Monday, May 23, 2016

Native American Biography: Conquering Bear: Sioux

Conquering Bear was a peace Indian, however his death sparked the North Plains War.  He had signed the treaty of 1851 guaranteeing peace along the trail.  His people lived along the Oregon Trail.  A Mormon immigrant claimed that One of cattle had been stolen by the Indians.  He reported the theft to Fort Laramie.  A visiting Indian had butchered the cow.  Conquering Bear traveled to the fort to make restitution.  John Grattan, a new West Point lieutenant was dispatched to handle the issue. One of Conquering Bear's men were killed.  Conquering Bear still demanded restraint.   Grattan trained a cannon on the Indians.  Apparently Lieutenant Grattan's translator was drunk and taunted the Sioux.  The talks broke down, and a shot rang out.  Conquering Bear was hit in the back.  Then another Indian was hit.   Grattan ordered his men to attack.  The Sioux counter attacked in retaliation, the Indians killed all of Grattan's command, he being one of the first to die.  This battle is known as the Grattan Massacre, or the Mormon Cow War.  The conflict escalated when General William S. Harney ordered an attack on a Sioux village.  This lead to the first Sioux War.  Red Cloud was a War Chief who participated in the counter attack.

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