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The Campaigns of Hancock and Sheridan

General William Tecumseh Sherman, in charge of western operations, found the peace with Red Cloud humiliating. Sherman advised army General-in-Chief Grant that we must act with vindictive earnestness against the Sioux, even to their extermination, men, women, and children. But the mood in Washington drifted toward conciliation, and Sherman continued to prosecute punitive campaigns in the West with little support and, ultimately, to little purpose.

From April through July 1867, one of Shermans best commanders, Winfield Scott Hancock, fruitlessly pursued the Cheyenne and Sioux through Kansas. The following year, Shermans most able lieutenant, General Philip Sheridan, conducted a brutal winter campaign against the Sioux and Cheyenne. This campaign proved almost as punishing to the pursuers as to the pursued, all of whom suffered in snows and bitter cold.

The colorful colonel of the 7th Cavalry, George Armstrong Custer, laid claim to the biggest victory of Sheridans Campaign, when he attacked a peaceful Cheyenne camp on the Washita River. Among the 103 Indians he and his men killed were 93 women, old men, and children. Chief Black Kettle, actually a leading advocate of peace, was slain along with his wife.


War for the Bozeman Rail | Complete Idiots Guide to American History | War for the Black Hills







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