Red Cloud was born in 1822 at the fork of the Platte River in Nebraska. He was not a chief by birth but earned his position through his bravery, leadership, and wisdom. He became one of the most famous American Indian chiefs.
Chief Red Cloud was the leader of the Oglala, one of the largest groups of Sioux Indians. He opposed the government’s plan to build three forts and open the Bozeman Trail. Red Cloud besieged the forts. The government agreed - after many attacks - to the treaty of 1868. The government agreed to close the trail and abandon the forts; Red Cloud agreed to stop attacking the white men. White men broke the treaty when gold was discovered. Red Cloud charged the Indian agents with corruption. He was removed as head of the Oglala in 1881 when he threatened a government agent.
Red Cloud had great leadership ability and was regarded as a gentleman with dignity and honor. He sought peace but watched with horror as the rights of the Indians were trampled. He died on December 10, 1909, after the government moved his tribe to the Pine Ridge Agency in South Dakota.