Fate is fickle, no doubt about it. Take the case of old Chief Sitting Bull. He was the magnet that drew all of those hundreds of Indian warriors to meet Custer and his Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn. Immediately after the massacre, he fled to Canada, then returned to the United States to perform the unthinkable.
The United States had been on the verge of celebrating its 100th birthday when it was shaken from its dogmatic slumbers. Facing an Indian army of more than 2,000 warriors, led by Sitting Bull, Gen. George Armstrong Custer and 225 of his cavalrymen were killed in battle on June 25, 1876.
After the battle, Chief Sitting Bull and his band retreated into Canada, but the government there offered them no succor, so Sitting Bull led his tribe back across the border into the United States. On July 19, 1881, the infamous chief surrendered at Fort Buford. It began to look as if his days of freedom were over. Then a fellow named Buffalo Bill made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.
William F. Cody, for all of his showmanship, was a true western folk hero. He was a scout, a pony express rider, and most significantly an Indian fighter. That’s what makes his dealings with Sitting Bull so interesting...