(ca. 1840 - December 5, 1895)
Gall was born around 1840 near the Moreau River in South Dakota. Known as Matohinsda (Bear Shedding His Hair) is his early youth, he acquired the name Pizi (Gall) when he attempted to eat the gall bladder of an animal. Gall's parents died when he was young and he was raised by relatives. Gall distinguished himself as a warrior and hunter during these early years.
Gall fought at the Battle of Big Mound with Inkapudta and accompanied Red Cloud during the 1866-1868 campaign. Gall went to Fort Berthold protesting a murder charge placed against him. He was captured, bayoneted and left for dead. Gall crawled away and survived. He was with Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Rosebud against George Crook.
The inital attack by Reno at the Little Big Horn was on Gall's village killing members of his family. Gall launched a counter attack with skill and a ferocity that inspired those around him. Then Gall lead his band to help wipe out George Custer.
Gall followed Sitting Bull to Canada, but when the two had a falling out, he returned with a number of poorly armed warriors. After a battle with the militia at Poplar Creek Montana, Gall surrendered.
He lived on the Standing Rock Reservation in South Dakota, appointed judge of the Court of Indian Affairs in 1889, ignored the Ghost Dance Religion and was an envoy to Washington, D.C. on behalf of his tribe.
At the age of 55, Gall died at his home near Wakpala, SD and is buried in the St. Elizabeth Cemetery on hwy 1806 near Wakpala. The inscription on the rear of his headstone reads "An Honest Man Should Always be Remembered".
James McLaughlin, the Indian Agent of Standing Rock, described Gall as a large man of noble presence with military talents of high order plus a personal character that won respect from those in contact with him.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence
Books About Gall
Chief Gall by Jane Shumate
A surprisingly wonderful book intended for juvenile readers.