Blue Water Creek and the First Sioux War: 1854-1856

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In previous accounts, the U.S. Army's first clashes with the powerful Sioux tribe appear as a set of irrational events with a cast of improbable characters - a mormon cow, a brash lieutenant, a drunken interpreter, an unfortunate Brule' chief and an incorrigible army commander.

R. Eli Paul shows instead that the events that precipitated General William Harney's attack on Chief Little Thunder's Brule' village foreshadowed the entire history of conflict between the United States and the Lakota People. Brevet 2nd Lieutenant John Grattan set the stage when in August 1854, his small command marched into a Brule' camp near Fort Laramie to arrest a Lakota man. Grattan's rash decision to fire on the camp cost him, his interpreter and twenty-nine soldiers their lives. A year later, sent to Nebraska territory to avenge this loss, General Harney sighted a village on the banks of the Blue Water Creek. His force attacked Little Thunder's village, killing dozens of men, women and children and taking others captive on a battlefield that stretches across a buffalo ranch now own by ted turner.


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Additional Info

Additional Info

R. Eli Paul
Publication Details:
University of Oklahoma Press; Reprint edition (March 16, 2012)
Book Details:
Paperback, 272 pages