My father was the first to see through the schemes of the white men....He said: “My son...when I am gone...you are the chief of these people....Always remember that your father never sold his country....This country holds your father's body. Never sell the bones of your father and mother."
I pressed my father’s hand and told him I would protect his grave with my life....A man who would not love his father's grave is worse than a wild animal.
By 1874, railroads had brought millions of new settlers to the West and the federal government began consolidating its control over the region as never before.
Washington mounted still another assault on the Mormons, forcing their prophet to choose between saving his church or sacrificing a spiritual son.
Meanwhile, the American army pressed its campaign against the Indians, forcing most tribes onto reservations where they were dependent on government rations that often did not arrive, and on the whims of government agents who often did not care.
But a few bands still held out, determined to live as they wished in a West that was already transformed.
On the plains, a Lakota medicine man, who saw the Americans as his mortal enemies, would become a symbol of this defiant spirit and win the greatest victory of the Indian wars, only to see his people shattered by an avenging nation.
While in the mountains, a Nez Percé chief, who had struggled all his life to keep peace with whites, would find himself helping to lead one of the most extraordinary military campaigns in American history.
To subdue them, the government would call on an unlikely army made up of immigrants, fugitives, social outcasts -- and a dashing young hero of the Civil War, who came West pursuing a vision of invincibility and discovered there an enemy with visions stronger than his own
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