On September 3, 1863, General Alfred Sully's troops attacked a tipi camp of Yanktonai, some Dakota, Hunkpapa Lakota, and Blackfeet (Sihasapa Lakota), as part of a military mission to punish participants of the Dakota Conflict of 1862. In the ensuing battle, many Indian men, women, and children died or were captured. Military casualties were comparatively light. The Indians also suffered the destruction of virtually all of their property, leaving them nearly destitute for the coming winter.
Today, Whitestone Battlefield State Historic Site includes a portion of the battlefield and a small museum with exhibits explaining the 1863 Sibley and Sully expeditions and the Battle of Whitestone Hill. There are two monuments, one honoring the Indian dead and a second commemorating the soldiers who died in the battle. A marker also recognizes two early settlers, Tom and Mary Shimmin. A fieldstone shelter beside the trail provides a resting point overlooking part of the battlefield and a freshwater lake. Nearby is a picnic area with a shelter, table, horseshoe pits, pit toilets, and a parking lot.