The Black Hills War

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The Black Hills War, also known as the Great Sioux War of 1876, was a series of battles fought from 1876 through 1877, between the forces of the United States and their allies (Shoshone, Pawnee, and Crow) and the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho). Taking place under two presidencies and resulting in hundreds of casualties on both sides, The Black Hills War made great impacts that would continue to affect Natives for generations.
The United State’s extensive relationship with the Native Americans has its intricacies to say the least. With the arrival of English settlers at Jamestown in 1607, there were undoubtedly uncertainties amongst the Native people as to whether or not these settlers would resemble the Spanish settlers who
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Said gold lay rest on Sioux reservation land, which the United States hastily attempted to purchase. That fall of 1875, a US commission departed to each of the Indian agencies to hold councils with the Lakota with hope to gain the people's approval and thereby bring pressure on the Lakota (Sioux) leaders to sign a new treaty. Lakota resentment toward the U.S. government was at a peak, owing to the hasty and violent expansion into Native territory and disrespect towards sacred and imperative land. Ergo, Native leaders not party to the reservation treaties refused to negotiate, thus sparking a series of battles and negotiations to last from 1876 into…show more content…
The combatants were the warriors of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the men of the Seventh Cavalry, guided by General George Custer. The tribes had come together for a variety of reasons. The lands surrounding the river were plentiful, and they regularly gathered there for their annual sun dance ceremony, where Sitting Bull had prophesied a great victory for his people. When news spread of Custer’s arrival to the land, Sitting Bull (Lakota) and Crazy Horse (Oglala) quickly took control and devised a plan for victory. Elsewhere, Custer split his forces, leaving him with command of just five companies. The Natives, however, had the upper hand, with their knowledge of the land, they could strategically place themselves so that the cavalrymen could not begin to predict what awaited them in the valley. The General marched his troops into the valley confidently, not anticipating the battle they had submerged themselves in. Five companies, led by Custer, marched into battle, yet none returned. This was a remarkable victory for the northern tribes. The U.S had lost nearly 270 men, including Custer himself. The Battle of the Little Bighorn has come to symbolize the clash of two vastly dissimilar cultures: the buffalo/horse culture of the northern plains tribes, and the highly
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