Sitting Bull (Legends of the Wild West) by Ronald A. Reis

By Ronald A. Reis

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It is doubtful that Sitting Bull ever encountered a government runner, traveling in the dead of winter, with the message to give up and head east. Of course, the chief would eventually get the word. No matter. No way was Sitting Bull coming in; no way would he give up the Black Hills and become an agency American Indian like Red Cloud. All-out war between the United States government and the “hostile” Lakota Sioux was now inevitable. indd 57 1/7/10 10:43:52 AM 6 soldiers upside doWn As winter warmed into spring, and spring into the summer of the nation’s centennial year of 1876, Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, along with their determined followers, stayed far from any American Indian reservation.

Slowly, carefully, he raised the skin and cut off a piece the size of a pinhead. Then he withdrew the awl and inserted it higher up. He continued this way until he cut 50 pieces of flesh in a straight line ending at the shoulder blade. ” During the entire half-hour ordeal of bloodletting, Sitting Bull neither flinched nor let out a sound. Silently, he begged Wakan Tanka to have mercy upon his people. After the sacrificing of his flesh, Sitting Bull rose to dance around the center lodge pole, all the while looking directly into the sun.

When, in 1857, Light Hair died in childbirth, however, Snow on Her returned to Sitting Bull. In the years ahead, the two would have two children, Many Horse, born in 1863, and Walks Looking, in 1868. Killdeer Mountain In the decade following the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1851, the Plains Indians continued to harass one another and, occasionally, white travelers, irrespective of the pledge to remain peaceful. The wasichu, engaging in their own massive intertribal conflict, the Civil War (1861–1865), found it difficult (though not impossible) to deal aggressively with the “hostiles” out west.

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