Thursday, March 2, 2017

Sioux Indian War Council and Treaties

Native American Art - A War Council

A War Council

“In the treaty the Government made with me at Fort Laramie, they were to feed me fifty-five years, and they have not fulfilled it. You must be a man of influence, as you sent for us from all parts of the country, and I wish you would help us as much as you can. In the Fort Rice treaty the Government promised to give us good horses and good wagons.”

“After the 1868 treaty that we had at Fort Rice we sold all the country east of the Missouri River and soon sold the Black Hills to the Government, and in that treaty the Government promised us that the Sioux Indians would be taken care of as long as there was a child living of the Sioux tribe; and that has not been fulfilled. It was not long after that when we had a treaty with General Crook. In that treaty we were promised a great many things the Government did not seem to care to do. Now our funds are almost exhausted, and a lot of us are poor and not able to take care of ourselves, and I wish that when you go back you would say what you can. These are Government promises, and they have never fulfilled them.”
“The story I am going to tell you I am not afraid to have published anywhere, or to have it come right back to my own agency, or let other warriors see and hear it. In my lifetime I have made about seventy raids against the different tribes. Out of these raids there must have been forty-five or fifty battles. Let me tell you a story concerning one of these battles in which I was engaged: I was a young man, I cannot remember just what age. The Sioux camped at the mouth of the Rosebud River. We got up a war party which numbered about two hundred. The two bands who were in this party were the Two-Cattle and the Mnik-Ok-Ju tribes. It was [pg 79]in the middle of the winter when the snow was deep. We started across the country not very far from this camp, and followed the Yellowstone River down, and then we turned off toward the north, and went toward the Upper Rockies. We were then in the enemy's country. There were four of us chosen out of the two bands to go ahead and scout for the enemy; we did not see any one, and returned. There was one man from our party out shooting deer, and he was right behind us. We got home without seeing anything, but he brought word there were enemies in sight. The enemies he saw were two in number, and we got on our horses and went to where he saw these two men. They were well armed and did all they could to defend themselves, and our party did not come very close to them. I spurred up my horse and made a straight charge at the two men. They were on foot, and lined up and pointed their guns at me as I went at them. I struck one of them with the spear that I had. I knocked him down; he fired at me, but missed me. The other man also fired at me, but missed. I could not strike him, as I dodged after I struck the first man. As I passed on by them they fired at me again. This gave my warriors a chance to come up on them before they could reload their guns, and they killed them. I was the first one who struck one and very nearly hit the other. My warriors were slow to [pg 80]come up, and I was the first one to charge them. After we killed these two men we went home with their scalps. We were on our way home across the Powder River and following the river up until we got to the junction of the Powder and Rosebud rivers. When we got there one of our party went on home ahead of us. He came rushing toward us with his horse almost played out, with the report that the camp had been attacked by the enemy while we were away, and they had stolen our horses, and were now coming down the road on which we were travelling. We hid waiting for them, but somehow they became aware of our presence, and went around, and before we knew it they had escaped. Although they were a great ways off our band made a charge on these horsemen. Most of our horses gave out before we overtook the enemy, but thirteen of us rode on, overtaking them, three in number we found, who had charge of the stolen horses. Our thirteen horses that we were riding were nearly exhausted, but we found that the enemy whom we were pursuing were also riding exhausted horses. I rushed on ahead as fast as my horse could go. One of the enemy was riding a horse that was so thoroughly given out that he stood still. The enemy got off his horse, turned round, pulled his bow and arrow, and shot at me; I was going to strike him, but I did not have time. The arrow was so near my face that it made me [pg 81]dizzy. He fired at me and the arrow went right through my hair, which was tied in a knot on top of my head. I jumped off my horse and pulled my bow and arrow, and we were firing at each other as we came closer. We jumped round like jack-rabbits trying to dodge the arrows. One of the arrows struck me right across the ribs, but the wound was not very deep. Just as we came together he fired his last arrow at me; it passed through my arm, but it was only a skin wound. At that time I struck him with my arrow through the wrist and that made him lame. As I struck him he moved backward and I shot him twice through the breast, with two arrows; then I threw away the arrows and struck him on the head with my bow, knocking him senseless. After I knocked him down I took his bow and threw it a long ways off so he could not get it. He was crawling on his hands and knees and I took my war club and struck him until I killed him. After I had killed this man, I gathered up my bow and arrows, and went on after the other two. At this time they had got off their horses and were defending themselves as best they could. I shot one of them through the wrist with my arrow; he made a scream as I hit him and dodged and went down the coulee, running as hard as he could go. He had a revolver in one hand, and I followed him, shooting with my arrows, he shooting back at me with his revolver. This kept up until he got to [pg 82]the end of the coulee, where there was a deep precipice. I looked over the precipice and saw this man, who had jumped over, rolling down the side like a rock. When he got down there he was knocked senseless. I looked at him from over the hill, but could not get down to him. I walked back and forth; as I looked down I saw a Sioux Indian trying to crawl up and get the scalp of the Indian who had fallen down the precipice. I had a war club in my teeth, and grabbed my bow and arrows, and tried to climb down the hill slope in order that I might get near him. As I went down I slid, and as I was going down the Crow regained consciousness and I saw him pointing his gun at me as I was looking down. I then thought that would be my last day. As I got there the Sioux got there just in time to grab the revolver away from him, and as he pulled the revolver away I fell right under the enemy. He pulled a knife out of my belt, for I was under him, pushed up against a rock, and I could not move either way. He made a strike at me and cut my clothing right across the abdomen, but did not cut my stomach. The second strike he made, I got hold of the knife, and wrested it from him. When I had taken the knife, the other Sioux pulled him off, and I got up and took my club and finished him. I killed these two Crows a little ways from the mouth of the Little Big Horn that flows through the camp where [pg 83]we are now. This is one of the daring events of my life. These two events occurred in one war party.”