Something More than a Cow

Cultural relativism teaches that atrocities…  committed by American Indians during the decades long conflict with the US government are acceptable because of the quasi-noble status bestowed upon them by academia.  Postmortem mutilations and beheadings  are seen as cultural oddities in our history, though we abhor them in other societies today.  No doubt, academics feel that Americans deserved the barbarous treatment because of the “crimes” that we carried out against “innocent” peoples.

Grattan Massacre site

Grattan Massacre site

The First Sioux War is a surprising case-in-point… the typical New Left interpretation holds that the noble Lakota were simply pushed too far by the broken promises of the US government.  Lost in all the politically correct gibberish is the fact that the US military was actually keeping the peace between the Sioux and the Cheyenne.  Sioux villages had migrated south to the Platte River basin, long the home of the Cheyenne- war was imminent.  To add more stress to the situation, long wagon trains of American settlers were traveling through the same region.  The tiny force garrisoned at Fort Laramie was hardly sufficient considering the volatile climate- the Sioux had nearly 2,000 warriors nearby led by the hot-headed, Red Cloud.

Out for blood

Out for blood

Lieutenant John Grattan and the 29 soldiers… killed with him on August 19, 1854 were victims.  Historians put words into Grattan’s mouth trying to vilify him, but his murder was a  complex event.  The Sioux villages, prepared for war against the Cheyenne(or Americans, whichever provoked them first) targeted the wagon trains during the hot summer months.  Lt. Gratten was forced to solve a civil dispute between a US citizen and a Sioux warrior who stole the man’s cow.  No Indian agents were available to mediate as required by the first Fort Laramie treaty.  Gratten wanted to stand his ground, Red Cloud was out for blood- 30 minutes later, Gratten and his men were dead.  Far from some preordained lesson handed down to the US Army- the Grattan massacre is a testament to the convoluted  and violent struggle for the future of western expansion.



Filed under Ephemera, News

4 responses to “Something More than a Cow

  1. There were tons of tense moments like the one you describe that the soldiers had to deal with. When Sherman was visiting Benjamin Grierson in the 70’s they were both almost killed but for the quick action of the soldiers who jumped in when the friendly indians pulled out their guns at close range.

    Then there’s the Sioux Massacre of innocent civilians in Minnesota during the Civil War. No one group is noble.

    • The myth of the “noble savage” has completely redefined the debate. Another laughable meme is the American Indian as the first environmentalists.

      • Total lies. From what I’ve read they were pretty wasteful when it came to the buffalo. Also, they came from Asia supposedly so they’re not native and probably drove a larger type of bison to extinction before the white man came, but let’s just give AP History tests that only give a nod to George Washington as a wealthy slave owner.

        So sad what’s happened to history. It’s being completely erased.

      • Not to mention setting the prairie ablaze to stop the buffalo from migrating.

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