By William Y. Chalfant
Cheyennes at darkish Water Creek tells the tragic tale of the southern bands of Cheyennes from the interval following the Treaty of medication resort during the battles and skirmishes referred to as the purple River conflict. The conflict of Sappa Creek, the final come upon of that clash, used to be a struggle among a band of Cheyennes and a firm of the 6th Cavalry that came about in Kansas in April 1875. extra Cheyennes have been killed in that unmarried engagement than in all of the prior scuffling with of the warfare mixed, and later there have been debatable fees of massacre-and worse. William Y. Chalfant has used all identified contemporaneous resources to recound the tragedy that happened on the position recognized to the Cheyennes as darkish Water Creek. In Cheyenne thoughts, its identify is still moment in basic terms to Sand Creek within the bad photos and the sorrow it evokes.Chalfant tells the tale in a sweeping type that recreates Cheyenne existence at the southern plains. past interpreting firsthand and secoundary debts intimately, the writer for my part retraced the direction of the military detachment from citadel Wallace, Kansas, to the conflict website at Sappa Creek, and the direction of the Cheyennes from Punished Women’s Fork to the Sappa. His recounting of the lives of the Indian and army contributors, either top as much as and following the conflict, is certain to attraction either to students of the Indian wars and to the final reader.
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Extra info for Cheyennes at Dark Water Creek: The Last Fight of the Red River War
3 Within a few days of leaving the council at the Washita, the Dog Men and Suhtai were back in their own country and had once again set up their lodges along Beaver Creek. But unknown to them, even as they were returning, Maj. Eugene Carr and seven companies of his Fifth Cavalry, who were en route from Fort Lyon to Fort McPherson, had marched north from Fort Wallace on May 10, 1869, to scour the country between the Smoky Hill and the Republican for signs of Cheyennes and Sioux. It was the same day the Union Pacific and Central Pacific railroads joined at Promontory Summit, Utah Territoryan ill omen for the Indians.
115 Henely and his men galloped to the site of the village to prevent their quarry from escaping. 117 Lieutenant Henely led his men through a dry arroyo to the banks of the middle fork of Sappa Creek to force a crossing. 118 Page x After crossing Sappa Creek, Henely and his men took positions on the high ground east of the Cheyenne village. 119 A Cheyenne wearing a warbonnet and believed to be a chief, attempted without success to communicate with the soldiers by using sign language. 122 Two troopers were killed during the first excited charge against the Cheyenne positions.
An exchange of presents was within their tradition, as was the attendant socializing. * For the whites, the treaties salved their consciences and provided a legal instrument on which to base a claim of title. No matter that only four chiefs of the Council of Forty-Four (the only legitimate forum for decisions relating to the entire Cheyenne tribe) signed the Treaty of the Little Arkansas, or even knew of it until months had passed. No matter that the treaty named Black Kettleone of four council chiefs of the Wutapui band and a strong advocate of peace as the only means of survivalas head-chief of all the Cheyenne tribe (which he was not), and provided that his word would bind all members of the tribe (which it could not).