Chapter Eleven of the Book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown

Chapter Eleven is about the war to save Buffalo. The chapter begins with a quote by Satanta the Chief of the Kiowas, He said, “I have heard that you intended to settle us on a reservation near the mountains. I don‘t want to settle I love to roam over the prairies. There I feel free and happy, but when we settle down we grow pale and die. A long time ago this land belonged to our fathers; but when I go up to the river I see camps of soldiers on its banks.

These soldiers cut down my timber; they kill my buffalo; and when I see that, my heart feels like bursting; I feel sorry. Has the white man become a child that he should recklessly kill and not eat? When the red man slay game, they do so that they may live and not starve.“ I felt that this quote was very important because it shows how the Indians feel about being moved around and pushed out of their homelands.

They are different then the Americans, yes, but they are still human and just wanted to be able to roam freely and come and go as they choose. No one should be forced to leave their home, nor should they watch it be destroyed. They are moved from some of the only places they know leaving behind the only sources of food that they know, Like Satanta stated, the Americans didn‘t kill the buffalo to eat them, they didn’t need them at all but the Indians did so that they didn’t starve.

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By Chapter Eleven Brown presents the relationship with the Indians and Americans to have stayed the same or to have got worse. They Americans still broke treaties and truce with the Indians to get what they want, they didn‘t care about them at allt A Comanche leader, Tosawi was told by Sheridan that the only good Indian was a dead Indian, even he surrendered along with many other great leaders But the Kiowas stood their ground.

They saw no reason to go to Fort Cobb because the Treaty of Medicine Lodge signed in 1867 gave them their own territory in which to live and the right to hung on any lands south of Arkansas, Still, columns of Bluecoat pony soldiers came riding in to the Kiowa winter camp. Satanta and Lone Wolf with an escort of warriors went to greet them. He greeted them with a smile on his face and even stuck out his hand but Custer wouldn‘t touch it. In violation of the truce made, Custer ordered the men to be captured as prisoners and taken to Fort Cobb for his tribe to follow. Not being able to escape, he sent a messenger to tell the news to his people, and when they arrived the who leaders were the only ones to be held captive, Angered by this, Custer said that if their people do not show at Fort Cobb and surrender, Santana and Lone wolf would be hung. This forced most of the Kiowa tribe to surrender. After following the white mans rules and growing sick and tired of farming, a chief, Kicking Bird couldn’t handle it anymore.

He organized a war party and brought many great chiefs together such as; Lone wolf, White horse, and Satank to accompany him on a raid to texas with many warriors behind his back. He mauled the blue coats for eight hours under the hot sun before breaking off the fight and returning to peace. Eventually, a leader called Mamanti brought the warriors, including Satanta, Satank, Big Tree and many others, to a halt on a hill between the Richardson and Belknap fort on May 17’“. There they waited over the night and into the next day until they saw a train of ten wagons rolling into view and they headed down the slope. After killing a few warriors and letting the others escape they found no rifles or ammunition, only corn in the wagons Sherman then summoned all chiefs for a council where he was going to arrest them. After a trial on July 5’“, 1871 they were sentenced to be hung, but didn’t want an uproar so instead got life in prison. Kicking bear and Stumbling bear thought that the Kiowas should follow the white man’s way but Lone wolf still disagreed.

He made it possible to have a meeting with Santana and Big Tree who were imprisoned, and knew what he needed to do to accomplish his mission to Washington, He refused to follow the White man‘s laws unless their two chiefs could be let free and eventually they came to an agreement. Even though they had agreed to free the chiefs, the Americans never kept their word to the Indians. On the day they were to be released the governor took back his word and made a set of conditions that the Kiowas had to follow in order for the Chiefs to be released, disappointed by this Lone Wolf decided that there was nothing left but war, Brown shows the relation between the Indians and the government to be untrustworthy.

Every time the Indians tried to make peace, the Americans tried to bend the rules and make new ones just to get what they wanted, Not wanting to go to war, the governor of Texas arranged a meeting. The Indians were tired of broken promises and arrived armed and ready to go at war however, Big Tree and Santana were released and were free, This was a Victory for Lone wolf, The peace didn’t last long, after some white thieves stole from the Indians, and in return the Indians stole from Mexico and had to kill some of the men to get what they needed including two Texans who tried to stop them, because of this many young men including Lone wolfs son and nephew, Tauankia and Guitan were killed This made Lone Wolf angry and he seeked revenge. Before sunrise on June 27‘“, the men charged to take out all the buffalo hunters but they were to much for them. in less than ten years.

All the great leaders, chiefs, and the power of the Kiowas and Comanches were gone and broken. They were all forced to surrender and all slowly died including the buffalo. This is one of the saddest chapters I have read in the book The Kiowas and Comanches fought a long ten year battle. They tried multiple tactics, they tried to be peaceful and talk, they tried to fight war but in the end the White men always won. They tried to fight to save their land, their people, and their buffalo. All they wanted was to live at peace but the Americans wanted control. Brown shows how heartless the American government, and troops were to these Indians.

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Chapter Eleven of the Book Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee by Dee Brown. (2023, Apr 08). Retrieved from

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