Today in the Old West May 5

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scaramouche, May 5, 2019.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    1877
    Sitting Bull leads his people into Canada which he calls "Grandmother Land" in reference to Queen Victoria.

    It's almost a year since the Battle of the Little Big Horn, many of the tribes have gone back on to their reservations, others scatter with the wind. Since the previous October and unremittingly through the high plains winter they are pursued. General "Bear Coat" Nelson Miles maneuvers his infantry through the artic cold and snow and never stops. Neither side gets a rest, nor enough to eat.

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    General Nelson Miles

    Sitting Bull's first official face-to-face encounter with a wasichu in red was in the person of Major James Morrow Walsh, leading a detachment of North West Mounted Police out of Fort Walsh (yes, the Major had named the fort after himself) in the southeast corner of what is now Saskatchewan and about 200 miles west of Wood Mountain, where the Lakota had camped.

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    North West Mounted Police Non-coms, these guys knew what they were about and ran the place like all non-coms do

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    Major James Morrow Walsh, you got to love a guy who rocks a rapier on the Canadian frontier

    Walsh told Sitting Bull that the Lakota could stay in Canada as long as they obeyed the rules. He also made it clear that, if the Lakota followed the Grandmother's laws, the redcoats would protect them from the bluecoats (US Army). At this point Sitting Bull showed Walsh the King George III peace medal that his grandfather had been given during the time of the War of 1812. Sitting bull's family had a long history with the redcoats.

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    King George III Peace Medal

    Over the coming months, a friendship developed between Sitting Bull and Major Walsh, whom the Lakota called "Long Lance" because of the largely ceremonial lances that the Mounties sometimes carried. Based on mutual respect and trust, their relationship was unlike any relationship that Sitting Bull had with any American wasichu except perhaps Buffalo Bill Cody, but that is a story that came later in his life. Sitting Bull and his diminishing band would live peacefully in Canada for the next five years.

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    Sitting Bull

    The Canadian border was also referred to by the Lakota Sioux as "the medicine line" or, if you will, good medicine on one side, bad medicine on the other.

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    rmac, Weiker, isialk and 12 others like this.
  2. isialk

    isialk Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Jan 7, 2017
    Always interesting to me to read this history of our country. The photographs really help bring home the humanity of the subjects. Thanks very much for taking your time to post.


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    Scaramouche and limbkiller like this.

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