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     The real Nebraska Sioux were chiefly the Oglala and Brule bands of the great Sioux nation. They were the advance guard, the border rangers, of the Siouan people. They scorned to make gardens or build permanent villages. Skin tents were their only houses and wild meat and wild fruit their food. They came from the east and southeast out upon the plains probably not more than two or three hundred years ago. They advanced to the west, fighting their way against the Pawnees, Mandans and Aricaras, and according to one of their own picture-calendars drove the Crows out of the Black Hills about 1775. From that time on they are in perpetual war with the Pawnees and Crows. The latter were driven into the Big Horn country and the former back upon their ancient site near the forks of the Loup. A hundred years ago the plains Sioux had taken possession of the hunting ground between the Niobrara and North Platte and their expeditions went as far south as the Republican. French traders used to come up the Missouri to Pierre and from there
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Fire Thunder and His Garden. An Early Resident of Nebraska, Sioux Nation.

carry their goods on ponies or sometimes in canoes to the headwaters of White river from which point they reached the different Sioux camps scattered over that beautiful region of pine hills and broad valleys. The total Sioux strength west of the Missouri was between 10,000 and 20,000 of the best fighting stocks on the plains. They were high-spirited, but hospitable and honest in their relations with the whites. For a hundred years traders, both French and American, had been going freely among them without difficulty. Many of these men now living have told the writer that they have left thousands of dollars of goods in Sioux camps without losing a dollar's worth.

      The opening of the Oregon trail in 1834 and the subsequent Mormon migration and rush for the California gold mines in 1846-50 poured a vast white population through the heart of the Sioux country in Nebraska and led to the establishment of Fort Laramie. There the Sioux resorted to trade. What is known as the "Mormon ox" episode was the beginning of a long



series of bloody wars with the Sioux extending over forty years. On August 19, 1854, a report was brought to the commander at Fort Laramie that an ox which had strayed from a party of Mormon emigrants had been killed and eaten by the Sioux, several thousand of whom were camping along the North Platte. Lieutenant John L. Grattan, of the Sixth infantry, was sent with two pieces of artillery to bring in the guilty Indians for punishment. The reports are conflicting as to just how the trouble commenced, but two cannon shots were heard and the lieutenant and his entire command were killed in ten minutes time. American Horse, who was a boy of fourteen at the time, and saw the fight, says the officer trained his cannon on the teepee of Chief Conquering Bear, the head of the Sioux nation, and ordered him to produce the bad Indians or he would open fire. The cannon were fired and Conquering Bear was killed, but the soldiers were almost instantly shot to death with arrows. The Indians having a taste of blood and wild at the death of their great chief, plundered Bordeau's trading post near the scene of battle and killed a mail carrier on the route in November.
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Roast Dog Dinner, Pine Ridge. Photo by Sheldon, July 4, 1903.

     On September 3, 1855, these affairs were signally avenged by General Harney at Ash Hollow, in what is now Deuel county. He surprised a camp of Brule Sioux under Little
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American Horse, Family and Home. Photo by Sheldon August 1, 1903.

Thunder, killing eighty-six and capturing seventy women and children. From this date until their transfer from Nebraska soil in the summer of 1878 the attitude of the great body of Nebraska Sioux is, at heart, one of hostility to the white men. August 3, 1871, Old Red Cloud Agency was established on the north side of the Platte, a short distance from the town of Mitchell, Scotts Bluff county, and thirty-two miles from Fort Laramie. August 1, 1873 the agency was removed to the beautiful valley of the upper White river at Fort Robinson. Two great leaders of the Nebraska Sioux had arisen during the wars and negotiations since the Mormon ox was eaten, Red-Cloud and Spotted Tail. In their honor two separate agencies about forty miles apart are named. These become the last Nebraska home of the Sioux who so long have hunted and fought upon her soil. Here, in Scenic Nebraska,

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