Professor Ben Beshwate
History of the United States (132)
Homework Assignment 2
05 February 2013
With the possible exception of Crazy Horse, nobody is a more recognizable figure in the Indian resistance against the US settlers. I believe the author chose him as the focal point of this chapter not only for that reason, but because he, perhaps more than anybody else, embodied the spirit of the Lakota people, and nobody fought with more determination to protect it.
Sitting Bull, who had previously earned himself the name Slow for his stubborn personality and deliberate manner, excelled in all four of the principle virtues of Lakota society; Bravery, fortitude, generosity, and wisdom. He was known both by his own people and by his enemies as a fearless and tireless warrior. A man whose name his soldiers would invoke to strike fear into the hearts of their opponents. However, those of his own tribe also knew him as a good natured, kind, and even funny man with deep family values. He was also a shaman who, entranced, would speak to his people’s deities. As such, he led his people in war, socially, and spiritually. He absolutely refused to compromise the culture of his people, and that stubbornness—a hallmark of his personality—both solidified his legend and may well have sealed his fate.
Sitting Bull was fierce and ruthless in battle. A warrior from his early teens, he grew up participating in, and ultimately leading assaults on enemy tribes. The Crow in particular locked horns with Sitting Bull and his Lakota headsmen with frequency and ferocity. The battle tactics of the plains Indians were characterized by frontal assaults and headlong charges in which each man was out to prove his mettle with valorous, and at times outright reckless actions. There was no clear chain of command as we think of. There were only men proving their bravery with intense aggression and flashy assaults. No one was as feared or respected in...