History on Red Cloud

Red Cloud

Red Cloud is a mysterious name. Nobody knows for sure where it came from. One story states that there was a meteorite over head the night he was born. Others say he started out as Two Arrows and then led an attack wearing red blankets and it looked like a red cloud, which explains the name. Red Cloud was born in the winter of 1822 at a Sioux Camp. His parents died when he was a little boy and he was raised by his older sisters and an uncle named White Hawk. Red Cloud was wild and often got long talks from his uncle.

As every other Native American boy, he soon learned to track down animals and use a bow and arrow, which White Hawk gave to him. As he got older Red Cloud taught himself to run for hours, go for days without food, and staying up all night.

He was a smart kid. He learned to ride bareback, leap from one horse to another and hanging from the side during a full gallop. He was also a lucky kid. He was shot with an arrow which went straight through. He recovered in a couple of days. Red Cloud was also known as a medicine man. He made a remedy for cholera from the extract of cider leaves which helped during the suffering brought on by the white man. This wasn't the only thing the white man wanted to put a road going through his land. Red Cloud would not stand for that. It took the government many tries and a war. He was the first Native American in the west to win a war with the United States and the last.

After this he promised to never make war again, this promise was kept. He moved to the Great Sioux Reservation to live the rest of his life. Many other younger chiefs, like Sitting Bull wouldn't sign. After a long battle in 1881 with an agent named J.T. MeGillycuddy, Red Cloud lost his place as chief of the Oglalas. McGillycuddy took away his position and told him to go to his tepee. Red Cloud tried many times to become chief again but the younger Sioux rejected and judged him harshly. They felt that he sold out to the white man.

Red Cloud died in 1909 at the age of 87. He had won the war but he lost the battle to save the Sioux's way of life. He once told a white man, " Our nation is melting away like the snow on the sides of the hills where the sun is warm while your people are like blades of grass in the spring when summer is coming."

Jesse H.

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