Sitting Bull was a Chief of The Hunkpapa Lakota, a great warrior whose skill & bravery in battle was known throughout the land. The spiritual leader of his people & a dignified who was one of the last Chiefs to resist losing his lands to the settlers from The East.
In December 1875 the US Government sent the Sioux an ultimatum - within 60 days Move off your land & onto a reservation, failure to do so will result in a declaration of war on all the Indians currently living on their lands in Montana & Dakota.
Sitting Bull replied to the ultimatum " I do not want to sell my land to the government Sitting Bull said rubbing his fingers in the dust & holding them up " not even as much as this"
Crazy Horse from his stronghold in Bear Butte north of The Black Hills Dakota replied to the Government messengers "one dose not sell the land upon which the people walk"
In Washington patience with the Sioux had ran out. In January 1876 president Grant signed an executive authorizing the secretary of war "said Indians are herby turned over to the war department for such actions as you may deem proper"
Even before January Commander William Sherman & General Philip Sheridan were already planning a large scale war to drive the Indians off their lands & onto the reservation's.
In 1876 the republic would mark its first 100 years, in just one century the American empire had swept across the whole continent from Atlantic East to the West Pacific coast. America had grown from 13 to 38 states and the population had grown from 4 million to 40 million.
Only parts of Wyoming & all Montana & Dakota including The Black Hills belonged to the Sioux ,Cheyenne & other Indian tribes.
In The Spring 1876 thousands of soldiers in forts across Montana Nebraska & Dakota were preparing for war on the Indians. General Crook marched his 1000 + men north from the town of Cheyenne Wyoming. On 17th May 1876 Custer & the 7th Calvary moved West out of Forth Abraham Lincoln Dakota going West towards Indian country.
During the spring months bands of Cheyenne & Lakota moved to join Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse in the grasslands of Between The Big Horn Mountains & The Black Hills The Powder River. The great leaders came, Low Dog, Rain in the Face, Two Moon, Touch the Clouds, Gall, Little big Man.
Touch the Clouds, Gall, Little big Man
All these Indians grew in courage in the presence of Sitting Bull & Crazy Horse, these Indians would make a last stand to stop the settlers & soldiers continued trespassing across their land, for too long the Indians watched as the US Government broke promises & ignored treaties. Now in June 1876 Sitting Bulls camp had grown in estimate 7000 people, all they wanted was to be left alone on their land.
All through May the Arapho, Lakota, & Cheyenne hunted buffalo and lived free as one people. On 4th June Sitting Bull moved his people to the valley of the Rosebud and called for the Sun Dance to begin. It was one of the supreme moments of his life. The dance lasted four days. With his back to the sacred pole, Sitting Bull sat chanting & praying for his people while his adopted brother Jumping Bull cut 100 pieces of flesh from his arms. For 18 hours Sitting Bull danced looking at the sun until a great vision came - White soldiers came they were upside down falling into the peoples camp "these soldiers do not possess