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Native Americans & Little Big Horn~Sioux Treaty of 1868

Custer's Last Stand Continued~Page 3~"This war was brought upon us by the children of the Great Father who came to take our land from us without price." --Spotted Tail

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Stories

Report & Journal

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The report and journal of proceedings of the commission appointed to obtain certain concessions from the Sioux Indians, December 26, 1876

The history of Native Americans in North America dates back thousands of years. Exploration and settlement of the western United States by Americans and Europeans wreaked havoc on the Indian peoples living there. In the 19th century the American drive for expansion clashed violently with the Native American resolve to preserve their lands, sovereignty, and ways of life. The struggle over land has defined relations between the U.S. government and Native Americans and is well documented in the holdings of the National Archives. (From the American Originals exhibit script.)

From the 1860s through the 1870s the American frontier was filled with Indian wars and skirmishes. In 1865 a congressional committee began a study of the Indian uprisings and wars in the West, resulting in a Report on the Condition of the Indian Tribes , which was released in 1867. This study and report by the congressional committee led to an act to establish an Indian Peace Commission to end the wars and prevent future Indian conflicts. The United States government set out to establish a series of Indian treaties that would force the Indians to give up their lands and move further west onto reservations.

In the spring of 1868 a conference was held at Fort Laramie, in present day Wyoming, that resulted in a treaty with the Sioux. This treaty was to bring peace between the whites and the Sioux who agreed to settle within the Black Hills reservation in the Dakota Territory.

The Black Hills of Dakota are sacred to the Sioux Indians. In the 1868 treaty, signed at Fort Laramie and other military posts in Sioux country, the United States recognized the Black Hills as part of the Great Sioux Reservation, set aside for exclusive use by the Sioux people. In 1874, however, General George A. Custer led an expedition into the Black Hills accompanied by miners who were seeking gold. Once gold was found in the Black Hills, miners were soon moving into the Sioux hunting grounds and demanding protection from the United States Army. Soon, the Army was ordered to move against wandering bands of Sioux hunting on the range in accordance with their treaty rights. In 1876, Custer, leading an army detachment, encountered the encampment of Sioux and Cheyenne at the Little Bighorn River. Custer's detachment was annihilated, but the United States would continue its battle against the Sioux in the Black Hills until the government confiscated the land in 1877. To this day, ownership of the Black Hills remains the subject of a legal dispute between the U.S. government and the Sioux.

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General Alfred Terry's Telegram

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Document

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Letter from Captain John S. Poland

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Chief Spotted Tail

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Spotted Tail, or Sinte Galeska, was an esteemed chief among the Brule tribe of the Sioux Nation. He was a man said to be of great ability both in battle and in peace and was a major Sioux leader in the Plains Indian wars.

The early years

Spotted Tail was born in 1823, near the banks of the White River west of the Missouri River in South Dakota, near present-day Pine Ridge, which is southeast of Rapid City, just north of the Nebraska border.

He was related to Chief Crazy Horse, who is well known for his role in the Battle of the Rosebud and the Battle of the Little Big Horn. In addition, Spoted Tail was a first cousin to Conquering Bear, a Brule chief.

His father was a Blackfoot Sioux named Tangled Hair, and his mother, named Walks-with-Pipe, was of the Brule Sioux, the marriage of which was to cause Sinte Galeska social problems later on.

So, during military practices and mock battles, Spotted Tail decided to take charge and use his innate intelligence to play the part of strategist for his “army.” He would be the one to make a battle plan and assign to the others their parts in the exercises. This gained him the needed respect and confidence to carry a leadership role into real battle.

Early career

Sinte Galeska, also known as Jumping Buffalo, got his adult name, Spotted Tail, from a raccoon’s tail that a white trapper had given him when he was younger. Spotted Tail incorporated the trophy into his war headdress, wearing it in his first battles.

By age 30, Spotted Tail had been selected for leadership¹ within his people; he was an honored Shirtwearer ². His battle shirt was adorned with more than 100 locks of hair that represented scalps that he had taken, coups of which he was a part, and horses that he had stolen.

Spotted Tail played a vital role in the first sizable battle between the Lakotas and the U.S. Army. Spotted Tail organized and led the assault on the flank and rear of Lieutenant Grattan’s command that created panic among the troops and facilitated their demise. In the summer of 1854, Chief Conquering Bear died during an incident with 2nd Lieutenant John Grattan and his command, known as the Grattan Massacre. Little Thunder then succeeded Conquering Bear as the chief of the Brules.

Spotted Tail was also involved in the Kincaid Coach Raid, and the army’s attack on the Bluewater camp of Little Thunder. To protect the tribe from any army reprisals, Spotted Tail voluntarily surrendered to General Harney at Fort Laramie, Wyoming, and served about three years in prison.

While in prison, Spotted Tail learned to read and write English, and acquired skills that would be useful in dealing with whites when he became chief. Having witnessed the strength and numbers of the white military forces while incarcerated, he reached an understanding that in order for his people to survive, diplomacy had to replace armed conflict, whenever possible, if coexistence with the whites was to become a reality.

Spotted Tail would now evaluate the long-term interests of his people differently. He made a careful study of the white man, taking note of the white man’s customs and the way his mind worked, chiefly of his odd, desperate lust to acquire and own property as individuals rather than a community where everyone shared of the land and its bounty.

Later career

During the late 1850s and into the early 1860s, the Brules lived in relative peace in their homelands in southwestern Nebraska and northwestern Kansas. During this time, Spotted Tail gained responsibility and authority, becoming the trusted lieutenant of Little Thunder.

In November of that year, Colonel John Chivington led the Third Colorado Cavalry in a savage attack on a southern Cheyenne and Arapaho village, now known as the Sand Creek Massacre, in west central Colorado. The survivors escaped to a camp on the Smoky Hill River.

Messages calling for war went out to associated bands and allies, among them the southern Brules. Although Spotted Tail saw the futility of war, he accepted his responsibility as a war chief to lead his tribesmen into battle.

With Spotted Tail in the lead, the warriors attacked the stagecoach stop at Julesburg, in the Colorado Territory, in early January 1865. They returned a month later, to burn the town.

Troops from Fort Laramie, however, derailed their plans and attacked the war party in western Nebraska Territory, so Spotted Tail and his warriors decided they had had enough of war and brought his people to the fort to seek a peace settlement.

After the battle, the tribal council ignored the hereditary line and selected Spotted Tail to succeed Little Thunder, who had recently been killed in the unprovoked attack on his villiage at Blue Water Creek, as chief.

Spotted Tail eagerly negotiated with the government commission of 1867-1868. He signed the infamous “Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868,” which gave away Sioux lands along the Republican and the Platte rivers. In the latter part of that summer, the treaty required Spotted Tail's band to move to an area on Whetstone Creek near the Missouri River. Finding the new location for his band unsuitable, Spotted Tail moved them more than 30 miles from the agency. After signing the treaty, Spotted Tail was a major force in the early subduing, by negotiation, of hostile Indians.

The army, without consulting other leaders of the tribes, appointed Spotted Tail head chief of all the Sioux. This incited dissention and jealousy within the ranks of his own people. Not wanting a civil war among the Sioux, Spotted Tail relocated to a new agency at Fort Sheridan, Nebraska, on the south bank of the White River, which they called the "Spotted Tail Agency.”

Latter days

In 1874, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer marched into Dakota Territory on his exploration of the Black Hills. When it was confirmed that gold was there, the government decided to take back the Sioux’s new lands, and remove the Indians. All this was in violation of the 1868 treaty. In December 1875, President Grant ordered the internment of all Sioux into Indian agencies within two months or be considered hostile. Spotted Tail proceeded to negotiate Crazy Horse’s surrender.

Spotted Tail was an extraordinarily determined administrator; as head chief, he continued to keep an Indian police force to keep alcohol off the reservation, and he condemned army threats to force the Lakota to the Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Throughout the 1870s, jealousies, grudges, and the pressures of captivity of the previously nomadic people fueled aggressive disputes. Spotted Tail’s enemies began attacking him for his relationship with a woman who had left her husband ³.

In June 1876, word of the Battle of the Little Big Horn reached Spotted Tail and his people at the "Spotted Tail Agency." The Indian's victory proved to be a double-edged sword; on one hand it was a great victory in a bloody war of survival, on the other hand, it was also just the excuse that the white man needed to perfect the oppression and destruction of the Native American peoples and their culture.

In 1879, when the Carlisle Indian Industrial School opened, in Pennsylvania, Spotted Tail enrolled many of his people from the Rosebud Reservation in the School, including members of his immediate family. He was outraged when he found that his children had been baptized as Episcopalians, given Christian names, dressed like soldiers, and were not learning English, but instead were made to farm and do industrial work.

At that point, Spotted Tail removed his entire family from Carlisle and instantly found the goodwill of many whites had evaporated.

Crow Dog, a nephew of the old chief, Conquering Bear, threatened to shoot Spotted Tail, and continued trying to humiliate Spotted Tail with the fact that he was chief not by the will of the tribe, but by the guns of the white soldiers. Crow Dog took up his gun and fulfilled his threat. In August 1881, Crow Dog shot Spotted Tail in the chest, killing him.

In remembrance

Spotted Tail still lives in the hearts of his people for trying to save them from annihilation or banishment to a place of oppression, starvation, and death called the “Oklahoma Territory.” Ultimately, he located his people on a preferred tract of land, and was able to preserve substantial amounts of the tribal culture and authority. He saw and espoused the belief that education is an important tool in preserving Sioux culture and tradition.

 

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Photo

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Spotted Tail, Roman Nose, Old Man Afraid of His Horses,

Lone Horn, Whistling Elk, Pipe and unknown.

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Spotted Tail's Final Rest

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Birth: 1823
South Dakota, USADeath: Aug. 5, 1881
South Dakota, USABurial:
Rosebud Cemetery
Rosebud
Todd County
South Dakota, USA

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Native Americans with the Seventh Cavalry

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Bloody Knife
1837, Hunkpapa Reservation, Dakota Territory
Father was Hunkpapa; mother was Ree
She Owl
Arikara
March 13, 1876
Guide, Quartermaster
Killed in valley fight
June 25, 1876, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana
In the valley, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana

Bobtailed Bull
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 26, 1876
Sergeant, Indian Scout
Killed in valley fight
June 25, 1876, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana
Last Stand Hill, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana

Bull
1856, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river
Unknown
Unknown

Bull in Water
1847, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river

Bush
1847, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 26, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river

Climbs the Bluff
1845, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 1, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Cross, William
1854, Unknown
Interpreter
April 17, 1876
Private, Scout
Valley fight
d. July 1894, Culbertson, Montana

Curly
1856, Little Rosebud Creek, Montana
Crow
April 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Custer's Column
d. May 21, 1923, Crow Agency, Montana

Curly Head
1856, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 27, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Dorman, Isaiah
D'Orman Plantation, Louisiana
Interpreter
May 14, 1876
Interpreter, Quartermaster
Killed in valley fight
June 25, 1876, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana
Last Stand Hill, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana

Foolish Bear, a/k/a Bear
1847, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights

Forked Horn
1839, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 27, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights
d. 1894

Girard, Frederic Francis, a/k/a Frederic Francis Gerard
November 14, 1829, St. Louis, Missouri
Francois Girard (Canadian)
Catherine Trotier Girard
Helena Catherine Girard (Ree tribe)
Daughters Josephine, Carrie, and Virginia
Son Frederic, Jr. (Catherine, a Piegan, the mother)
November 15, 1877 to Ella Scarborough Waddell
Frederic Custis, Birdie, Charles, and Florence
Interpreter
May 12, 1876
Interpreter, Quartermaster
In valley fight
d. January 30, 1913, St. Cloud, Minnesota
buried: College of St. Benedicts Convent (Saint Joseph) Minnesota

Goes Ahead
1851, Platte River
Crow
April 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Custer's Column and in hilltop fight
May 31, 1919, Crow Agency, Montana
Custer Battlefield National Cemetery

Goes Ahead (d. May 31, 1919) was a Crow scout for George Armstrong Custer's Seventh Cavalry during the 1876 campaign against the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne. He was a survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn, and his accounts of the battle are valued by modern historians. May 31 is the 151st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (152nd in leap years), with 214 days remaining, as the last day of May. ... 1919 was a common year starting on Wednesday (see link for calendar). ... The Crow, also called the Absaroka or Apsáalooke, are a tribe of Native Americans who historically lived in the Yellowstone river valley and now live on a reservation south of Billings, Montana, and the current chairman of the tribal council is Carl Venne. ... George Armstrong Custer Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (December 6, 1839 %u2013 June 25, 1876) was an American cavalry commander in the Civil War and the Indian Wars who is best remembered for his defeat and death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn against a coalition of Native American tribes... 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... The Lakota (friends or allies, sometimes also spelled Lakhota) are a Native American tribe, also known as the Sioux (see Names). ... Cheyenne lodges with buffalo meat drying, 1870 The Cheyenne are a Native American nation of the Great Plains, closely allied with the Arapaho and loosely allied with the Lakota (Sioux). ... The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also called Custers Last Stand, was an engagement between a Lakota-Cheyenne combined force and the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army that took place on June 25, 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in the eastern Montana Territory. ...


Born into the Crow tribe, he was also known as The First One, Goes First, The One Ahead, Comes Leading, Man With Fur Belt, and Child of the Stars. He volunteered to serve as a scout with the U.S. Army against the traditional enemies of the Crow, the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne along with fellow Crow warriors such as White Man Runs Him, Curley, White Swan, Half Yellow Face, and Hairy Moccasin. Curley, by D.F. Barry, 1878 Curley (or Curly), is the English name for Ashishishe (var. ...


The scouts sighted the encampment on the banks of the Little Big Horn River near the current site of Crow Agency, Montana. On June 25, 1876, Goes Ahead and the other scouts warned Custer not to attack but to wait for reinforcements. Custer refused their advice and prepared for an attack. Goes Ahead and the others took off their Army issued uniforms and put on traditional Crow clothing with eagle feathers to assist their flight to the spirit world should they be killed. When Custer saw this, he was enraged seeing the move as defeatism and he dismissed the scouts. Goes Ahead and the others joined Major Marcus Reno on the ridge overlooking the last stand. Attacked but not overrun, Marcus's column survived the engagement. Crow Agency is a census-designated place located in Big Horn County, Montana. ... June 25 is the 176th day of the year (177th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 189 days remaining. ... 1876 is a leap year starting on Saturday. ... Major Marcus Albert Reno was born November 15, 1834, in Carrollton, Illinois. ...


After the battle, Goes Ahead settled on the Crow reservation, married and had a family. He was interviewed by historian and photographer Edward S. Curtis in the early 20th Century. His book was one of the first to present a balanced account of the battle to the general public but even then the more controversial parts of the story were not disclosed. The whole account of Curtis's interviews with Goes Ahead and the other Crow scouts would not become general knowledge until Curtis's notes became public in the 1990s more than 40 years after his death. Edward Curtis circa 1889 From left to right are: Elizabeth M. Curtis (1896-1973) aka Beth Curtis; Harold Curtis (1894-?); Clara J. Phillips (1874-1932); and Florence Curtis (1899-?) circa 1905-1909 The North American Indian, 1907 New York Times on April 16, 1911 In the Land of the Head...


Goes Ahead died in 1919 and was buried in the military cemetery at the little Big Horn Battlefield. His widow, Pretty Shield, became a sought after source of information concerning the battle late in her life.

Good Face
1855, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout

Goose
1855, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 17, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights

Hairy Moccasin
Esh-sup-pee-me-shish
Crow
Montana Territory
Little Face
Strikes First
April 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Custer's Column and in hilltop fight
d. October 9, 1922, Lodge Grass, Montana
buried: October 11, 1922, Saint Ann's Cemetery, Lodge Grass, Montana

Half Yellow Face
Montana Territory
Crow
April 10, 1876
Corporal, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights
d. 1879, Fort Custer, Montana Territory

Horns in Front
1834, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached duty

Howling Wolf
1854, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 26, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached duty

Jackson, Robert
August 27, 1856,m Fort Benton, Montana Territory
Scout
December 25, 1875
Private, Scout
Not present, detached service
d. After 1903, Amethyst, Colorado

Jackson, William
1860, LaPreary, Canada
Scout
December 25, 1875
Private, Scout
In valley fight
d. December 30, 1899, Cutbank Creek, Blackfeet Res., Mont

Left Hand
1829, Dakota Territory
Arikara
June 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Little Brave
1850, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Killed in valley fight
June 25, 1876, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana
Last Stand Hill, Little Big Horn Battlefield, Montana

Little Sioux
circa 1855, Fort Clark, Dakota Territory
Arikara
February 3, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's column in valley fight
August 31, 1933, North Dakota

Long Bear
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Lying Down
1857, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present due to illness

One Feather
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column

One Horn
1850, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 26, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Red Bear, a/k/a Good Elk
1849, Fort Clark, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 13, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley fight
d. May 7, 1934, Nishu, North Dakota

Red Foolish Bear
1848, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Round Wooden Cloud
1834, Dakota Territory
Sioux
March 31, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river

Running Wolf
1856, Fort Clark, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

Rushing Bull
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river

Soldier
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
April 26, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river
May 7, 1921

Stab
1831, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river
1882, Badlands, Dakota Territory

Strikes the Bear
1854, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column; crossed the river
June 7, 1929, Ree, North Dakota

Strikes the Lodge
1847, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross the river

Strikes Two
1844, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column; crossed the river
September 8, 1922, Elbowood, North Dakota

Wagon
1856, Dakota Territory
Arikara
1876
Private, Indian Scout
Not present, detached service

White Cloud
1855, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 14, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross river

White Eagle
1851, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Reno's Column but did not cross river

White Man Runs Him
1858, Montana Territory
Crow
April 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
With Custer's Column and hilltop fight
June 2, 1929, Lodge Grass, Montana
Custer Battlefield National Cemetery, Crow Agency, Mont.

White Swan
1851, Montana Territory
Crow
April 10, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights, wounded
d. August 12, 1904, Crow Agency, Montana

Younghawk
1859, Dakota Territory
Arikara
May 9, 1876
Private, Indian Scout
In valley and hilltop fights
d. January 16, 1915, Elbowood, North Dakota












 


 

 

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Isaiah Dorman

On the afternoon of June 25, 1876 as Major Reno lead his hasty "charge" out of the clump of trees to which his initial attack and skirmish line had been reduced, several men of his command both alive and mortaly wounded were abandoned. One such man, Isaiah Dorman, lay dying, partially pinned under his dead horse. He had formerly served his country well as an army scout and interpreter. Now he was to give the most precious gift that a patriot can give to his country- his life. Who was this wasicun sapa, this "black white man" as he was known to the Sioux?

There are many stories from the Sioux history describing a large, "black white man" who was welcomed in their villages as early as 1850. He was known as Azinpi or "Teat," meaning teat or nipple, which in the Sioux language sounds like Isaiah. This man had worked as a trapper and trader. He was known to travel both with a horse and a mule, and seemed to want to avoid contact with the white settlers. Little else is known of Dorman, and there is no known picture of him. Although not certain, it is thought that he might have been aformer slave of the D'Orman family of Louisiana in the late 1840s. A search of wanted posters of that period shows that a Negro slave by the name of Isaiah was a fugitive. Dorman is known to have first appeared at a white settlement in 1865, after the Civil War was over. At this time he was married to a young woman of Inkpaduta's band of the Santee Sioux. He is known to have settled at Fort Rice, Dakota Territory near the present site of Bismarck. He supported himself by cutting wood for the fort. Soon he became known to the officers of the fort as a jovial, sober, and trustworthy person. He was fond of tobacco, but abstained from the spirits. In the fall of 1865 he was hired as a wood cutter by the trading firm of Durfee & Peck. Due to his size and strength, it was said that "Old Teat" could cut a cord of wood faster than a helper could stack it.

When the post commander and his quartermaster learned of Dorman's ability with the Sioux language and his knowledge of the land, he was hired in November, 1865, by Lt. J, M, Marshall to carry the mail between Ft. Rice and Ft. Wadsworth. Dorman made the 360-mile round trip without difficulty. When he was not carrying mail, he went back to cutting wood. When it became too dangerous for soldiers to carry the mail in 1867, he was again hired at the rate of $50/month, quite a sum for a black man in those days. In September, 1871, he was hired by a Capt. Henry Inman to serve as guide and interpreter for a party of engineers making the Northern pacific Railroad Survey. He was paid $100/month. He next served as an interpreter for the army at Ft. Rice at a salary of $75/month.

When Custer was preparing to set out for the Little Big Horn expedition, he issued Special Order No. 2 requesting that Isaiah Dorman be assigned to him as an interpreter. Dorman, then about 55 years old was eager to have the opportunity to see his Indian friends once more. The rest is history.

Ironically, more has been recorded about Dorman in death than in life. One of Reno's scouts, George Herendeen stated "I saw Indians shooting at Isiah and squaws pounding him with stone hammers. His legs below the knees were shot full of bullets..." Others have described his legs as being riddled with buckshot. By most accounts, he died a slow and painful death. Pvt. Slaper said that he was "badly cut and slashed, while unmentionable atrocities had been commited." A Pvt. Roman Rutten passed Dorman as he escaped from the valley fighting. He described Dorman as being on one knee, firing carefully with a non-regulation sporting rifle. Dorman was stated to have looked up and shouted, "Good-bye, Rutten!" A more fanciful story attributed to Stanley Vestal states that while Dorman lay dying, Sitting Bull happened to pass by and kindly offered his former friend kind words and a drink of water. Sitting Bull is said to have chased the vengeful Indian women away from Isaiah, but after he left, the women returned and Dorman's body was stripped and mutilated. Others have stated that in addition to the mortal chest wound and the wounds to his legs, he was later found with his torso and head full of arrows and according to the memoirs of John Burkrman, had a picket pin driven through his testicles. Obviously all of the Indians did not take too kindly to Dorman being with the invading cavalry.
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Sioux participants in the battle of the Little Big Horn

Bad-Light-Hair,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Bad Soup (or Bad Juice) Having been around the 7th Cavalry at Fort Lincoln, he presumably pointed out Custer's body to White Bull (24)

Bear-With-Horn,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead

Big Elk (Un-pan Tan-ka),  Oglala chief; among a small group of warriors who had advanced nearest Custer's final position (25)

Big Leggins,  Half-blood Sioux; he could read numerals, and after the Custer fight identified the soldiers they had been fighting as the 7th Cavalry (24)

Big Nose,  In Custer fight (24)

Big Road,  Oglala Warrior Chief (2)

Black Elk,  Oglala, born 1863 (27); son of the elder Black Elk (5); as a young boy hge took two scalps from dying soldiers during the Reno fight (3); then with some younger boys shot arrows into the dying soldiers on the Custer battlefield; his older brother was also in the battle; later tribal holy man; died 1950 (27)

Black Fox,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Black Moon,  Hunkpapa warrior chief; a leader in the battle on the 25th (2); warrior society leader in the charges against Reno's troops

Black Wasichu,  Warrior; brother of Chase-in-the-Morning, and cousin of Black Elk; shot in the Custer fight while riding warrior style on the side of his horse; died in camp on the night of June 27th (27)

Brings Plenty,  Killed a soldier with a war club in the Custer fight (27)

Chased-by-Owls,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Cloud Man, Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Comes Again,  Warrior; still living age 86 (24)

Crazy Heart,  Minneconju warrior, son of Chief Lame Deer; in the Custer fight; honored as a shirt wearer (30)

Crazy Horse (Tashunka Witko),  Minikajau; son of Crazy Horse, later called Worm (11); usually quiet, reserved, not boastful (5); a principal leader in the battle on the 25th; he probably wore his protective hailstone medicine paint as he led Sioux and Cheyenne from the lower end of the village to attach Custer (2, 19); he prevented Custer's troops from gaining the hilltop in their retreat, and is thought to have led one of the closing charges on Custer at Last Stand Hill (3); he chased down & killed one of the last troopers to die, one-half mile east of the Custer battlefield (10); he was killed at Fort Robinson, Nebraska on September 7, 1877 (3)

Crow Dog,  Brule Warrior; in the Custer fight, he caught 3 soldier horses and hurried them to his lodge across the river; by the time he returned Custer & his men were already dead (25)

Crow King,  Hunkpapa warrior chief; had 80 warriors in his band (2); led charges against Reno's troops in the valley (28), then joined the Custer fight after Reno attained the bluffs; two of his brothers were killed in the battle (2)

Dog's-Back-Bone,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Dog-With-Horns,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Elk Bear,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Elk Nation,  He rescued his wounded brother--friend Little Bear, after his horse had been shot from under him in the Custer fight (27)

Feather Earring,  Minneconjou warrior; in the Reno fight, where his brother was killed; drove some cavalry horses from Custer's battlefield; living 1919 (2)

Flat Hip,  Hunkpapa warrior; long after the battle, he was one of severa Indians who claimed credit for killing Custer (24)

Flying By,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Flying Hawk,  Uhiapapa warrior, full brother of Kicking Bear & cousin of Crazy Horse; born March 1852; son of Chief Black Fox and Iron Cedarwoman; fought with his friend Crazy Horse in the Custer fight; became a chief at age 32 and succeeded Red Cloud; died at Pine Ridge, South Dakota Dec. 24, 1931 (10)

Fool Bull (Tatanka Witko),  A medicine man, born 1844; he carried a shield of buffalo hide into the battle (14)

Gall (Pizi),  Hunkpapa warrior chief; born ca 1838, son of nobody of distinction (4); Gall was among the Cheyenne looking after horses when Reno attacked (2); his 2 wives and 3 children were killed in Reno's attack on the village; Gall said: "It made my heart bad. After that I killed all my enemies with the hatchet." (2) a principal leader in the battle of the 25th; he did not, as some say (4, 28), lead charges against Reno's troops in the valley, but was diverted from that fight by one of his warriors who had spotted Custer from the bluffs, and led them in a frontal attack on Custer's troops (2), while Crazy Horse's warriors struck Custer's flank and rear (2,4); he surrendered January 1881 at Poplar Creek, Montana (2); later served as a judge of the Court of Indian Offenses at Standing Rock Reservation in 1889, and worked as a farmer; died in 1894 at age 56, at Oak Creek near Standing Rock Agency (4, 2)

Good Fox,  Warrior in the Custer fight; he was not a killing man, but showed his bravery by counting coup - - zigzagging among the enemy and touching them with his crooked cup coup stick, wrapped in otter fur; survivor of the Wounded Knee massacre; died 1928 (30)

Guts (or Open Belly),  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Hawk Man,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

He Dog,  Crazy Horse's head warrior (2); later judge of the Court of Indian Offenses at Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota' aged 92 years ca 1931 and described as a living repository of Oglala tribal history and customs (5)

High Eagle,  Warrior; still living at age 88 (24)

High Eagle,  Sioux chief of the great council lodge; killed in the Reno fight (28) (see above & below)

High Elk,  Sans Arc chief; killed by Reno's troops (2)

He Crow,  Minikauju warrior; Wounded in the Custer battle

Hump,  Head warrior of the Oglalas (28)

Hump,  Minneconjou chief; age 29 in 1876; he had his horse shot from under him and was wounded in the leg early in the Custer fight (2)

Hump Nose (or Hump),  Sans Arc chief (13)

Iron Cedar,  Hunkpapa warrior of Gall's band; spotted Custer's column from a high point above the river and diverted Gall from the Reno fight (2)

Iron Hail,  Warrior, still living age 90 (24)

Iron Hawk,  Hunkpapa warrior; age 14 when he rode into the Custer fight with his bow & arrows and his face painted red; shot and killed a soldier on horseback with an arrow in the Custer fight; then joined the attack on Reno's water carriers (27); still living age 99 (24)

Iron Star , Minneconjou warrior chief 2nd in rank to Lame Deer (30); led warriors against Custer (2); killed in General Miles' attack on the Minneconjou Sioux village of Lame Deer, May 7, 1877 (17, 30)

Iron Thunder,  Minneconjou warrior; brother of Hump, age 28 in 1876 (2)

Kicking Bear,  Uniapapa warrior, full brother of Flying Hawk, killed some of Reno's soldiers as they fled across the river (10); later prophet of the Ghost Dance religion at the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1890 (16)

Kills Him,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Left-Handed-Ice,  Killed in the battle' on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead

Little Bear,  Wounded in the leg when his horse was shot from under him in the Custer fight; rescued by his brother-friend Elk Nation (27)

Little Knife,  Hunkpapa warrior; in the Custer fight; in 1879 he said that Custer had been killed by a boy of 15 years, whose brother had just been slain (24)

Eugene Little Soldier (Akichitahchigala),  Born ca 1863; young and fought with arrows against Reno; among Indian police who participated in the arrest and killing of Sitting Bull 1890; living 1928; (not Sitting Bull's son of the same name) (1)

Little Warrior,  Warrior; still living age 80 (24)

Lone Bull,  Hunkpapa warrior; Sitting Bull's nephew; in the Reno fight (2)

Lone Dog,  Young Sans Arc; he had gone up Reno Creek to get a horse with Two Bear, who was killed by Reno's scouts just before the charge on the village; Lone Dog escaped to give the warning just as Reno's troops opened fire on the camp (2); killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25) (unless he has been confused with Lone Bear??)

John Lone Man (Isnawichah),  Born ca 1850; among Indian police who participated in the arrest and killing of Sitting Bull 1890; died before April 1928 (1)

Long Elk,  Warrior; wounded in the Custer fight (27)

Long Robe,  Killed in th battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Oliver Looking Elk (Hehakawaketo),  Born ca 1845; among Indian police who participated in the arrest and killing of Sitting Bull 1890; living 1928 (1)

Low Dog,  Minicauju Chief; fought against Reno and Custer; his full brother was killed in the battle (2); "I called to my men: "this is a good day to die, follow me" (16)

Mustache,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

One-Who-Walks-With-the-Stars,  young Oglala woman, wife of Crow Dog; while rounding up stray horses on the banks of the river, she slashed and clubbed 2 soldiers who had escaped the Custer battlefield and were attempting to swim the river (25)

Owns-Red-Horse,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Pemmican,  Warrior; still living age 85 (24)

Plenty Lice,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Red Face,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Red Fish , Warrior in the Custer fight (30)

Red Hawk,  A Sioux who fought with Crazy Horse against Custer (16)

Red Horn Buffalo,  Iron Hawk "saw him fall" in the Custer fight (27)

Red Horn Bull,  Famous Oglala runner; led a charge on Reno's troops in the valley (28)

Red Horse,  Minneconjou warrior chief; he was digging wild turnups when Reno's men "charged so quickly we could not talk..."(2 & 3)

Round Fool,  A boy; he spotted a soldier who had been hiding in some bullberry bushes all night below Reno Hill; the soldier was burned out and killed by Sioux warriors

Scarlet Top (Inkpaduta),  Santee chief; though probably not in the battle himself, his two sons (names unknown) were among the many warriors later said to have killed Custer; they may have killed the last soldier, but he was not Custer (2)

Walcott Shoots Walking (Wakutemani),  born ca 1950; among Indian police who participated in the arrest and killing of Sitting Bull in 1890; living 1928 (1)

Short Bull,  Brule Sioux; helped drive Reno's men back across the river; later Ghost Dance prophet (5)

Sitting Bull (Tatanka Yatanka, ) His name means literally "Buffalo-he-sits-down" (25) or "Buffalo Bull Sitting Down" (26); Hunkpapa medicine man and chief; a powerful leader but not a warrior, he was not personally engaged in the battle (2), and was confined close to his teepee with a badly crippled leg, having been kicked by a wounded pack animal the previous day (25); his vision during a Sun Dance on June 14th predicted the Indian's victory (24); he called off the Indian attack on Reno and Benteen's troops on June 26 (4); killed at his camp on the Grand River in North Dakota on December 15, 1890 (7)

John Sitting Bull,  Hunkpapa warrior; son of Chief Sitting Bull; still living age 80 (24)

Spotted Bull Horn (Tatanka-he-gle-ska),  Married to a full cousin of Sitting Bull (2); killed with Sitting Bull on December 15, 1890 (1)

Spotted Eagle,  Sans Arc Sioux chief

Spotted Rabbit,  Nephew of White Buffalo; he was among a small group of warriors who had advanced nearest Custer's final position (25)

Standing Bear,  Minneconjou warrior; age 16 when he rode into the Custer fight with his older brother and uncle, and a redbird tied in his hair; he was among the warriors who drove the soldiers back to from Weir Point to Reno Hill; then joined in shooting at the entrenched troops on the 25th and 26th (27)

Standing Elk,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Swift Bear,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Swift Cloud,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Thin Elk,  Warrior in the Custer fight (30)

Touch the Cloud,  Minneconjou warrior Chief; cousin to Crazy Horse

Three Bears,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25) he died in camp on June 27th, the day after the battle (27)

Two Bear,  Young Sans Arc; had gone up Reno Creek to get a horse and was killed by Reno's scouts just before the charge on the village; his companion Lone Dog escaped to give the warning just as Reno's troops opened fire on the camp (2)

Two Strike (Nomp Karpa),  his name also translates "Knocks Two Off" (14); Brule Sioux; lieutenant of Spotted Rabbit; counted 12 coups in his lifetime including those at Little Big Horn; a leader on the attack of Pine Ridge agency just after the Wounded Knee massacre; born 1819, living 1906 (14)

White Buffalo (Tatanka Ska) Uncle of Spotted Rabbit; veteran of Custer battle; as a tribal historian he compiled a list of the 29 Sioux who were killed during the battle; living at Pine Ridge Agency, age 80 (25)

White Bull,  Nephew of Sitting Bull; he was among some Sioux and 3 Cheyenne who chased 3 soldiers south along the west bank of the river to the Reno fight, only one who escaped to rejoin Reno on the bluffs (26)

Joseph White Cow Bull,  Oglala warrior; he was among the first Sioux to meet Custer's troops in the Custer fight (26)

White Eagle,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Young Bear,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Young Black Moon,  Warrior society leader in the charges against Reno; killed soon after Reno's skirmish line deployed (28); on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

Young Skunk,  Killed in the battle; on White Buffalo's list of 29 Sioux dead (25)

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Arapahoe participants in the battle

Left Hand,  So named because he was left-handed, unusual for an Indian; part Blackfoot and part Cheyenne, but always had lived with the Arapahoes; son of Cherry; in the Custer fight he mistook a wounded Sioux warrior for a Crow or Arikara scout and killed him; living 1920 (2)

Waterman,  In the Custer fight; living 1920 (2)

Well Knowing One (or Green Grass),  In the Custer fight (2)

Yellow Eagle,  In the Custer fight (2)

Yellow Fly,  In the Custer fight (2)

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An Eyewitness Account by the Lakota Chief Red Horse

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Recorded in pictographs and text
at the Cheyenne River Reservation, 1881 

Five springs ago I, with many Sioux Indians, took down and packed up our tipis and moved from Cheyenne river to the Rosebud river, where we camped a few days; then took down and packed up our lodges and moved to the Little Bighorn river and pitched our lodges with the large camp of Sioux.

The Sioux were camped on the Little Bighorn river as follows: The lodges of the Uncpapas were pitched highest up the river under a bluff. The Santee lodges were pitched next. The Oglala's lodges were pitched next. The Brule lodges were pitched next. The Minneconjou lodges were pitched next. The Sans Arcs' lodges were pitched next. The Blackfeet lodges were pitched next. The Cheyenne lodges were pitched next. A few Arikara Indians were among the Sioux (being without lodges of their own). Two-Kettles, among the other Sioux (without lodges).

I was a Sioux chief in the council lodge. My lodge was pitched in the center of the camp. The day of the attack I and four women were a short distance from the camp digging wild turnips. Suddenly one of the women attracted my attention to a cloud of dust rising a short distance from camp. I soon saw that the soldiers were charging the camp. To the camp I and the women ran. When I arrived a person told me to hurry to the council lodge. The soldiers charged so quickly we could not talk (council). We came out of the council lodge and talked in all directions. The Sioux mount horses, take guns, and go fight the soldiers. Women and children mount horses and go, meaning to get out of the way.

Among the soldiers was an officer who rode a horse with four white feet. [This officer was evidently Capt. French, Seventh Cavalry.] The Sioux have for a long time fought many brave men of different people, but the Sioux say this officer was the bravest man they had ever fought. I don't know whether this was Gen. Custer or not. Many of the Sioux men that I hear talking tell me it was. I saw this officer in the fight many times, but did not see his body. It has been told me that he was killed by a Santee Indian, who took his horse. This officer wore a large-brimmed hat and a deerskin coat. This officer saved the lives of many soldiers by turning his horse and covering the retreat. Sioux say this officer was the bravest man they ever fought. I saw two officers looking alike, both having long yellowish hair.

Before the attack the Sioux were camped on the Rosebud river. Sioux moved down a river running into the Little Bighorn river, crossed the Little Bighorn river, and camped on its west bank.

This day [day of attack] a Sioux man started to go to Red Cloud agency, but when he had gone a short distance from camp he saw a cloud of dust rising and turned back and said he thought a herd of buffalo was coming near the village.

The day was hot. In a short time the soldiers charged the camp. [This was Maj. Reno's battalion of the Seventh Cavalry.] The soldiers came on the trail made by the Sioux camp in moving, and crossed the Little Bighorn river above where the Sioux crossed, and attacked the lodges of the Uncpapas, farthest up the river. The women and children ran down the Little Bighorn river a short distance into a ravine. The soldiers set fire to the lodges. All the Sioux now charged the soldiers and drove them in confusion across the Little Bighorn river, which was very rapid, and several soldiers were drowned in it. On a hill the soldiers stopped and the Sioux surrounded them. A Sioux man came and said that a different party of Soldiers had all the women and children prisoners. Like a whirlwind the word went around, and the Sioux all heard it and left the soldiers on the hill and went quickly to save the women and children.

From the hill that the soldiers were on to the place where the different soldiers [by this term Red-Horse always means the battalion immediately commanded by General Custer, his mode of distinction being that they were a different body from that first encountered] were seen was level ground with the exception of a creek. Sioux thought the soldiers on the hill [i.e., Reno's battalion] would charge them in rear, but when they did not the Sioux thought the soldiers on the hill were out of cartridges. As soon as we had killed all the different soldiers the Sioux all went back to kill the soldiers on the hill. All the Sioux watched around the hill on which were the soldiers until a Sioux man came and said many walking soldiers were coming near. The coming of the walking soldiers was the saving of the soldiers on the hill. Sioux can not fight the walking soldiers [infantry], being afraid of them, so the Sioux hurriedly left.

The soldiers charged the Sioux camp about noon. The soldiers were divided, one party charging right into the camp. After driving these soldiers across the river, the Sioux charged the different soldiers [i.e., Custer's] below, and drive them in confusion; these soldiers became foolish, many throwing away their guns and raising their hands, saying, "Sioux, pity us; take us prisoners." The Sioux did not take a single soldier prisoner, but killed all of them; none were left alive for even a few minutes. These different soldiers discharged their guns but little. I took a gun and two belts off two dead soldiers; out of one belt two cartridges were gone, out of the other five.

The Sioux took the guns and cartridges off the dead soldiers and went to the hill on which the soldiers were, surrounded and fought them with the guns and cartridges of the dead soldiers. Had the soldiers not divided I think they would have killed many Sioux. The different soldiers [i.e., Custer's battalion] that the Sioux killed made five brave stands. Once the Sioux charged right in the midst of the different soldiers and scattered them all, fighting among the soldiers hand to hand.

One band of soldiers was in rear of the Sioux. When this band of soldiers charged, the Sioux fell back, and the Sioux and the soldiers stood facing each other. Then all the Sioux became brave and charged the soldiers. The Sioux went but a short distance before they separated and surrounded the soldiers. I could see the officers riding in front of the soldiers and hear them shooting. Now the Sioux had many killed. The soldiers killed 136 and wounded 160 Sioux. The Sioux killed all these different soldiers in the ravine.

The soldiers charged the Sioux camp farthest up the river. A short time after the different soldiers charged the village below. While the different soldiers and Sioux were fighting together the Sioux chief said, "Sioux men, go watch soldiers on the hill and prevent their joining the different soldiers." The Sioux men took the clothing off the dead and dressed themselves in it. Among the soldiers were white men who were not soldiers. The Sioux dressed in the soldiers' and white men's clothing fought the soldiers on the hill.

The banks of the Little Bighorn river were high, and the Sioux killed many of the soldiers while crossing. The soldiers on the hill dug up the ground [i.e., made earth-works], and the soldiers and Sioux fought at long range, sometimes the Sioux charging close up. The fight continued at long range until a Sioux man saw the walking soldiers coming. When the walking soldiers came near the Sioux became afraid and ran away.

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White Man Runs Him

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Photo

White Man Runs Him, another typical Crow who has the distinction of having been Custer's scout / Throssel.

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Photo~Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868

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The treaty of 1868 gave the Black Hills area (South Dakota) to the Sioux Tribes. Whites broke the treaty in order to settle the area and to mine gold from the Black Hills.

This photo was taken in April 29, 1868 showing the Chiefs, Headmen and Generals who signed the treaty. Many others signed later. The treaty was ratified February, 16, 1869.

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Gall (Man-That-Goes-In-The-Middle)

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3 images
Chief Gall was one of the most aggressive leaders of the Sioux nation in their last stand for freedom.

The westward pressure of civilization during the past three centuries has been tremendous. When our hemisphere was "discovered", it had been inhabited by the natives for untold ages, but it was held undiscovered because the original owners did not chart or advertise it. Yet some of them at least had developed ideals of life which included real liberty and equality to all men, and they did not recognize individual ownership in land or other property beyond actual necessity. It was a soul development leading to essential manhood. Under this system they brought forth some striking characters.

Gall was considered by both Indians and whites to be a most impressive type of physical manhood. From his picture you can judge of this for yourself.

Let us follow his trail. He was no tenderfoot. He never asked a soft place for himself. He always played the game according to the rules and to a finish. To be sure, like every other man, he made some mistakes, but he was an Indian and never acted the coward.

The earliest stories told of his life and doings indicate the spirit of the man in that of the boy.

When he was only about three years old, the Blackfoot band of Sioux were on their usual roving hunt, following the buffalo while living their natural happy life upon the wonderful wide prairies of the Dakotas.

It was the way of every Sioux mother to adjust her household effects on such dogs and pack ponies as she could muster from day to day, often lending one or two to accommodate some other woman whose horse or dog had died, or perhaps had been among those stampeded and carried away by a raiding band of Crow warriors. On this particular occasion, the mother of our young Sioux brave, Matohinshda, or Bear-Shedding-His-Hair (Gall's childhood name), intrusted her boy to an old Eskimo pack dog, experienced and reliable, except perhaps when unduly excited or very thirsty.

On the day of removing camp the caravan made its morning march up the Powder River. Upon the wide table-land the women were busily digging teepsinna (an edible sweetish root, much used by them) as the moving village slowly progressed. As usual at such times, the trail was wide. An old jack rabbit had waited too long in hiding. Now, finding himself almost surrounded by the mighty plains people, he sprang up suddenly, his feathery ears conspicuously erect, a dangerous challenge to the dogs and the people.

A whoop went up. Every dog accepted the challenge. Forgotten were the bundles, the kits, even the babies they were drawing or carrying. The chase was on, and the screams of the women reechoed from the opposite cliffs of the Powder, mingled with the yelps of dogs and the neighing of horses. The hand of every man was against the daring warrior, the lone Jack, and the confusion was great.

When the fleeing one cleared the mass of his enemies, he emerged with a swiftness that commanded respect and gave promise of a determined chase. Behind him, his pursuers stretched out in a thin line, first the speedy, unburdened dogs and then the travois dogs headed by the old Eskimo with his precious freight. The youthful Gall was in a travois, a basket mounted on trailing poles and harnessed to the sides of the animal.

"Hey! hey! they are gaining on him!" a warrior shouted. At this juncture two of the canines had almost nabbed their furry prey by the back. But he was too cunning for them. He dropped instantly and sent both dogs over his head, rolling and spinning, then made another flight at right angles to the first. This gave the Eskimo a chance to cut the triangle. He gained fifty yards, but being heavily handicapped, two unladen dogs passed him. The same trick was repeated by the Jack, and this time he saved himself from instant death by a double loop and was now running directly toward the crowd, followed by a dozen or more dogs. He was losing speed, but likewise his pursuers were dropping off steadily. Only the sturdy Eskimo dog held to his even gait, and behind him in the frail travois leaned forward the little Matohinshda, nude save a breech clout, his left hand holding fast the convenient tail of his dog, the right grasping firmly one of the poles of the travois. His black eyes were bulging almost out of their sockets; his long hair flowed out behind like a stream of dark water.

The Jack now ran directly toward the howling spectators, but his marvelous speed and alertness were on the wane; while on the other hand his foremost pursuer, who had taken part in hundreds of similar events, had every confidence in his own endurance. Each leap brought him nearer, fiercer and more determined. The last effort of the Jack was to lose himself in the crowd, like a fish in muddy water; but the big dog made the one needed leap with unerring aim and his teeth flashed as he caught the rabbit in viselike jaws and held him limp in air, a victor!

The people rushed up to him as he laid the victim down, and foremost among them was the frantic mother of Matohinshda, or Gall. "Michinkshe! michinkshe!" (My son! my son!) she screamed as she drew near. The boy seemed to be none the worse for his experience. "Mother!" he cried, "my dog is brave: he got the rabbit!" She snatched him off the travois, but he struggled out of her arms to look upon his dog lovingly and admiringly. Old men and boys crowded about the hero of the day, the dog, and the thoughtful grandmother of Matohinshda unharnessed him and poured some water from a parfleche water bag into a basin. "Here, my grandson, give your friend something to drink."

"How, hechetu," pronounced an old warrior no longer in active service. "This may be only an accident, an ordinary affair; but such things sometimes indicate a career. The boy has had a wonderful ride. I prophesy that he will one day hold the attention of all the people with his doings."

This is the first remembered story of the famous chief, but other boyish exploits foretold the man he was destined to be. He fought many sham battles, some successful and others not; but he was always a fierce fighter and a good loser.

Once he was engaged in a battle with snowballs. There were probably nearly a hundred boys on each side, and the rule was that every fair hit made the receiver officially dead. He must not participate further, but must remain just where he was struck.

Gall's side was fast losing, and the battle was growing hotter every minute when the youthful warrior worked toward an old water hole and took up his position there. His side was soon annihilated and there were eleven men left to fight him. He was pressed close in the wash-out, and as he dodged under cover before a volley of snowballs, there suddenly emerged in his stead a huge gray wolf. His opponents fled in every direction in superstitious terror, for they thought he had been transformed into the animal. To their astonishment he came out on the farther side and ran to the line of safety, a winner!

It happened that the wolf's den had been partly covered with snow so that no one had noticed it until the yells of the boys aroused the inmate, and he beat a hasty retreat. The boys always looked upon this incident as an omen.

Gall had an amiable disposition but was quick to resent insult or injustice. This sometimes involved him in difficulties, but he seldom fought without good cause and was popular with his associates. One of his characteristics was his ability to organize, and this was a large factor in his leadership when he became a man. He was tried in many ways, and never was known to hesitate when it was a question of physical courage and endurance. He entered the public service early in life, but not until he had proved himself competent and passed all tests.

When a mere boy, he was once scouting for game in midwinter, far from camp, and was overtaken by a three days' blizzard. He was forced to abandon his horse and lie under the snow for that length of time. He afterward said he was not particularly hungry; it was thirst and stiffness from which he suffered most. One reason the Indian so loved his horse or dog was that at such times the animal would stay by him like a brother. On this occasion Gall's pony was not more than a stone's throw away when the storm subsided and the sun shone. There was a herd of buffalo in plain sight, and the young hunter was not long in procuring a meal.

This chief's contemporaries still recall his wrestling match with the equally powerful Cheyenne boy, Roman Nose, who afterward became a chief well known to American history. It was a custom of the northwestern Indians, when two friendly tribes camped together, to establish the physical and athletic supremacy of the youth of the respective camps.

The "Che-hoo-hoo" is a wrestling game in which there may be any number on a side, but the numbers are equal. All the boys of each camp are called together by a leader chosen for the purpose and draw themselves up in line of battle; then each at a given signal attacks his opponent.

In this memorable contest, Matohinshda, or Gall, was placed opposite Roman Nose. The whole people turned out as spectators of the struggle, and the battlefield was a plateau between the two camps, in the midst of picturesque Bad Lands. There were many athletic youths present, but these two were really the Apollos of the two tribes.

In this kind of sport it is not allowed to strike with the hand, nor catch around the neck, nor kick, nor pull by the hair. One may break away and run a few yards to get a fresh start, or clinch, or catch as catch can. When a boy is thrown and held to the ground, he is counted out. If a boy has met his superior, he may drop to the ground to escape rough handling, but it is very seldom one gives up without a full trial of strength.

It seemed almost like a real battle, so great was the enthusiasm, as the shouts of sympathizers on both sides went up in a mighty chorus. At last all were either conquerors or subdued except Gall and Roman Nose. The pair seemed equally matched. Both were stripped to the breech clout, now tugging like two young buffalo or elk in mating time, again writhing and twisting like serpents. At times they fought like two wild stallions, straining every muscle of arms, legs, and back in the struggle. Every now and then one was lifted off his feet for a moment, but came down planted like a tree, and after swaying to and fro soon became rigid again.

All eyes were upon the champions. Finally, either by trick or main force, Gall laid the other sprawling upon the ground and held him fast for a minute, then released him and stood erect, panting, a master youth. Shout after shout went up on the Sioux side of the camp. The mother of Roman Nose came forward and threw a superbly worked buffalo robe over Gall, whose mother returned the compliment by covering the young Cheyenne with a handsome blanket.

Undoubtedly these early contests had their influence upon our hero's career. It was his habit to appear most opportunely in a crisis, and in a striking and dramatic manner to take command of the situation. The best known example of this is his entrance on the scene of confusion when Reno surprised the Sioux on the Little Big Horn. Many of the excitable youths, almost unarmed, rushed madly and blindly to meet the intruder, and the scene might have unnerved even an experienced warrior. It was Gall, with not a garment upon his superb body, who on his black charger dashed ahead of the boys and faced them. He stopped them on the dry creek, while the bullets of Reno's men whistled about their ears.

"Hold hard, men! Steady, we are not ready yet! Wait for more guns, more horses, and the day is yours!"

They obeyed, and in a few minutes the signal to charge was given, and Reno retreated pell mell before the onset of the Sioux.

Sitting Bull had confidence in his men so long as Gall planned and directed the attack, whether against United States soldiers or the warriors of another tribe. He was a strategist, and able in a twinkling to note and seize upon an advantage. He was really the mainstay of Sitting Bull's effective last stand. He consistently upheld his people's right to their buffalo plains and believed that they should hold the government strictly to its agreements with them. When the treaty of 1868 was disregarded, he agreed with Sitting Bull in defending the last of their once vast domain, and after the Custer battle entered Canada with his chief. They hoped to bring their lost cause before the English government and were much disappointed when they were asked to return to the United States.

Gall finally reported at Fort Peck, Montana, in 1881, and brought half of the Hunkpapa band with him, whereupon he was soon followed by Sitting Bull himself. Although they had been promised by the United States commission who went to Canada to treat with them that they would not be punished if they returned, no sooner had Gall come down than a part of his people were attacked, and in the spring they were all brought to Fort Randall and held as military prisoners. From this point they were returned to Standing Rock agency.

When "Buffalo Bill" successfully launched his first show, he made every effort to secure both Sitting Bull and Gall for his leading attractions. The military was in complete accord with him in this, for they still had grave suspicions of these two leaders. While Sitting Bull reluctantly agreed, Gall haughtily said: "I am not an animal to be exhibited before the crowd," and retired to his teepee. His spirit was much worn, and he lost strength from that time on. That superb manhood dwindled, and in a few years he died. He was a real hero of a free and natural people, a type that is never to be seen again.

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Sitting Bull

1831-1890, Native American chief, Sioux leader in the battle of the Little Bighorn. He rose to prominence in the Sioux warfare against the whites and the resistance of the Native Americans under his command to forced settlement on a reservation led to a punitive expedition. In the course of the resistance occurred the Native American victory on the Little Bighorn, where George Armstrong Custer and his men were defeated and killed on June 25, 1876. Sitting Bull and some of his followers escaped to Canada, but returned (1881) on a promise of a pardon and were settled on a reservation. In 1885 he appeared in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show, but his championship of the Native American cause was not at an end. He encouraged the Sioux to refuse to sell their lands, and he advocated the ghost dance religion. He was killed by Native American police on a charge of resisting arrest. He was buried in North Dakota, but in 1954 his remains were removed to South Dakota.
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