Red Cloud was a war leader and a chief of the Oglala Lakota.He led a campaign known as Red Cloud's War from 1866–1868 ,for control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana.
Maȟpíya Lúta was born in present day North Platte, Nebraska near the forks of the Platte River, into the Brulé Lakota tribe.
Maȟpíya Lúta, was called Red Cloud, which in Lakota means Scarlet Cloud, when he was born there were crimson clouds in the sky above.
Blue Thunder (female) aka Sarah Foster; Blue Thunder had a son named John Red Cloud (at Chief Red Cloud's request). This John Red Cloud fought against General Custer, but disappeared after the battle.
Just before his parents died (in 1825), his father gave him a wild colt, and said to him:
My son, when you are able to sit quietly upon the back of this colt without saddle or bridle, I shall be glad, for the boy who can win a wild creature and learn to use it will as a man be able to win and rule men.
Red Cloud began quietly to practice throwing the lariat. In a short while he was able to lasso the colt.
After his parents' deaths, Red Cloud was raised by his uncle, Old Chief Smoke (head chief of the Oglala Sioux).
While he was young, Red Cloud wanted to excel himself as a warrior. He showed great bravery in battles with the Oglalas' and other tribes, including the Pawnees.
Red Cloud married Pretty Owl in 1850, at Raw Hide Buttes, Lakota Territory.
Red Cloud and Pretty Owl had one son and 5 daughters. It is written that Red Cloud had only one wife,but it was reported by Mrs. James Cook in J. Olson, Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem, that in his younger days that Red Cloud had 5 wives. Although it seems that Pretty Owl, would not share her husband with other women.She said to an old friend, Charles P. Jordan.When he, Red Cloud was a young man, I was very jealous of him and used to watch him very closely for fear some other woman would win him from me.
Chief Red Cloud had two wives and eight children. The oldest, Jack, fought General Custer. Three of his known children are:
Jack Redcloud (male)
John Redcloud (male)
Mrs. Peter Crazy Bear (female)
Resisting White Expansion
Red Cloud resisted the white expansion into his people's land. He would not sign several treaties with the U.S. government. In 1866, he left negotiations that were taking place at Fort Laramie in Wyoming. On December 21, 1866, a party of 80 soldiers that was led by Captain William Judd Fetterman, were sent to eliminate their Native American problem. But more than 1,000 Indian warriors were waiting. This became known as the Fetterman massacre. By the spring of 1868, General Ulysses S. Grant decided to abandon the forts in the northern part of the Bozeman trail. Even though Red Cloud signed a treaty later that year,  he resisted government, from moving him and his people from their lands. "Red Cloud's War" was the name the US Army gave to a number of conflicts, against the United States Army between 1866 and 1868.
At the end of Red Cloud's war, he signed the Second Treaty of Fort Laramie. The U.S. promised it would abandon the Bozeman Trail. The U.S. also gave the Lakota Sioux possession of what is now the western half of South Dakota, along with large parts of Wyoming and Montana. Red Cloud agreed to stop fighting, he moved onto a reservation in Nebraska, known as the Red Cloud Agency. After the war, Red Cloud served his people as a diplomat.
In 1870, Red Cloud visited Washington, with other Native American leaders, they met President Grant. In 1875, Red Cloud met with Grant again, President Grant offered $25,000, to the Sioux if they would give up their rights to hunt along the Platte River in Dakota Territory. The leaders Red Cloud, Spotted Tail, and Little Wound refused.
Red Cloud's son still wanted to fight for their land and way of life. After Sitting Bull's total defeat of General George Armstrong Custer's, Seventh Cavalry in June 1876, whites began an aggressive campaign against Native Americans in the West. But Red Cloud still would not go to war.
In 1878, Red Cloud moved to Pine Ridge Agency. The Indian agent, at the Pine Ridge Agency, treated the Indians dreadfully. Red Cloud fought for their rights, and he succeeded in having the agent dismissed. Red Cloud continued his work, to keep the Indian lands and to maintain the power, of traditional Native American leaders. In their later years, Red Cloud and Pretty Owl converted to Christianity, he changed his first name to John, and she was called Mary.
Final Years and Death
Chief Red Cloud died 10 Dec 1909 on the Pine Ridge Reservation.
Red Clouds War
Maȟpíya = Cloud/Sky.
Hyde, George E. Red Clouds Fold: A History of the Oglala Sioux Indians University of Oklahoma Press, Norman. 1937.
When Red Cloud was born, the Oglala Winter Camp was near Bear Butte, between the Black Hills and Missouri River in the winter of 1821-22. The author states that although Red Cloud said in 1870 he was born at the fork of the Platte River, his statement was "negatived by every bit of evidence we have" and that the claim was a "political prevarication"(Page 34. )
This author says Red Cloud's name came from a meteorite visible that winter that caused a red sky. The author cites Keating. Expedition to the Sources of the St. Peters River. Philadelphia, 1824. Volume 1, Page 316, for the information that the meteorite was seen on 20 September 1822 from Fort Snelling near the mouth of the Minnesota River. (Page 34. ) The author discounts several other name origin stories in the appendix to the book and points out several other individuals with same or similar names also born the winter of the meteorite. (Page 316-17)
Hyde speaks of Red Cloud's nephew (sister's son), He Dog, giving family information in 1931 but does not cite where the information from He Dog was found. He Dog apparently said Red Cloud's father was Brulé Chief Ishna Witca (Lone Man) and his mother was Walks-as-She-Thinks, from Saone band of Oglála, sister to Old Smoke. Old Smoke took their orphaned children into his camp.(Page 317)
Hyde mentions death of Bull Bear as the result of rivalry between Bull Bear and Old Smoke fueled by the fur traders and liquor. Hyde mentions that "some say" Red Cloud was the one who shot Bull Bear and Red Cloud's brother Yellow Lodge was among those who died in the fight. (Pages 53-54)
Red Cloud abdicated his position of itancan (band chief) to son Jack Red Cloud in July 1903. (Page 10)
Two fur traders "forged ties" into Red Cloud's family. John Richard, Sr, was known for supplying illegal liquor in the fur trade. Jules Ecoffey was born in Switzerland but was living in the Fort Laramie area after 1854. (Page 20)
Near Fort Laramie, in 1841, the Bear group of tiyospaye (bands) and the Smoke group were both camped for trade with the fort. An incident occurred that led to the death of Bull Bear. This author discusses several different stories of what happened and states, "Moreover, all versions state that Red Cloud , a young nephew of Old Smoke who was born in 1821 in Bull Bear's tiyospaye on the Smoky Hill River, fired the fatal shot." (Pages 23-24)
Black Buffalo Woman: niece of Red Cloud, wife of No Water, left husband for Crazy Horse (Page 24)
John Richard, Jr: accompanied Lakota delegation to Washington as interpreter, "son-in-law" of Yellow Bear and son of John Richard, Sr, who married a sister of Red Cloud (Page 90)
Black Twin: brother of No Water who was Red Cloud's son-in-law (Page 99)
Sword: Oglala head shirtwearer, nephew of Red Cloud (Page 139)
Bear Brains: Red Cloud's "brother-in-law" (Page 137)
Powers, Marla N. Lakota Naming: A Modern-Day Hunka Ceremony. Lakota Books. Kendall Park, NJ. 1991. -can be "borrowed" on archive.org
detailed description of a Hunka ceremony includes the specific lineage of two children descended from Red Cloud (and other Grandfathers of note), "...their mother is Darlene, whose mother is Sadie Afraid-of-Horse, whose mother is Lucy Red Cloud, whose father is Jack Red Cloud, whose father is the old chief Red Cloud." (Page 37)
Needs Incorporation into Narrative Above
Chief Red Cloud fought at the Battle of Bighorn.
Red Cloud's War
-Red Cloud was instrumental in organizing resistance to white expansion into his people's territory. He had refused to sign several treaties with the U.S. government and even stormed out of negotiations held at Fort Laramie in Wyoming in 1866. Fort Laramie was on what was known as the Bozeman Trail, which was developed by John Bozeman as a shortcut to the Oregon trail and the gold-rich lands in what is now Montana.
-At the time the 1866 meeting was held, the U.S. government was building new forts along the trail north of Fort Laramie. This expansion enraged Red Cloud, who managed to unite several different Native American groups to drive away the soldiers from Fort Phil Kearny. When the U.S. government sent in reinforcements, Red Cloud and his warriors showed them just how powerful they were.
-On December 21, 1866, Captain William Judd Fetterman led of party of 80 soldiers to eliminate their Native American problem. But they were quickly slaughtered by more than 1,000 warriors who rose up against them. This incident became known as the Fetterman massacre.
-By the spring of 1868, Red Cloud had finally forced the white man's hand with his continued assault on those who ventured into his territory. General Ulysses S. Grant decided to abandon the forts in the northern part of the Bozeman trail. While he signed a treaty later that year, Red Cloud resisted government efforts to move him and his people from their lands.
-In 1870, Red Cloud traveled to Washington, D.C., to lobby for Native American rights. He attended a special reception at the White House and later traveled to New York. The mighty leader impressed crowds with his eloquence and diplomatic skills, but could do little to preserve his lands in face of greed over gold. Once the precious metal was found in the Black Hills, the Sioux were soon pushed from their sacred lands.
-While other Native American leaders, including Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, rose up against the whites, Red Cloud seemed to stay out of the fighting. He moved with his people to the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota in the late 1870s. In the early 1880s, Red Cloud stepped down as leader. He continued to work to improve the lives of his people, however. In 1897, he headed to Washington, D.C., to campaign for better living conditions on the reservation.
It may be possible to confirm family relationships with Mahpiya by comparing test results with other carriers of his Y-chromosome or his mother's mitochondrial DNA.
However, there are no known yDNA or mtDNA test-takers in his direct paternal or maternal line.
It is likely that these autosomal DNA test-takers will share DNA with Mahpiya: