Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee | Study Guide

Dee Alexander Brown

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Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee | Key Figures

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Key Figure Description
Red Cloud Red Cloud (1822–1909) is the head chief of the Oglala Teton Sioux Indians. Read More
Sitting Bull Sitting Bull (1831–90) is a Hunkpapa Teton Sioux chief. He is known for his mistrust of white men and his refusal to live on an Indian reservation. Read More
Black Kettle Black Kettle (c. 1803–1868) is a Southern Cheyenne chief and the spokesperson for his people. Read More
William T. Sherman General William Tecumseh Sherman (1820–91) is a Civil War hero. He serves as the commanding general of the United States Army from 1869 to 1884. Read More
Philip Sheridan General Philip Sheridan (1831–88) is a U.S. cavalry officer and a staunch opponent of the Plains Indians. He serves as the army's general-in-chief. Read More
Roman Nose Roman Nose is a Southern Cheyenne Dog Soldier. Read More
George Crook General George Crook (1829–90) is an army officer in the Civil War and during the western Indian Wars. The Apaches call him "Gray Wolf," and the Sioux call him "Three Stars." He becomes an advocate for Indian rights near the end of his life. Read More
William B. Allison William B. Allison is the senator from Iowa who tells the Sioux the U.S. government wants the Powder River country because it doesn't seem "useful" to the Indians.
Scott J. Anthony Major Scott J. Anthony replaces Major Wynkoop as commander of Fort Lyon in November 1864. The Cheyennes and Arapahos call him "Red-Eyed Soldier Chief" because of the color of his eyes, which are red from scurvy.
Barboncito Barboncito is a Navaho war chief. He escapes the Bosque Redondo reservation once and then is captured again.
William Bent William Bent—nicknamed "The Little White Man"—married into the Cheyenne tribe, first to Owl Woman and then to her sister, Yellow Woman. He is trusted by the Cheyennes and delivers many messages from them to the white soldiers.
Big Foot Big Foot (died 1890) is the chief of the Minneconjou Sioux. Already ill with pneumonia, he is killed in the Wounded Knee massacre on December 29, 1890.
Big Snake Big Snake is Standing Bear's brother. He tests the verdict of his brother's hearing by taking a group of fellow Poncas to the Cheyenne reservation but is arrested and killed for his troublemaking.
Big Tree Big Tree is one of the leaders of the Kiowas with Satanta.
Black Bear Black Bear is a leading chief of the Northern Arapahos. His village is destroyed by General Connor's troops in the summer of 1865.
Black Coyote Black Coyote is a young, deaf Minneconjou Sioux. The firing of his gun starts the massacre at Wounded Knee on December 29, 1890.
Boston Charley Boston Charley is the Modoc Indian who shoots Reverend Eleazar Thomas.
Felix R. Brunot Felix R. Brunot heads the peace commission with the Utes in 1873.
Bull Bear Bull Bear is a Southern Cheyenne Dog Soldier chief. He tries to calm Roman Nose during their face-off with General Hancock.
Bull Head Lieutenant Bull Head is a Sioux police officer. He accidentally shoots Sitting Bull while aiming for Catch-the-Bear during Sitting Bull's arrest.
Edward R.S. Canby General Edward R.S. Canby is put in charge of getting the Modocs to surrender. He is killed by Captain Jack.
James Carleton General James Carleton leads the campaign against the Navahos in the Southeast. He is a Union general with no Confederate troops to fight. The Navahos call him "Star Chief Carleton."
Henry B. Carrington Colonel Henry B. Carrington leads the 18th Infantry Regiment in 1866. He is tasked with opening a chain of forts along Bozeman Road to Montana. The Indians call him "Little White Chief."
Catch-the-Bear Catch-the-Bear is a Ghost Dancer who fires the first shot during Sitting Bull's arrest on December 15, 1890.
John M. Chivington Colonel John M. Chivington commands the Colorado volunteers. He tells his men to "kill Cheyennes whenever and wherever found."
William P. Clark Lieutenant William P. Clark is stationed at Fort Robinson when the Northern Cheyennes are sent to Indian Territory in 1877. He admires Indians and Indian culture.
John Clum John Clum is the agent at San Carlos in 1874. He helps the Apaches become self-sufficient at the White Mountain reservation.
Cochise Cochise (died 1874) is a Chiricahua Apache chief. He leads the Apache rebellion against white men in the Southwest.
Buffalo Bill Cody William F. Cody (1846–1917) is a world-renowned performer known for his dramatization of the American West. Most people know him as Buffalo Bill.
Christopher Columbus Christopher Columbus (1451–1506) is considered to be the first European to "discover" the Americas. He and his crew land on San Salvador on October 12, 1492.
Patrick E. Connor General Patrick E. Connor—known to the Indians as "Star Chief Connor"—leads the charge to kill all Indians north of the Platte River in the summer of 1865.
Jacob Cox Jacob Cox is the Secretary of the Interior under President Ulysses S. Grant.
Vincent Colyer Vincent Colyer is an Indian Bureau representative sent to the Southwest to talk to Cochise, Eskiminzin, and Delshay.
Crazy Horse Crazy Horse (1842–77) is an Oglala Teton Sioux chief.
George Armstrong Custer General George Armstrong Custer (1839–76)—nicknamed "Long Hair" by the Sioux—is a U.S. cavalry officer. A longtime opponent of the Plains Indians, he is killed in the Battle of Little Big Horn.
Delgadito Delgadito is a Navaho war chief. He and his people are the first to surrender to the Americans and agree to go to Bosque Redondo.
Delshay Delshay is a Tonto Apache chief. Two men each claim to have beheaded him in hopes of a reward.
Donehogawa Donehogawa, Keeper of the Western Door of the Long House of the Iroquois, is an educated Iroquois from New York, who took on the name Ely Samuel Parker to advance his education and career. He is the Commissioner of Indian Affairs under President Ulysses S. Grant from 1869 to 1871 and the first American Indian to hold the title.
Douglas Douglas (real name: Quinkent) is a Ute chief.
Dull Knife Dull Knife is a chief of the Northern Cheyennes. He and his followers escape the reservation in Indian Territory and head north, where they are captured and held prisoner at Fort Robinson.
Elmer S. Dundy Elmer S. Dundy is the judge who presides over Standing Bear's court case.
Eagle Head Eagle Head is one of the Cheyenne who delivers a letter from Black Kettle to Major Wynkoop, and is then taken hostage.
Newton Edmunds Newton Edmunds (1819–1908) is the governor of the Dakota Territory from 1863 to 1866.
El Sordo El Sordo is a Navaho war chief.
Eskiminzin Eskiminzin is an Aravaipas Apache chief.
John Evans John Evans (1814–97) is the governor of the Colorado Territory from 1862 to 1865.
Thomas Galbraith Thomas Galbraith is a government agent for the Santee Sioux. He refuses to give the Santee Sioux any provisions on credit when their government annuities are late.
Charles Gatewood Lieutenant Charles Gatewood convinces Geronimo to surrender for the final time in the summer of 1886.
Geronimo Geronimo (1829–1909) is a Bedonkohe Apache, although he considers himself a Chiricahua Apache. As a war chief of the Chiricahuas, he leads his people in raids and battles against white people in the Southwest.
John Gibbon Colonel John Gibbon fights the Sioux and the Nez Percés.
Gordon Granger General Gordon Granger negotiates with Cochise at Cañada Alamosa in 1871.
Ulysses S. Grant Ulysses S. Grant (1822–85) is the 18th President of the United States. He serves from 1869 to 1877.
A.B. Greenwood Colonel A.B. Greenwood is the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in the early 1860s. He presents Black Kettle with an American flag to fly over the Cheyenne camp to show friendship between the Cheyennes and the U.S. government.
Winfield Scott Hancock General Winfield Scott Hancock (1824–86) is sent to Southern Cheyenne territory in 1865 to try to work out a peace agreement with the Dog Soldiers, but rather than prevent a war, he starts one. The Indians call him "Old Man of the Thunder" because he likes to show them the power of his cannons.
Oliver Otis Howard General Oliver Otis Howard (1830–1909) is a Civil War veteran who comes to the Southwest to negotiate peace with Cochise. He agrees that the Chiricahua Apaches should live on their own land near the Chiricahua Mountains.
Jack Jack (real name: Nicaagat) is a Ute chief. He unsuccessfully tries to prevent a war between the White River reservation Utes and the U.S. Army.
Captain Jack Captain Jack (real name: Kintpuash) is the chief of the Modoc Indians in northern California. He wants to make peace with the U.S. government, but his tribesmen want to fight.
Andrew Jackson Andrew Jackson (1767–1845) is the seventh president of the United States, and serves from 1829 to 1837. Indians of the era refer to him as "Sharp Knife."
Tom Jeffords Tom "Taglito" Jeffords is a postal carrier in the Southwest who makes a personal treaty with Cochise for his own safety. He helps Cochise negotiate a peace treaty with General Howard and then serves as the agent on their reservation.
Hooker Jim Hooker Jim is a Modoc Indian leader who takes part in the killing of 12 white settlers. He betrays Captain Jack.
John B. Johnson Captain John B. Johnson is the commanding officer at Fort Robinson when the Northern Cheyennes are brought in as prisoners in October 1878.
Johnson Johnson (real name: Canalla) is the White River reservation Utes' medicine man. He and Nathan Meeker get in a fight over Johnson's ponies.
Joseph Joseph becomes the chief of the Wallowa Valley Nez Percés after his father's death. He leads his people on a 1,300-mile trek to the Canadian border, where they are captured.
Edward C. Kemble Edward C. Kemble is an Indian inspector. He takes White Eagle and 10 other Ponca chiefs on a tour of Indian country and then refuses to let them go home.
Kicking Bear Kicking Bear is a Minneconjou Sioux who introduces the Ghost Dance to the Hunkpapas at Standing Rock in October 1890.
Kicking Bird Kicking Bird is a Kiowa chief. After the Buffalo Wars, he is forced to select 26 of his fellow tribesmen for punishment. He dies under mysterious circumstances two days later.
Henry W. Lawton Lieutenant Henry W. Lawton escorts the Northern Cheyennes south to Indian Territory. The Indians call him the "Tall White Man."
Lean Bear Lean Bear is a Southern Cheyenne Indian who believes in peace and brotherhood with the white men. He is killed by American soldiers while attempting to greet them.
Little Crow Little Crow, also known as Ta-oya-te-duta, is a third-generation chief of the Mdewkanton Santee. He does his best to embrace the white man's culture, including wearing European-style clothing with buttons, joining the Episcopal Church, living in a house, and starting a farm.
Little Horse Little Horse is a Cheyenne warrior. He and his Arapaho wife warn the Arapahos at Black Bear's camp about the impending attack by white soldiers in the summer of 1865.
Little Horse's wife Little Horse's wife is an Arapaho. She and her husband warn her tribespeople about the impending attack by white soldiers in the summer of 1865.
Little Raven Little Raven is an Arapaho chief.
Little Robe Little Robe is a Southern Cheyenne chief who takes over the leadership of Black Kettle's band when Black Kettle is killed in 1868.
Little Wolf Little Wolf is a chief of the Northern Cheyennes. He and his followers escape the reservation in Indian Territory to return north only to be captured and taken to Fort Keogh.
Lone Wolf Lone Wolf is the head Kiowa chief during Satanta's second stint in prison. He becomes disillusioned with the white man's lies and rules, especially after the death of his son, whose bones he is not allowed to take back to Kiowa land.
Looking Glass Looking Glass is a Nez Percé chief. He is killed by a bullet to the forehead.
Ranald Mackenzie General Ranald Mackenzie, also known as "Three Fingers Mackenzie," is the commanding officer at Fort Sill. Although he spends much of his career hunting Indians, he develops a soft spot for the Cheyennes.
Mamanti Mamanti is a Kiowa medicine man. It is his idea to raid a wagon train in Texas, although Satanta takes the blame for it.
Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses Man-Afraid-of-His-Horses is an Oglala Teton Sioux. He acts as Red Cloud's second-in-command in dealings with the white men.
Mangas Colorado Mangas Colorado (1795–1863) is a leading Apache war chief and the father-in-law of Cochise.
Manuelito Manuelito (died 1893) is a Navaho war chief, nicknamed "Pistol Bullet" by U.S. soldiers. He and his people are the last to surrender to General James Carleton and move to the Bosque Redondo reservation.
Massasoit Massasoit (1590–1661) is a Wampanoag Indian chief and self-appointed missionary to the English pilgrims who land in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
Henry Maynadier Colonel Henry Maynadier is the commander of a Galvanized Yankee regiment at Fort Laramie in the summer of 1865.
Valentine McGillycuddy Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy is a former Indian agent sent to Standing Rock to help resolve the tensions caused by Ghost Dancing in 1890.
James McLaughlin James McLaughlin heads the agency at Standing Rock. The Indians call him "White Hair."
Alfred Meacham Alfred Meacham is a former Indian agent and a friend of the Modoc Indians.
Medicine Bottle Medicine Bottle is a Santee Sioux war chief.
Nathan C. Meeker Nathan C. Meeker is the agent at the Utes' White River agency. He desperately wants to "save" them and make them into white men.
Metacom Metacom (1638–76) is Massasoit's son. Known by the English settlers as King Philip of Pokanoket, he leads an ill-fated war of resistance against colonization.
Nelson Miles Brigadier general Nelson Miles—called "Bear Coat" by the Indians—begins his career in the Indian Wars chasing the Kiowas across the Plains in 1874. He is transferred to the Southwest to deal with the Apaches in 1886.
Thomas Murphy Thomas Murphy is the Superintendent of Indian Affairs in the late 1860s. He tries to negotiate peace with Roman Nose in 1868.
Andrew Myrick Andrew Myrick is a Minnesota trader who famously said if the Santee Sioux were hungry, they should eat grass and their own dung. The Santee later kill him and stuff grass in his mouth.
Nana Nana is a Mimbres Apache. He takes over Victorio's guerrilla war after Victorio's death.
Frank North Major Frank North and his troops chase the Dog Soldiers through Nebraska and Colorado.
A.B. Norton A.B. Norton is the superintendent who takes over Fort Wingate (formerly Fort Defiance) in 1866. He determines that the Indian reservation Bosque Redondo is uninhabitable and recommends the Navahos be allowed to return to their land.
Old Joseph Old Joseph (died 1871) is the chief of the Wallowa Valley Nez Percés. His real name is Tuekakas, but he is referred to throughout the book by his "white" name.
One-Eye One-Eye is one of the Cheyennes who delivers a letter from Black Kettle to Major Wynkoop and is then taken hostage.
Ouray Ouray is the head chief of the Utes. The federal government pays him a salary of $1,000 per year.
Pawnee Killer Pawnee Killer is an Oglala Teton Sioux band leader.
Frederick Pitkin Frederick Pitkin is the first governor of Colorado. He is on a crusade to rid the state of all Indians.
Pocahontas Pocahontas (1596–1617) is the daughter of Wahunsonacook and the wife of John Rolfe.
Alexander Ramsey Alexander Ramsey is the governor of Minnesota. He wants all the Santee Sioux Indians killed.
Charles Rawn Captain Charles Rawn is in charge of the barricade on Lolo Creek meant to prevent the Nez Percés from passing.
Red Tomahawk Sergeant Red Tomahawk is a Sioux police officer. He fires the shot that kills Sitting Bull on December 15, 1890.
John Rolfe John Rolfe (1585–1622) is a colonial official in Jamestown, Virginia. He marries Pocahontas, the daughter of Wahunsonacook.
Samoset Samoset is a Pemaquid Indian and self-appointed missionary to the English pilgrims who lands in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
John Sanborn John Sanborn is known to the Plains Indians as "Black Whiskers." He serves on several peace treaty commissions and becomes the group's commissioner in 1867.
John Shangreau John Shangreau is a half-Indian, half-white scout who works for the Seventh U.S. Cavalry. He convinces Major Whitside that it would be too dangerous to disarm the Minneconjou Sioux before they reach Wounded Knee.
Satank Satank is an old Kiowa chief. He commits suicide-by-soldier during his transportation to Texas for a murder trial.
Satanta Satanta is the leader of the Kiowas. He is imprisoned three separate times—once to force his people onto the reservation at Fort Sill, once because he took responsibility for a deadly Texas raid, and once as punishment for his tribe's involvement in the Buffalo War of 1874.
Carl Schurz Carl Schurz is the Secretary of the Interior under Ulysses S. Grant. The Indians call him "Big Eyes."
Shakopee Shakopee is a Santee Sioux war chief.
Short Bull Short Bull is Kicking Bear's brother. They go west together to see the Messiah.
Henry H. Sibley Colonel Henry H. Sibley, known by the Santee Sioux as "Long Trader," is the owner of the American Fur Company. The Sioux don't trust him because he cheated them out of $145,000.
Spotted Tail Spotted Tail is the head chief of the Brulé Sioux.
Squanto Squanto (died 1622) is a Wampanoag Indian and self-appointed missionary to the English pilgrims who land in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in 1620.
Standing Bear Standing Bear is a Ponca Indian. His "personhood" is the subject of a Nebraska court case in 1879.
Tall Bull Tall Bull is a Southern Cheyenne Dog Soldier chief.
Alfred Terry General Alfred Terry represents the military in peace commissions regarding the Sioux.
Eleazar Thomas Reverend Eleazar Thomas is part of the Modoc peace commission. He is killed by Modoc Indian Boston Charley on April 11, 1873.
Tosawi Tosawi is a Comanche chief. General Sheridan tells him the only good Indians he has ever seen were dead.
William B. Vickers William B. Vickers is an editor-politician in Denver. He hates the Utes and begins a campaign to get them kicked out of the state.
Victorio Victorio (died 1880) is a Chiricahua Apache war chief. His hatred of white people and the U.S. government turns him into a ruthless murderer.
Wabasha Wabasha betrays Little Crow by secretly corresponding with Colonel Sibley to arrange for the release of 200 white hostages.
Wahunsonacook Wahunsonacook (died 1618) is the chief of the Powhatan empire in what is now the northeastern United States. Jamestown colonists appeal to his vanity by calling him "King Powhatan."
Francis Walker Francis Walker (1840–97) is the Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1871, although he is better known for his contribution to modern economics.
Louise Weasel Bear Louise Weasel Bear is one of the 50 Minneconjou to survive the massacre at Wounded Knee.
Henry W. Wessells Captain Henry W. Wessells assumes command at Fort Robinson in late 1878.
White Bird White Bird is a Nez Percé chief. He and a small group of warriors escape to Canada and join up with Sitting Bull.
White Eagle White Eagle is the chief of the Ponca Indians.
William H. Whiteman William H. Whiteman is the agent at the Poncas reservation in Indian Territory. He lies about Big Snake, has him arrested, and orchestrates his death.
Royal E. Whitman Lieutenant Royal E. Whitman allows the Aravaipas Apaches, led by Eskiminzin, to farm and camp on land near Fort Grant. He loses his job after siding with the Aravaipas, who are falsely accused of—and subsequently massacred for—crimes they didn't commit.
Samuel Whitside Major Samuel Whitside commands the Seventh U.S. Cavalry. He guides the Minneconjou Sioux to Wounded Knee Creek on December 28, 1890, in hopes of arresting Big Foot.
Winema Winema is Captain Jack's cousin. She is married to a white man and acts as a go-between for the Modocs and peace commissioners.
Edward W. Wynkoop Major Edward W. Wynkoop is the commanding officer at Fort Lyon in 1864. His dealings with the Cheyennes and Arapahos help him realize that Indians are not savages at all, but his sympathy for them costs him his military position, and he later becomes a government agent.
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