In 1867 General William Tecumseh Sherman said, "The more Indians we kill this year, the less will have to be killed the next war, for the more I see of these Indians, the more convinced I am that they all have to be killed or be maintained as a species of paupers." The United States fought this war against native Indians for twenty-five years at the cost of many lives on both sides.
In 1867 the Sioux had split into several smaller groups, the Santees who tried to accept the whites ways, Teton Sioux who were the horse warriors of the Great Plains and other groups. Further south were the Arapahos of Colorado, the Comanches of Texas, the Apaches, Navajos, and Pueblos of New Mexico.
For years, from 1866 to 1891, the U.S. army fought against these tribes at a tremendous cost of lives and money. The Indians were ordered to leave the Reservation when gold was discovered in California and the U.S. wanted to open the Bozeman Trail through Indian territory in Montana. The tribes chose to go on the warpath instead.
Under Red Cloud, the Sioux attacked, destroying forts the army built along the trail. A treaty ended the fighting and Indians were separated into small reservations ruled by a corrupt Bureau of Indian Affairs. Again the Indians attempted to live under the white man’s rules.
Trespassers on the Indian Reservation in South Dakota’s Black Hills, led by Custer himself found gold and there was a rush on the territory. The several tribes of Sioux and Cheyenne joined together and concentrated their strength in the Bighorn River of southern Montana. Custer was ordered not to attack, ignoring information that from 2,000 to 4,000 Indians lay in wait. He led his 250 men in a frontal assault against the Indians.
Led by Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull the Indians slaughtered Custer’s attachment to the last man in the battle of the Little Big Horn on June, 25, 1976. Of course the truth of the attack wasn’t relayed to the newspapers, an outraged public only read about the massacre of our brave soldiers by the blood thirsty Indians. Reports of “Custers Last Stand” caused a furor that demanded an all out war on the Sioux. The remnants of the Sioux tribes were hunted down and forced to flee to Canada. Sitting Bull was arrested and later died of a bayonet wound.
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