Cheyenne Indian Tribe
The tribe of Cheyenne Indians, who once lived east of the Missouri River, became nomadic hunters on the Great Plains. In the nineteenth century, when the pressure was increasing the white man, became allies of the Arapaho and the Sioux. In the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851 the Cheyenne who lived along the Upper Arkansas River were called Southern Cheyenne and those living along the North Platte, Northern Cheyenne.
The North group had a critical part in so-called Wars of the Sioux on the northern plains, and that the major confrontations with whites in the period 1865 to 1876. Their most important leaders, such as Dull Knife, joined the Sioux chiefs Red Cloud (Red Cloud), Sitting Bull (Sitting Bull) and Crazy Horse (Crazy Horse). The Southern Cheyenne were also active in the West and in wars conducted many military campaigns against them. The two groups were not naturally isolated Cheyenne. During the war years there was a great movement among the various peoples and tribes who practiced hunting in the Great Plains and their members fought alongside their southern relatives or vice versa. The Cheyenne, overall, is considered the "Chosen People".
A first engagement of the war involved the Southern Cheyenne in 1857, three years after the accident by Grattan, who caused the war between the Sioux and whites. Because of raids carried out along the Smoky Hill Trail to the Rocky Mountains, the army sent three hundred cavalry led by Colonel Edwin Sumner to punish the Cheyenne.
In the Battle of Solomon Fork in western Kansas on July 29, Sumner strongly committed an equivalent number of warriors.
During a subsequent worsening of violence, also called the War of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, Colorado or the War of 1864-65, a tragedy occurred that served to unite many tribes of the Plains against the white man and to increase the hatred and the confidence in it.
With the growth of enrme miners in Colorado, after the "Gold Rush" of Pike's Peak, 1858, Governor John Evans tried to open the hunting grounds of the Cheyenne and Arapaho for white settlement. The tribes refused to sell their lands and settle on reservations. Evans was then decided to resolve the issue by force, using as a pretext incidents that happened from time to time and ordered to move his troops under the command of the ambitious regional military commander, who hated the Indians, Colonel John Chivington.
In the spring of 1864, while the Civil War raged in the east, Chivington launched a campaign of violence against the Cheyenne and their allies and his troops attacked all Indians, raiding their villages. The neighbors joined the Cheyenne Arapaho, Sioux, Comanche and Kiowa in both Colorado and Kansas, they started on the warpath to defend themselves. Evans and Chivington reinforced their militia creating the Third Colorado Cavalry, with the volunteers enrolled for a short time. After a summer full of small raids and skirmishes, the representatives of the whites and Indians met at Camp Weld outside of Denver, September 28. There was no agreement reached, but the Indians were led to believe that with the nearby camps and the resumption of relations, a peace was possible. One of the leaders Cheyenne named Black Kettle, who brought peace for a long time, led his group of nearly 600 Cheyenne and Arapaho in a certain place along the Sand Creek to plant his camp and informed the garrison of his presence.
Chevington arrived shortly after the fort with a troop of 700 soldiers, including the Third Cavalry, and informed the garrison of his plan to attack the camp of the Indians. Although he was informed that Black Kettle had already surrendered, he considered this fact a great opportunity to carry out their massacre of Indians. On November 29 he led his troops, many of them drunk, at Sand Creek, and they lined up around the camp of the Indians, even with four guns. Black Kettle, confident as always, hoisted an American flag and a white from his tent. In response Chevington lifted his arm to indicate the attack and while the guns and the guns opened fire, the Indians scattered in panic. Following the attack some Indians were able to withstand higher from behind the bank of the river and others, including Black Kettle, fled across the plain. But at the end of the vicious and brutal attack were 200 deaths and more than half were women and children. The Chevington policy was to not let his prisoners and volunteers of Colorado were the same. Chevington was terminated after an investigation by Congress and forced to resign.
But that simple criticism meant nothing to the Indians. When word spread of the massacre between the ALTR tribes through the story of the fugitives, the Indians of the southern Plains and northern proved more determined than ever to resist the invasion of the whites. The Cheyenne and Arapaho intensified their raids, and January 7 and February 18 stormed the city and the goods station of Julesburg along the South Platte River, along the Oregon Trail route to Denver, causing the its abandonment. The final and most intense of the war on the Plains had well begun. It took another massacre, that of Wounded Knee, a quarter of a century later, to end it.
Shortly after the conclusion of the Civil War, the army staged an offensive against the Indians of the Central Plains, known as the Hancock campaign of 1867. General Winfield Scott Hancock established his command at Fort Larned along the Santa Fe Trail in western Kansas. After a meeting with the heads to no avail Southern Cheyenne Tall Bull and White Horse, Hancock began a campaign that was another failure. The field commander of Hancock was the young cavalry officer Armstrong Custer. The career of Custer as an enemy of the Indians began and ended in failure after nine years with the disaster at Little Bighorn.
During the summer campaign and Hancock, Custer with his Seventh Cavalry chased the Cheyenne Sioux and their allies, through western Kansas, northeastern Colorado and southwestern Nebraska. He was able to burn a village on Pawnee Fork, but nothing more, because the Indians were always the most elusive and raided against coaching, coaches, trains and railroad workers as they please. The groups of warriors also made incursions against Fort Wallace on several occasions, and this strong Custer's army ended July 13, men and horses being too tired to continue.
That fall, the advocates of peace in the government declared that the campaigns in the north of Bozeman and Hancock had been a failure and argued that the policy of oppression carried out by the military had only worsened the situation. Then instituted a commission of peace with the result of the signing of two treaties: the Treaty of Medicine Lodge, Kansas in 1867 and the Treaty of Fort Laramie in Wyoming in 1868. During the first Sioux got a reserve on the northern plains, from the Powder River to the Missouri, in accordance with the Cheyenne and Arapaho obtained the combined reserves on Indian Territory, as it did in the case of the Comanche, Kiowa and Kiowa-Apache . With all this peace was not yet come to the plain. While continuing the invasion of the white man in Indian country, but also continued the raids of insurgents. It was then the turn of General Philip Sheridan to fight against the Indians of the Plains.
Commander designate of the Division of Missouri in September 1867, he set about organizing a campaign for next summer, given the continuing unrest of the Indians. The incident that sparked a new wave of violence was the refusal of officers to distribute arms and ammunition for hunting to the Southern Cheyenne, due to a previous raid on a village by the Kaw Indians. After a group of about 200 Cheyenne, many of which were part of the "Society of the Dog Soldier", had given vent to their anger by attacking settlements along the rivers Sabine and Solomon, Kansas, other warriors joined them, including some South Sioux, to do with the attacks of the border.
The army entered the field. On 17 September a detachment of 50 men under the command of Major George Forsyth followed a group of warriors. The core of most Indians (600 men) intervened and drove the soldiers to the bifurcation dell'Arikara with the Republican River, and then attack them immediately. The soldiers retreated on an island in the middle of the dry river bed. For a week resisted the repeated attacks of Cheyenne Indians led by Tall Bull, Bull Bear, White Horse and the Sioux led by Pawnee Killer, until they came to the rescue that drove the Indians. The winter after Sheridan launched a major campaign, in which three columns converged on the insurgents: the first game from Fort Bascom, New Mexico, under the leadership of Major Evans, the second game from Fort Lyon, Colorado, and commanded by Major Eugene Carr and the third from Fort Dodge in Kansas under the command of Colonel Alfred Sully. The Custer's Seventh Cavalry was part of the third column. The commitment of Sheridan's most famous campaign was the battle on the Washita River in late November. At Camp Supply, in the northwestern part of Indian Territory, Sheridan moved his command of the main column from Sully in Custer. The latter, who was interested to test himself after the disaster of the Hancock campaign of the year before, he moved with the cavalry during a storm. Some of the Osage scouts discovered fresh tracks, and led the men of Custer at an Indian camp on the Washita River. Covered by darkness, Custer fielded its 800 men in four groups around the Indian camp to launch the attack at dawn.
Unbeknownst to Custer, and perhaps of little importance to him if he had known before him were the people of the tribe of Black Kettle. Although a witness to the massacre at Sand Creek made from Chevington, Black Kettle had never fought against the white man. In fact he had led his people south of the Indian Territory to avoid further conflicts in Colorado and Kansas. Some of the young warriors of the camp, which had tracked the Osage had made raids against the whites, but Black Kettle had tried to keep them under control. Indeed, a week before, he had gone to Fort Cobb to reassure General William Hazen who wanted peace. But his fate was to die at the hands of the white man.
So, at dawn, the soldiers invaded the camp. The Indians surprised as poetrono gathered, managed to kill five soldiers and wounding 14. Another 15 were cut off from the main column and killed later. But the Indians lost their leader, Black Kettle, along with 100 other soldiers and had a greater number of wounded.
Although Custer boasted as if it was an important victory, it was actually only able to decimate a group of mostly peaceful Indians in a massacre of the type of Sand Creek, except the presence of some warriors and the fact that women and children were not killed but taken prisoner. On Christmas Day a few weeks later, the column of Evans, to the south, fighting against the Comanches at Soldier Spring.
Sheridan's campaign continued in the subsequent spring and summer and the Indians were increasingly hounded by the forces of the whites. Near Sweetwater Creek in plain bounded by the strip of land projecting Texas, Custer agreed through negotiations and threats of the surrender of the Southern Cheyenne in March 1869. Their leaders, Little Robe and Medicine Arrows, promised to return to the reserve. The "Dog Soldier" Tall Bull fled to the north in order to reach their northern relatives in the Powder River. Their progress was interrupted at Summit Springs, Colorado in the north-east, by a cavalry unit commanded by Major Carr. His scouts were some Pawnee and Buffalo Bill Cody. In a surprise attack on the camp of Cheyenne, Carr's men killed about 50 Indians and captured 117 more. Tall Bull died in the fighting along with other "Dog Soldiers". The Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho were now south of fact won. Some of them fled northward from their northern relatives continued the fight and were eventually defeated along with the Sioux. Others joined the Comanches and Kiowas in an attack on buffalo hunters at Adobe Xalls in Texas during the War of the Red River in 1874-75. But for the Cheyenne Plains plants would never be like it used to.
As already mentioned, the Northern Cheyenne were involved in the Wars of the Northern Plains Sioux and triumphed in the battle with them on the Bozeman Trail of 1866-68 and during the Little Bighorn the Sioux uprising of 1876-77. The Sioux also suffered a series of setbacks after the Battle of Little Bighorn to the final defeat. For the Northern Cheyenne struggles to War Bonnet Creek Dull Knife in Nebraska and one in Wyoming in July and September of 1876, were those who had major consequences, so the spring after, their most important tribal leaders, Dull Knife and Little Wolf , surrendered at Fort Robinson in Nebraska.
The Northern Cheyenne waited to be transferred to the Sioux reservation in their old shelter, the Black Hills, but were instead sent to the Indian Territory, to join their relatives in the south, the reserve of the Cheyenne and Arapaho, near Fort Reno However, on these barren northern plains was difficult to grow, especially for a people who practiced mainly hunting, and with the meager rations that passed the government there was not enough food even for those who lived in those places before. In the more northern Cheyenne were hit by an epidemic of malaria which proved devastating. Dull Knife, Little Wolf and others then decided to return to the territory of the Tongue River in Wyoming and Montana, and during the night of September 9, 1877, 297 men, women and children, marched out, leaving behind empty houses.
In an epic and tragic flight lasted six weeks, through lands already occupied and developed by the white man, with ranches, farms, roads and railways, the Cheyenne eluded nearly 10,000 soldiers and 3,000 civilians who were pursuing them. Sometimes they were attacked, and some of them were killed or captured, but most managed to escape. They formed two groups: the strongest with Little Wolf continued in the direction of the Tongue River, while the elderly, sick and exhausted, under the leadership of Dull Knife, the reserve reached Red Cloud at Fort Robinson in Nebraska to seek food and lodging to chief of the Sioux. The group of Dull Knife was captured during a raid of a cavalry unit commanded by Captain John Johnson and was escorted to the fort. The lands that were around the fort were taken from the Sioux.
Dull Knife expressed the desire that his people were destined to the new reserves of Red Cloud in South Dakota. After many bureaucratic delays would have learned that all were sent to the Indian Territory. The white officers were concerned that fulfilling the desires of the Cheyenne, the entire system based on reserves will be affected and could be threatened. Following the Cheyenne began a successful escape, but in a clash with troops, many of them were killed, including women and children and the daughter of Dull Knife. The latter, meanwhile, with his family, joined the reserves of red Cloud in Pine Ridge, where, however, was taken prisoner. Meanwhile, Little Wolf and his group had hidden during the long winter months, chokecherry Creek, at the Niobrara, until they were discovered, made from a surrender of Fort Keogh, Montana, commanded by Captain William Clark, and carried at the same fort.
Finally, after further bureaucratic delay, the Cheyenne saw fulfilled their original desire to have a reservation on the Tongue River. However, wars, disease and poverty of the reserves, were only 80 left now Northern Cheyenne. The same fate had the southern, decimated after the events at Sand Creek and Washita. The "Chosen People" had been hurt by the growing strength of a nation that wanted to show his power.