(1834 - December 15, 1890)
Sitting Bull was born near the Grand River in South Dakota. There is some debate whether Sitting Bull was an actual chief of the Hunkpapa Sioux, but no one would argue that he was a leader among men.
He was a medicine man whose visions were quite accurate. In one scenario, his vision showed soldiers falling out of the sky with indians below. Not long after, Custer was defeated.
He did not fight in battles as a warrior, but usually directed the attack. He relied on Gall, one of the great Hunkpapa generals, to manage the attacks. After several engagements Sitting Bull and a number of Sioux fled to Canada.
Under the promise of amnesty, he surrendered at Fort Buford, but was held prisoner for about two years. He did not concede to white demands, however. He joined Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show and was hissed at by the audience as a villain.
When the ghost dance religion gained fame, the Indian Agent became nervous and decided to arrest Sitting Bull. Tensions must have been high because a shooting melee began. Sitting Bull, his son, several others and six indian police were dead.
Sitting Bull is buried in an isolated grave west of Mobridge, SD. This gravesite is controversial since he was originally buried in Fort Yates, ND, exhumed and buried here in massive amounts of concrete. Some believe that the body exhumed was not that of Sitting Bull.
Information compiled by Steve Grimm
Drawing by Richard Florence
Books About Sitting Bull
The Lance and the Shield by Robert M. Utley
I am not a big fan of Utley since I believe he dwells in subjects he shouldn't. This book, however, is Utley at his best.