The Battle of Little Big Horn

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When I think back of the stories that I have heard about how the Native American Indians were driven from their land and forced to live on the reservations one particular event comes to my mind. That event is the Battle of the Little Big Horn. It is one of the few times that the Oglala Sioux made history with them being the ones who left the battlefield as winners. When stories are told, or when the media dares to tamper with history, it is usually the American Indians who are looked upon as the bad guys. They are portrayed as savages who spent their time raiding wagon trains and scalping the white settlers just for fun. The media has lead us to believe that the American government was forced to take the land from these savage Indians. We should put the blame where it belongs, on the U.S. Government who lied, cheated, and stole from the Oglala forcing Crazy Horse, the great war chief, and many other leaders to surrender their nation in order to save the lives of their people.In the nineteenth century the most dominant nation in the western plains was the Sioux Nation. This nation was divided into seven tribes: Oglala's, Brule', Minneconjou, Hunkpapa, No Bow, Two Kettle, and the Blackfoot. Of these tribes they had different band. The Hunkpatila was one band of the Oglala's (Guttmacher 12). One of the greatest war chiefs of all times came from this band. His name was Crazy Horse.Crazy Horse was not given this name, on his birth date in the fall of 1841. He was born of his father, Crazy Horse an Oglala holy man, and his mother a sister of a Brule' warrior, Spotted Tail. As the boy grew older his hair was wavy so his people gave him the nickname of Curly (Guttmacher 23). He was to go by Curly until the summer of 1858, after a battle with the Arapaho's. Curly's brave charged against the Arapaho's led his father to give Curly the name Crazy Horse. This was the name of his father and of many fathers before him (Guttmacher 47).In the 1850's, the country where the Sioux Nation lived, was being invaded by the white settlers. This was upsetting for many of the tribes. They did not understand the ways of the whites. When the whites tore into the land with plows and hunted the sacred buffalo just for the hides this went against the morale and religious beliefs of the Sioux. The white government began to build forts. In 1851, Fort Laramie was built along the North Platte river in Sioux territory (Matthiessen 6).In 1851, the settlers began complaining of the Indians who would not allow them to go where they wanted. U.S. Agents drew up a treaty that required the Indians to give safe passage to the white settlers along the Oregon Trail. In return the government promised yearly supplies of guns, ammunition, flour, sugar, coffee, tobacco, blankets, and bacon. These supplies were to be provided for fifty-five years. Ten thousand Sioux gathered at the fort to listen to the words of the white government and to be showered with gifts. In addition the treaty wanted the Indians to allow all settlers to cross their lands. They were to divide the plains into separate territories and each tribe was not to cross the border of their territory. The treaty also wanted no wars to be waged on other tribes. They wanted each Indian nation to choose a leader that would speak for the entire nation. Many Indians did not like this treaty and only after weeks of bribery did the whites finally convince a sizable group of leaders to sign. The Oglala's were among those who refused (Matthiessen 6).This Treaty however did not stop the trouble between the Indians and the settlers. The Indians however, did not cause violent trouble, they would perhaps approach a covered wagon to trade or extract gifts of food. The most daring warrior might make away with a metal pot or pan but nothing violent like the books and movies lead us to believe (Matthiessen 7).The straw that broke the camels back took place on August 17, 1854 when...
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