We became interested in researching the Sioux Indian War after reading numerous participant and contemporary accounts of the various battles. The Battle of the Rosebud was one of the more colorful and eventful battles of the War, and was a prelude to General Custer's defeat along the Little Bighorn River only eight days later.
After their victory at the Little Bighorn, the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne were continuously pursued and attacked, especially during General Miles' winter campaign. As the War progressed, the ability of the Sioux and Cheyenne to wage war became increasingly diminished. Except for Sitting Bull's Hunkpapa (whom escaped to Canada) and a small band of Sioux under Chief Lame Deer, most Sioux and Cheyenne leaders decided by early 1877 that they had no choice but to surrender to life on the reservation.
They surrendered not for the fact that they had been defeated on the battlefield, rather they gave up because they were starving and no longer had the will nor the means to carry on the struggle. With little choice, they surrendered to the powerful and overwhelming force of the United States government.