Chiefs and Leaders
Red Fish. A prominent Oglala Sioux
chief about 1840.
He led his people
against the Crows in 1841, and met a
serious repulse which cost him
his position and influence.
Father De Smet met him at Ft
Pierre, in the present South Dakota,
in the latter year.
American Horse. An Oglala Sioux chief,
known in his tribe as
He was probably the son or nephew of the
American Horse who went out with Sitting Bull in the Sioux war and was
killed at Slim buttes, South
Dakota, Sept. 29, 1875.
As speaker for the tribe he
signed the treaty
secured by the Crook commission
in 1887, by which the Sioux reservation in Dakota was reduced by
one-half. Nearly half the
tribe objected to the cession, alleging that the promises of
the commissioners could not be
depended oil, and the malcontents, excited by the messianic
craze that had recently reached the
Sioux and by the killing of
Sitting Bull, its chief
exponent among them, in 1890,
withdrew from the council and
prepared to fight the Government. The expected
treaty proved illusory.
tribe were gathered at the
agency to treat with the
commissioners, their great
herds of cattle destroyed their
growing crops and were subsequently
stolen. The signers expected
that the rations of beef
that had been cut off by
the Government would be restored, and the agent began to issue the
extra rations. In the
following year, when drought had
ruined the new crop, authority to
increase the rations having been withheld, they
were reduced at the most
The Sioux were actually starving
when the malcontents took
their arms and went out to
the bad-lands to dance themselves into the exalted state necessary
for the final struggle with the whites.
and other friendlies induced
them to submit, and the episode
would have been concluded without
further bloodshed had not a
occurred between some raw
troops and Big Foot's band after its surrender.
American Horse headed the
delegation from Pine Ridge
to Washington, composed of
leaders of both the friendly and the lately
hostile party, and the conferences
resulted in the issue of
living rations and in fairer
treatment of the Sioux.
Crow Dog (Kangisanka). An Oglala Sioux
chief. He took no prominent part in the Sioux war of 1876, but in 1881 he
shot Spotted Tail in a brawl, and for this was tried before a jury and
sentenced to be hanged, but the United States Supreme Court ordered his
release on habeas corpus, ruling that the Federal courts had no
jurisdiction over crimes committed on reservations secured to Indian
tribes by treaty. Other deeds attested his fearless nature, and when the
Ghost-dance craze emboldened the Oglala to go upon the warpath, angered by
a new treaty cutting down their reservation and rations, Crow Dog was one
of the leaders of the desperate band that fled from Rosebud agency to the
Bad-lands and defied Gen. J. A. Brooke's brigade. He was inclined to yield
when friendlies came to persuade them, and when the irreconcilables caught
up their rifles to shoot the waverers he drew his blanket over his head,
not wishing, as he said, to know who would be guilty of slaying a brother
Dakota. When the troops still refrained from attacking, and the most
violent of his companions saw the hopelessness of their plight, he led his
followers back to the agency toward the close of Dec. 1890.
Crazy Horse. An Oglala Sioux chief. He is said to have received
this name because a wild pony dashed through the village when he was born.
His bold, adventurous disposition made him a leader of the southern Sioux,
who scorned reservation life and delighted to engage in raiding
expeditions against the Crows or the Mandan, or to wreak vengeance on
whites wherever they could safely attack them. When the Sioux went on the
warpath in 1875, on account of the occupancy of the Black Hills and other
grievances, Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were the leaders of the hostiles.
Gen. Reynolds, commanding a column of the army of Gen. Crook, in the
winter of 1875 surprised Crazy Horse's camp and captured his horses, but
the Indians succeeded in stampeding the herd in a blinding snowstorm. When
Gen. Crook first encountered Crazy Horse's band on Rosebud river, Mont.,
the former was compelled to fall back after a sharp fight. The band at
that time consisted of about 600 Minneconjou Sioux and Cheyenne.
Later Crazy Horse was joined on Powder river by warlike
Sioux of various tribes on the reservation, others going to swell the band
of Sitting Bull in Dakota. Both bands united and annihilated the column of
Gen. George A. Custer on Little Bighorn river, Mont., June 25, 1576. When
Gen. Nelson A. Miles pursued the Sioux in the following winter the two
camps separated again south of Yellowstone river, Crazy Horse taking his
Cheyenne and Oglala and going back to Rosebud river. Gen. Mackenzie
destroyed his camp on a stream that flows into Tongue river, losing
several men in the engagement. Gen. Miles followed the hand toward Bighorn
mountains and had a sharp engagement in which the troops could scarcely
have withstood the repeated assaults of double their number without their
artillery, which exploded shells among the Indians with great effect.
Crazy Horse surrendered in the spring with over 2,000 followers. He was
suspected of stirring up another war and was placed under arrest on Sept.
7, 1877, but broke from the guard and was shot. See Miles,
Pers. Recol., 193, 244, 1896.
Young Man Afraid of His
Horses. A chief of the Oglala Sioux,
contemporaneous with Red Cloud and one of the leading lieutenants of
the latter in the war of 1866 to defeat the building of the Montana
road through the buffalo pastures of Powder r. His Sioux name,
Tasunkakokipapi, is not properly interpreted; it really means that the
bearer was so potent in battle that the mere sight of his horses
inspired fear. After the peace of 1868 he lived at the Oglala agency
and died at Pine Ridge, South Dakota.
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historical value only and are not the
opinions of the Webmasters of the site.
of American Indians, 1906
Index of Tribes or Nations