Charrett
Albert Fairbanks
Francois Dufoe
William Fairbanks
Henry Foster She muck e nah go
Robert Fox
John H. Hanks Pun ja min
Eustash Jourdain
Charles Mason
John Parker
Frank Tebeau
Thomas Swan

Please see photo of List.

© 2009-2010 David Beaulieu All Rights Reserved to Big River Man News-American Indian Education


Claudette Moran said...

Dear Mr. Beaulieu, my name is Claudette Moran, and I am writing to you from Little Falls, Minnesota. I found your blog because I am trying to do some research regarding your ancestor, Clement Beaulieu. My parents, Larry and Joyce Moran, are the ones that donated the house that Mr. Beaulieu built to Crow Wing State Park in 1988. I, along with my seven younger siblings actually grew up in that house on the farm that we are presently living on, and have lived here since 1965. I would like to learn more. Sincerely, Claudette Moran

katie said...

Hello I am researching a friend's genealogy. He's descended from the Farlings/Mcarthurs and Fairbanks of MN.
I know the Beaulieus you speak of were "metis" people but my question is: did they consider themselves 'white' or ojibwe or..?
Charles Beaulieu was certainly a colorful character!
Would love to hear more anf thanks much- Kelly Gray NY

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joy said...

Mr. Beaulieu, My name is Joy. I am doing family history research for my family. Albert Fairbanks is my great-great grandfather. His daughter Lizzie is my paternal grandma's mother. I would love any information you have on the Fairbanks, Martin, and/or Dufort genealogy. You have a nice blog. Thank you for taking the time to put this information out for others to see. Joy Shelton

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