The heart of everything that is : the untold story of Red Cloud, an American legend
The heart of everything that is : the untold story of Red Cloud, an American legend
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The great Sioux warrior-statesman Red Cloud was the only American Indian in history to defeat the United States Army in a war, forcing the government to sue for peace on his terms. At the peak of Red Cloud's powers, the Sioux could claim control of one-fifth of the contiguous United States and the loyalty of thousands of fierce fighters. Born in 1821 near the Platte River in modern-day Nebraska, Red Cloud lived an epic life of courage, wisdom, and fortitude in the face of a relentless enemy -- the soldiers and settlers who represented the "manifest destiny" of an expanding America. He grew up an orphan and had to overcome numerous social disadvantages to advance in Sioux culture. Red Cloud did that by being the best fighter, strategist, and leader of his fellow warriors. As the white man pushed farther and farther west, they stole the Indians' land, slaughtered the venerated buffalo, and murdered with impunity anyone who resisted their intrusions. The final straw for Red Cloud and his warriors was the U.S. government's frenzied spate of fort building throughout the pristine Powder River Country that abutted the Sioux's sacred Black Hills -- Paha Sapa to the Sioux, or "The Heart of Everything That Is." The result was a gathering of angry tribes under one powerful leader. What came to be known as Red Cloud's War (1866-1868) culminated in a massacre of American cavalry troops that presaged the Little Bighorn and served warning to Washington that the Plains Indians would fight, and die for their land and traditions. Despite his fame, the fog of history has left Red Cloud strangely obscured. With this book, the story of our nation's most powerful and successful Indian warrior is finally told and it restores Red Cloud to his rightful place in American history. In a sweeping and dramatic narrative, based on years of primary research, the events leading to Red Cloud's War are traced as he fights for the very existence of the Indian way of life. It also provides intimate portraits of the many men and women whose lives Red Cloud touched, including mountain men, such as the larger-than-life Jim Bridger; U.S. generals, like William Tecumseh Sherman who was charged with annihilating the Sioux; fearless explorers, such as the dashing John Bozeman; and the warriors Red Cloud groomed, including the legendary Crazy Horse. This stirring chronicle of the conflict between an expanding white civilization and the Plains Indians who stood in its way places the reader at the center of this remarkable epoch in American history and finally gives Red Cloud the modern-day recognition he deserves. -- Publisher description.
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