Red Cloud War, Indian war, US History


Following the American Civil War, the United States fought a major war against the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians known as Red Cloud's War, which lasted from 1866 to 1868. The conflict is noteworthy for its many raids, for its three significant battles, and because it was a costly American defeat and an important Indian victory. A prominent leader of the Native Americans was the great war chief, Red Cloud, who engineered much of their success. The conflict included several important and bloody engagements including the Hayfield and the Wagon Box Battles in 1867, and the highly significant Fetterman Massacre in 1866 in which William J. Fetterman of the U.S. Cavalry and his command of eighty soldiers were annihilated. The Fetterman Massacre was so impressive that it ranks among the most significant battle victories for Indians in American history. It is comparable with the Battle of the Monongahela in 1755 where the French and Native Americans killed and wounded nearly one thousand British soldiers and colonial militiamen, and the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 in which the Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors killed approximately 265 American cavalrymen. Even though the Indians won the battles of the Monongahela and the Little Bighorn, they lost the war in each case. However, the victory of Native Americans at the Fetterman Massacre contributed significantly to a triumph in the war

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Harold B. Lee Library

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