Warpath: The True Story of the Fighting Sioux Told in a Biography of Chief White Bull

Warpath: The True Story of the Fighting Sioux Told in a Biography of Chief White Bull

Warpath: The True Story of the Fighting Sioux Told in a Biography of Chief White Bull

Warpath: The True Story of the Fighting Sioux Told in a Biography of Chief White Bull

Synopsis

Nephew to Sitting Bull, chief of the Sioux, Pte San Hunka (White Bull) was a famous warrior in his own right. He had been on the warpath against whites and other Indians for more than a decade when he fought the greatest battle of his life.

On the afternoon of June 25, 1876, five troops of the U. S. Seventh Cavalry under the command of George Armstrong Custer rode into the valley of the Little Big Horn River, confidently expecting to rout the Indian encampments there. Instead, the cavalry met the gathered strength of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, who did not run as expected but turned the battle toward the soldiers. White Bull charged again and again, fighting until the last soldier was dead. The battle was Custer's Last Stand, and White Bull was later referred to as the warrior who killed Custer.

In 1932 White Bull related his life story to Stanley Vestal, who corroborated the details, from other sources and prepared this biography. "All that I told him is straight and true," said White Bull. His story is a matchless account of the life of an Indian warrior.

Excerpt

War nowadays is generally regarded with horror and dismay, as a dull, dirty, and dangerous business, bringing intolerable sorrows and burdens upon the world. The Napoleons and the Bismarcks have done their worst, and war has been industrialized, mechanized, and Prussianized, until discipline, efficiency, and Second Lieutenants have made self-preservation the worst bore on earth.

Yet there was a time, only two generations ago, when on the great plains of the West, war was still an affair of personal adventure, individual freedom and daring, to which were cheerfully sacrificed all the modern military 'virtues' of discipline, obedience, and organization -- those 'virtues' which have made modern war a vicious, destructive, and dismal hell. That was the warfare in which our Plains Indians delighted to indulge, warfare which was a thrilling occasional pastime rather than a dire necessity, warfare inspired by that classical gaudium certaminis, that joy of battle, which animated Achilles and his peers, far on the ringing plains of windy Troy. It was such warfare as the Black Prince reveled in, forming his behavior upon that of King Arthur and his knights-errant. It is this warfare of which old Indians think and talk incessantly to this day. It is this warfare which I have endeavored to present in the pages following.

The Plains Indian was a warrior and a hunter. Hunting was his trade, a drudgery which seldom rose above routine into adventure. War, on the other hand, was his sport, the joy and pride of his life, the thing of which he thought and . . .

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