Thursday, December 17, 2015

Two Bears group in Fort Sully - Yanktonai - 1872

Two Bears

The First U.S. Volunteers actively pursued the seemingly illusive goal of negotiating a peace agreement with the Lakotas and Upper Yanktonai. Their chief ally in this endeavor was the Yanktonai chief, Two Bears, whom Sully had convinced at Whitestone Hill in 1863 that peace was preferable to war. The short stocky leader with fierce, piercing eyes was very influential and very brave to venture into any sort of relationship with the strange aliens who were invading his homeland. (...) Although Dimon was not as convinced as Sully of the chief's loyalty, the young colonel obediently depended upon Two Bears as his main intermediary and informer among the Sioux. Sending his sons and other spies into camps upriver, Two Bears kept Dimon informed regarding the visits of anti-American Métí traders, raids being planned, and other intelligence. Upon Two Bears' assurance that Dimon was in earnest, Yanktonai Chief Black Catfish agreed in October 1864 to join Two Bears' camp of peace-seeking Sioux, trusting that the colonel would protect and be kind to his people. Over the coming year, several hundred Native Americans joined this peace faction of 150 lodges and proved to be loyal allies against war parties. Dimon invited Natives camped within a 40-mile radius to the post's Christmas feast and Fourth of July Celebration.When Sully arrived in July 1865, nearly a thousand Native people were gathered to talk peace with him.

A piercing gaze indeed.

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