Wild West History Association Dedicated to the history and lore of the American West
Wild West History Association Dedicated to the history and lore of the American West
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Red Cloud

 

(September 20, 1822 - December 10, 1909)

 

He was called Makhpiya-luta which means Scarlet Cloud. He was probably named for the red meteor that streaked across the sky on the day he was born.

 

Red Cloud was strongly opposed to the white expansion in the west and virtually shut down the Bozeman Trail. During a peace conference at Fort Laramie in 1866 Red Cloud stormed out of the meeting realizing the military was just going to expand it's reach by building additional forts. These events lead to the Fetterman Massacre and the Wagon Box Fight in northern Wyoming. For a period of a year and a half no wagons moved along the trail to the goldfields of Montana.

 

In 1868 the Government promised to abandon the forts if Red Cloud would live on the reservation in peace. However, Red Cloud stayed away until the soldiers left and the forts were actually abandon. This was the only time where Indian military power affect any permanent change on the frontier.

 

Red Cloud kept his word and even prevented the young restless members of his band from engaging in battle.

 

Later in his life he would act as a negotiator for various troubles.

 

Red Cloud is buried in the Holy Rosary Mission Cemetery west of Pine Ridge, SD.

 

 

Information compiled by Steve Grimm

Drawing by Richard Florence

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© Wild West History Association - a non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation

http://www.WildWestHistory.org