Sitting Bull was born in a tipi located near the Grand River passing through the Standing Rock Indian Reservation in the Dakota Territory. He was named Slon-He at birth, translatedas "Slow" in standard Lakota language. In traditional Lakota fashion, he was given one of his father's names, Tȟatȟaŋka Iyotȟaŋka, translated as "Sitting Bull", due to a leadership role in a battlebetween the Lakota and Crow people. The event occurred when he was 14 years old, and led a charge and struck before the opposing Crow forces could, resulting in victory for the Lakota people without anyfatalities.
Red Cloud's War
Sitting Bull led numerous war parties against Fort Berthold, Fort Stevenson, and Fort Buford and their environs from 1865 through 1868. Although Red Cloud was aleader of the Oglala Sioux, his leadership and attacks against forts in the Powder River Country of Montana were supported by Sitting Bull's guerrilla attacks on emigrant parties and smaller fortsthroughout the upper Missouri River region.
By early 1868, the U.S. government desired a peaceful settlement to Red Cloud's War. It agreed to Red Cloud's demands that Forts Phil Kearny and C.F. Smithbe abandoned. Chief Gall of the Hunkpapas (among other representatives of the Hunkpapas, Blackfeet, and Yankton Sioux) signed a form of the Treaty of Fort Laramie on July 2, 1868 at Fort Rice (nearBismarck, North Dakota). Sitting Bull did not agree to the treaty. He continued his hit-and-run attacks on forts in the upper Missouri area throughout the late 1860s and early 1870s. The events of1867–1868 mark a historically debated period of Sitting Bull's life. According to historian Stanley Vestal, who conducted interviews with surviving Hunkpapa in 1930, Sitting Bull was made "SupremeChief of the whole Sioux Nation" at this time. Later historians and ethnologists have refuted this concept of authority, as the Lakota society was decentralised. Lakota bands and their chiefs made...