Near Rapid Creek, South Dakota, the Sioux dominated the plains, consisting of several bands, with Crazy Horse being from the Ogalala Lakota.. Their size and strength gave them control of the largest territory, protecting their lands from the neighboring Crow, Irikara, Araphoe and Shoshone. Over the years, by driving back these intruders as a reminder to whom the land belonged, the Sioux eventually became the most powerful and numerous band along the northern plains.
It's reported that during his vision quest, Crazy Horse received instruction that led to the way in
Despite his mysterious aura and self-imposed separation from people, he soon became the second most powerful leader; the first being Sitting Bull. Although there is very little documenting the life of Crazy Horse, oral history from his ancestors tell how he stood out at a very early age. More fair-skinned than his brotherhood, and having curly brown hair, his black eyes hardly maintained eye contact. He seemed shy and withdrawn, but never remiss in defending his homeland. His story has been long a legend among the people but other information about him was written by the whites and showed prejudice rather than recognition as a truly talented and admired warrior. Despite the abundance of photographs taken of other chiefs and tribal members, either through an aversion to photography or his shyness, no pictures of this legendary warrior exist..
White American Society began moving onto the Sioux land in the 1850s, and shortly after, life changed..With interest drawn by the abundant herds of animals moving along the impinging trails, the occasional pilfering of a cow or horse resulted in complaints being lodged with the armies who occupied the many forts built along the traveled paths to protect the white settlers. The Sioux assumed the infantry would disregard the infrequent theft reports and engaged in trade with some of the whites. These types of offenses were handled by Indian Agents with great success. Although the practice of interacting with the whites introduced the Sioux to many new things, it also brought to them diseases previously unknown to them, making them wary of these intruders to their land. The Sioux were also wrong in their assumptions about the army and their treaties..
The first dispute along the Great Platte Road resulted because of one lone cow It was 1854, and the sick and lame animal wandered from a Mormon wagon train into Conquering Bear's camp at a time when Crazy Horse was there. Approximately 4,000 Brule and Ogalala Sioux camped peacefully, according to their treaty of 1851, when Lt. Hugh Fleming and a small garrison consulted with the chief about the return of the animal. The owner demanded $25.00 instead of a replacement cow or horse taken from the Chief's own personal herd. Lt. Fleming demanded the brave who killed the cow be delivered to the fort, but the Chief refused. The slayer of the animal was a visiting Miniconjou, and the Chief did not want to appear inhospitable..
|Gen. Wm. Harney|
So, could things have played out differently? I think so, but we'll never know because there are always going to be those who need to flex their muscles and prove something to the world.. General William Harney was known to have a mean streak, and his actions later earned him the title of "The Butcher." His saying "By God, I'm for battle, no peace," proved his intentions. I'm ashamed to say he was from Tennessee. We can be like the Sioux an continue to fight for what we believe is right, but will we be anymore successful?