Seven Chiefs

A Drama of the Blackfeet Sioux and the Battle of Little Bighorn, June 25, 1876

excerpt:

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The morning sun woke them, once agian, and they were off to home.  Traversing the plains landscape, they made it back a half day quicker than when they had come.  Many of the villagers came to greet them on their arrival and, to say the least, Falling Leaves was very pleased at their safe return.  "You might was well not unpack."  she said, referring to the Council Fires meeting that was soon to take place.  Running Water smirked, knowing she really meant to remind him of his duties to the tribe.

The coming meeting had the camp abuzz with anticipation.  Dark Cloud greeted his son with a stern look, as if to say, yoiu should have been preparing yourself.  Soaring Heart responded with a deflecting glance, hoping his father would not notice his contempt.  The ways of the Sioux had been passed down from generation to generation, and the spiritual journey was not one to be taken lightly, although it was hard for some to appreciate those who took time to connect with the other world.  To those people the dangers of the world they lived in were preeminent, and they often ingnored the voices of the gods.  Running Water and Soaring Heart were unique in that, instead of steadfastly following the course of a warrior, they took time to explore other realms.  Soaring Heart wanted badly to explain this to his father, to tell him of other things he needed to know.  But his father was very domineering, and used that trait to maintain control over his son and his world.

Red Cloud's bravery in the Fetterman Fight, farther to the west of the Blackfoot camp, was well known to the tribe.  Up to now, no Indian force had completely wiped out a Federal unit the way his braves had.  At Fort Phil Keearney, on what was known as the Bozeman Trail, Red Cloud's men lured Fetterman's infantry and cavalry into a trap and enclosed them with two thousand warriors.  General William Tecumseh Sherman, of Civil War fame, had been on the warpath since then, and war had been delcared on the Sioux, south of the North Platte river, the Comanche's and the Arapaho.  Running Water and the Blackfeet Sioux were north of that river and out of the way of the brewing conflict.  However, many of the braves fought with thier allies to the south, and the threat of war still loomed over their tribe.