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is possessed of a very amiable and affectionate spirit, but while possessed of these desirable womanly qualities, she is by no means a weak character. Like all Indians she has an intense nature and whatever emotion moves her takes deep hold of every fibre of her being. She was early religiously impressed, and the more she learned the Living Truth, the more she deplored the ignorance and vice of her people, being so deeply impressed as to refrain from food, while she silently wept over their degradation. Her sense of justice was keen.
After her marriage, while on a visit to us in Iowa, in telling of the wrongs which she found the tribe to which her husband belonged, as well as her own suffered at the hands of the white men, she vehemently exclaimed, "I do sometimes think that Satan is stronger than God—if I were he, I would stamp them under my feet.”
During the same visit on inquiring into the then existing Kansas difficulties, the system of American slavery, was explained to her. She listened in silence, while the cruel tyranny of many slave-holders was depicted, and when the speaker ceased she looked up and while a black cloud of scorn swept over her face said, “It is good enough for them, if they will be a slave; I will never be a slave to any man; I would cut my throat first.” She still lives, bonored by her husband and beloved by the children, who are all now grown to manhood and womanhood. .
THE SIOUX INDIAN WAR OF 1890-'91.
[BY BRIGADIER GENERAL L. W. COLBY, COMMANDING THE NEBRASKA NA
The Indian troubles which finally terminated in what is popularly termed the “Great Sioux War of 1890–91,” apparently started with the “Ghost Dances.” The drouth and consequent failure of crops were everywhere general throughout the western states and territories and especially in the Dakotas, Wyoming and Nebraska. This affected the Indians as well as the white population in this section. This misfortune, to which was added the failure on the part of the government to supply the customary rations, produced actual suffering among the Indian tribes occupying the Pine Ridge, Rosebud and other reservations in the northwest. They were in need of the necessaries of life; a long cold winter was approaching, and starvation menaced them. The word was given out by some of their prophets and medicine men that the Great Spirit would send them a Messiah to relieve them in their dire necessity. The “Ghost Dances” were but a preparatory ceremony for his coming. The excitement and enthusiasm over his expected advent spread from tribe to tribe, and extended to settlements having no special suffering or affliction. The great Sioux nation, with reservations in South Dakota and Nebraska, was especially affected by it, and the excitement which pervaded the whole nation, together with the zeal and enthusiasm, including the weird and barbarous ceremonies, so frightened and thoroughly possessed the Indian agents, store keepers, government employes and white people generally, that these actions were exaggerated and magnified into preparations for immediate war.
The Indian races of America have been variously located and named. Originally the Irioquois and Algonquins occupied the northern part, the Choctaws, Creeks and Seminoles had possession of the south, while all of that country west of the Mississippi river and north of the Arkansas river was in possession of a powerful Indian
nation known as the La-ko-tas, or as afterwards called by the whites, Dakotas. The Chippewa Indians, one of the Algonquin tribes, called this nation Nadowessioux as a term of contempt, which was soon transformed by the whites into Sioux, by which name they are now generally known. The great Sioux chiefs, however, take pride in calling themselves Oceti Sakowin, or the nation of Seven Council Fires, referring to the time when their seven councils were but one, and they were a happy and united people.
The Sioux nation is composed of the following seven tribes or councils: 1. The Inde-wa-kan-ton-wan, or Village of the Holy Lake; 2. The Wah-pe-ku-te, or Leaf Shooters; 3. The Wah-pe-ton-wan, or Village in the Leaves, generally called the Wahpeton Sioux; 4. The Sis-se-ton-wan, or Village in the Marsh, known as the Sisseton Sioux; 5. The I-hank-ton-wan-na, or Upper End Village, generally known as the Upper Yanktonnais; 6. The I-hank-ton-wan, or End Village, known as the Lower Yanktonnais; 7. The Te-ton-wan, or Prairie Village, known as the Teton Sioux. The first four of the above named tribes are known as the I-san-ti, or Santee. The greatest of the seven tribes is the Teton Sioux, which is also subdivided into seven great families, as follows: The Si-can-gu, Brule, or Burnt Thighs; 2. The I-taz-ip-co, Sans Arcs, or No Bows; 3. The Si-hasa-pa, or Blackfeet; 4. The Mi-ni-kan-ye, or Those Who Plant by the Water; 5. The Oo-hen-on-pa, or Two Kettles; 6. The O-gal-lallas, or Wanderers in the Mountains; 7. The Unc-pa-pas, or Those Who Dwell by Themselves.
The four Santee tribes originally dwelt in Minnesota and Eastern Dakota. The home of the Yanktonnais was east of the Missouri River, extending over a tract of country from Sioux City to the British Possessions; while the Tetons occupied the territory west of the Missouri river and north of the Platte River to the Rocky Mountains on the west.
Sitting Bull belonged to the tribe, or family, of the Unc-pa-pas and was therefore an Unc-pa-pa Teton Sioux. Young-Man-Afraid-of-hisHorses is an 0-gal-lal-la Teton Sioux.
Along the first part of November, 1890, the Indians appeared to become organized for the purpose of redressing their wrongs, and serious trouble was apprehended by those most experienced in the Indian character. The settlers in Nebraska, and North and South Dakota, and Wyoming, became alarmed at the menacing attitude and warlike preparations upon the reservations. At some places they became panic stricken, clamored for protection, sent telegrams to their own and eastern states for arms and troops. All sorts of rumors were prevalent, the most common of which was, that the Indians were starting out upon a raid to burn towns, and massacre inhabitants. At Mandan, North Dakota, resolutions were adopted, calling on the President and Secretary of War for protection. At Rushville, Nebraska, the citizens called upon the Governor of Iowa for aid and protection. The Governor of Nebraska received calls for aid, protection and arms from towns distant from each other over two hundred miles.
At Bismarck, North Dakota, the citizens were much alarmed, and the destruction of the city by the warlike Sioux was so gravely considered that many families left for their former homes and friends in the east.
The government took the matter less seriously, but orders were issued for the seven companies stationed at Cheyenne, Wyoming, to be kept in readiness for marching orders at short notice. The troops at Forts Robinson and Niobrara, in Nebraska, were placed in readiness for action as well as those at Forts Yates and Lincoln. On November 18th, four infantry companies were started from Fort Omaha for Pine Ridge Agency, General Miles considering that point as the one in greatest danger. The troops at Forts Niobrara, Robinson and McKinney were also ordered to Pine Ridge. General Ruger, with headquarters at St. Paul, did not consider that there was any serious danger. General Miles, however, expressed himself as follows:
“Discontent has been growing among the Indians for six months. The causes are numerous. First was the total failure of their crops
A good many of them put in crops and worked industriously; and were greatly discouraged when they failed, as they did utterly in some districts. Then the government cut down their rations, and the Appropriation Bill was passed so late that what supplies they received came unusually late. A good many of them have been on the
of starvation. They have seen the whites suffering, too, and in many cases abandoning their farms.”
The alarm and anxiety among settlers still continued and increased in many localities. Troops from the different stations and forts in
various sections of the Union were ordered into the vicinity of the reservations and especially of Pine Ridge. Harrison, Fort Robinson, Chadron, Hay Springs, Rushville, Gordon, and as far east as Valen: tine, were filled with refugees from settlements along the line of Northern Nebraska, and the towns along the railroads in South Dakota bad the same experience.
On November 19th, the telegraph dispatches contained rumors of fighting. On the 20th, some of the newspapers had reports of an important battle with the Indians, the sole foundation of which, however, was the imaginative brain of the reporter. General Brooke immediately left Omaha for the Pine Ridge Agency, taking command in person.
On the evening of November 23d, there was a regular Indian scare at Pine Ridge Agency, caused by a loud piercing cry from Red Cloud's camp.
The Indian police were routed out of their sleep, dispatches sent to the different military camps, and the highest state of excitement prevailed for several hours.
General Miles gave his estimate of the forces and situation at this time of both Indians and troops. He said; “The disaffected camps, scattered over several hundred miles of territory, aggregate in round numbers 6,000 warriors. The troops scattered over this extensive territory number about 6,000, and not more than 1,500 of this number are effective mounted troops."
In the meantime, the ghost dances were going on and increasing in enthusiasm, and the Indians were becoming more warlike and uncontrollable. Dancing was carried on at the camps on Medicine Root, Wounded Knee, White Clay and Porcupine Creeks. In many cases the. dancers had their guns and arms strapped upon their persons. In some instances the Indian police attempted to interfere and restore order, but they seemed to be almost powerless. Little Wound was arrested on the day of the issuance of beef, but knives were drawn, and Thunder Bear and the police having him in charge were surrounded, and Little Wound was rescued and turned loose. All the Indians engaged in the ghost dances now came to be considered as hostiles and preparing for war. It was rumored that the Two Kettle Sioux, having a settlement on Bad River, were joining the hostiles, and that Crow Eagle and Hump Rib were preparing their bands for war.