Chief Red Cloud

US Postal Service Honors Chief Red Cloud
August 15, 1987, Cachet by ART CRAFT

 Red Cloud was born, 1822 near the forks of the Platte River, near what is now North Platte, Nebraska. His mother was an Oglala and his father, who died in Red Cloud's youth, was a Brulé.  Red Cloud's early life was spent learning how to be a warrior and gaining such war experience first and most often against the neighboring Pawnee and Crow, at times against other Oglala. He gained enormous prominence within the Lakota nation for his leadership in territorial wars against the Pawnees, Crows, Utes and Shoshones.
 His reign was from 1864 to 1909. Red Cloud's War was the name the US Army gave to a series of conflicts fought with American Indian Plains tribes in the Wyoming and Montana territories.When in 1865 the Government undertook to build a road from Ft. Laramie, Wyo, on the North Platte, by way of Powder River to the gold regions of Montana. Captain William J. Fetterman was sent from Fort Phil Kearny with two civilians and 79 cavalry men  to chase away a small Indian war party that had attacked a wood party days before. Captain Frederick Brown accompanied Fetterman, the two were confident in their troops and anxious to go to battle with the Indians. They disobeyed orders to stay behind the Lodge Trail Ridge and pursued a small decoy band of warriors, led by an Indian on an apparently injured horse. The decoy was the prominent warrior Crazy Horse. Fetterman and his troops followed the decoy into an ambush of over 2,000 Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Combined Indian forces suffered only 14 casualties, while the entire 81-man US detachment was wiped out. In 1868 a commission was appointed to come to terms with Red Cloud,  who demanded as an ultimatum the abandonment of the three posts and of all further attempts to open the Montana road. Red Cloud refusing to sign or even to be present until the garrisons had actually been with­drawn, thus winning a complete victory for the position which he had taken from the beginning. He finally affixed his signature at Ft Laramie, Nov. 6, 1868. From that date he seems to have kept his promise to live at peace with the whites, although constantly resisting the innovations of civilization. 
      He took no active part in the Sioux war of 1876, although he is accused of having secretly aided and encouraged the hostiles. Being convinced of the hopelessness of attempting to hold the Black Hills after the discovery of gold in that region, he joined in the agreement of cession in 1876. In the outbreak of 1890-91  he also remained quiet, being then an old man and partially blind, and was even said to have been threatened by the hostiles on account of his loyal attitude toward the Government.Red Cloud  died at Pine Ridge, South Dakota, Dec. 10,

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