By order of the War Department, organization of a cavalry unit was begun in the winter of 1861-2, with recruiting stations established at Yankton, Vermillion, and Bon Homme. At Yankton, with Captain Nelson Miner commanding, the 98 men of Company A were mustered into service on 19 April 1862.
The company was claimed by some of the Yankton people as a local organization, though no more than one-third of its members had been residents of the future county prior to enlistment, the remainder coming from Clay, Cole, Bon Homme, Minnehaha, and one from Nebraska. Its membership included several veterans who had seen service in the regular army. Taken collectively it was a fine body of men, physically, intellectually, and morally. Quite a number of the recruits were farmers and nearly all claimholders. The ceremony of 'mustering in' took place at Yankton on the 29th day of April, 1862, Lieut. M. R. Luce, of the Forty-first Regiment of Iowa Volunteers, being mustering officer. The term of service was for three years or during the war..."
They first were stationed at Fort Randall under Lt Col Pattee of the 7th Iowa Cavalry, but detachments of the company were afterward sent to protect the settlements at Yankton, Vermillion, Sioux Falls and Brule Creek.
Its commissioned officers when mustered in were Nelson Miner, captain, Vermillion; J. K. Fowler, 1st lieutenant, Yankton; Frederick Ploghoff, 2nd lieutenant, Bon Homme.
Upon the commencement of the August 1862 uprising, Company A escorted the settlers as they moved to protective stockades.Governor William Jayne also called for "every able-bodied man to arms in defense of the homes of Dakota", with 399 men responding.
At this time Captain Alpheus G Fuller, an early settler in the territory, began raising a cavalry militia in Bon Homme and Charles Mix counties, the "Miltia Brigade of Dakota". Failing to form a company for U.S. service, the men were merged in with volunteers being organized at Elk Point, and were mustered in as Company B on 31 March 1863 at Sioux City, Iowa with Captain William Tripp commanding. This company was known by the settlers as the "Dakota Rangers".
Both companies were engaged in the protection of the Dakota frontier towns, while Generals Henry Sibley and Alfred Sully, with regiments of infantry and cavalry from Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska, sought out the hostile Indians throughout the territory. The two companies were split into detachments for use in the several settlements.
With the Civil War ended, and the Indian troubles drawing to a close in 1865, the two companies were mustered out, Company A on 9 May and Company B on 15 November, 1865. A list of soldiers gives the battalion a total of 194 soldiers.
Organized, Company "A" at Yanktown, D.T., April, 1862. Company "B" at Sioux City, Iowa, March 31, 1863.
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Thrapp, Dan L (1991). Encyclopedia of Frontier Biography, 3 Volumes. University of Nebraska Press. p. 1698. ISBN 978-0-8032-9420-2.
Carley, Kenneth (2001). The Dakota War of 1862. Minnesota Historical Society Press. ISBN 978-0-87351-392-0.
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