Red Cloud,Lakota: Maȟpíya Lúta (1822 – December 10, 1909) was one of the most important leaders of the Oglala Lakota. He led from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents that the United States Army faced in its mission to subdue the western territories, he led a successful campaign in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana. The largest action of the war, the Fetterman Fight (with 81 men killed on the US side), was the worst military defeat suffered by the US on the Great Plains until the Battle of the Little Bighorn ten years later.
Red Cloud's War was the name the US Army gave to a series of conflicts fought with Native American Plains tribes in the Wyoming and Montana territories. The battles were waged between the Northern Cheyenne, allied with Lakota and Arapaho bands, against the United States Army between 1866 and 1868. In December 1866, following the Fetterman Massacre (or the Battle of the Hundred Slain), the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other bands settled for peace with the US under the Treaty of Fort Laramie. The US agreed to abandon its forts and withdraw completely from Lakota territory.
Red Cloud continued fighting for his people, even after being forced onto the reservation. In 1887 he opposed the Dawes Act, which broke up communal tribal holdings, and allocated 160-acre plots of land to heads of families on tribal rolls for subsistence farming. Announcements of Red Cloud's death and recognition of his achievements were printed in major newspapers across the country. Red Cloud was the most photographed American Indian of the nineteenth century. He has been honored by the United States Postal Service with a 10¢ Great Americans series postage stamp.
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