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Content Reading Guide: The Indian Wars Part 2
As Native Americans continued to hunt, they came into conflict with American settlers in the West in the late 1800s. Soldiers clashed with Native Americans at the Massacre at Sand Creek in 1864. The Native Americans at Sand Creek in Colorado were slaughtered. United States Militia killed 150 people, many of whom were women and children.
The Bozeman Trail ran through Sioux territory and hunting grounds. Red Cloud, a chief of the Sioux, wanted whites to leave the area so Native Americans could control the region. Crazy Horse attacked Captain William Fetterman and 80 soldiers were killed. This conflict was called the “Battle of the Hundred Slain” by Native Americans and the “Fetterman Massacre” by the USA.
After many clashes, the USA and the Sioux entered into an agreement. The Treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868 coerced the Native Americans to live on reservations. Sitting Bull refused to sign it because nomads do not live in one precise area. He felt this treaty was unjust and would destroy the Sioux way of life.
In 1876, Colonel George Custer and his soldiers of the Seventh Calvary were stationed near the Little Big Horn River in Montana. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull led a group of Native Americans to attack the Seventh Calvary. Custer and his men were all killed by the Native American resistance at the Battle of Little Big Horn.
During this era, there was a religious movement known as the Ghost Dance Movement. In the movement, many Native Americans predicted white western expansion would end in peace for the Native Americans. However, at the Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, 300 Sioux were killed by the Seventh Cavalry previously led by Custer. The Seventh Cavalry wanted revenge for the attack on Custer. The Indian Wars essentially ceased after the Battle of Wounded Knee.