The Piegan Massacre is one of the greatest wars ever recorded in the history of Indians and the war with the United States. The war seems to have occurred on January 23, 1870 in Montana territory and claimed the lives of about 200 residents, aside from those that sustained casualties.
Before the war, Montana was occupied by both the indigene and those who migrated into the community, which is the Nilltsitapi Confederacy, composed of the Blackfeet, Blood, and the Piegan tribes, along with white settlers who had been there for a long time in search of green pasture.
For the Piegan, they were covered under the guard of Chief Mountain, also known as the Rebellious Band. Following their settlement, the Blackfeet engage in stealing from the white American settlers on a constant basis, trying to make them impoverished, especially when attacked by their soldiers.
Due to this, the community always experiences battles or clashes that lead to the creation of what was called the ” red cloud war” and, as such, causes much calamity and pain to the white Americans that have migrated to the town.
Following the Blackfeet act, Malcolm Clerk, who was a rancher, a fur trader, and a co- worker in the American fur company, is said to have married into the Blackfeet tribe, which built a strong relationship between him and the tribe during the period of his fur trade.
Cot Coco, his wife, who bore him Horace, Nathan, Helen, and Isabel, was able to persuade the Blackfeet resident that her husband’ s business with him was genuine and long- lasting.
Yet there are two dark aspects of his life, which were his secret act of murdering Owen McKenzie, a co- worker in the AFC, and those of his high school days, an era of his expulsion as a result of being found guilty of constant bullying of students.
Out of fear of being killed by the fur traders if it was found that he was the real murderer of Owen, he decided to move his family to the rock mountain along with his decline from being a fur trader.
There he established a new trade, which was the setting for his career as a cattle ranger and his clerk horse business that became the major source of war in the Maria.
The Reason For The War
As well, after the establishment of the cattle range by Malcolm, as a cattle ranger who, through his wife’ s influence, was able to gain greater privilege in association with the Blackfeet.
But the reverse became the case when one of the Blackfeet warrior sons, Owl Son, was accused by Malcolm of stealing his horse as part of revenge and replaced it with Owl Son’ s.
Malcolm and his son Horace dealt extensively with the Owl son, brutally beating him and wounding him, implying that he was given the beating of his life, not just the beating, but in front of the Blackfeet resident as they settled for some casual talk as usual.
Following the beating, the Blackfeet residents, particularly the Pegan warriors, decided to exact vengeance on their brother, murdering Malcolm at the mountain near Helena, where he was staying with his family, and injuring him around his body while his wife and other children remained safe in the house.
However, after the murder, they fled to join the Chief Mountain Rebellious group in the north part of the city.
Call For Protection
Seeing that the white settlers were no longer safe among the Blackfeet, they called for the protection of Major Eugene Baker. He was sent by General Sheridan to exact revenge for the murder of his residents.
Along with his men, he made the journey to Piegen and had his main target on the chief mountain attacked without minding how destructive the massacre could be to the residents of Blackfeet.
It was during this period that the chief of the mountain band had to be killed by the troops. As a result of their journey to the Maria river, where they suspect the chief mountain band will be found, the baker had first taken refuge before taking off the next day.
They mounted on a nearby town which was surrounded by some Piegan residents and held them captive, revealing to them where the prominent members of the band had stayed.
The battle for the Piegan began on January 6, 1870, while the capture of an individual camp was done on January 22, 1870, as a search for the chief mountain band.
Considering the situation of the weather during the attack, the Piegan residents have been inflected with the diease of small boxes that surrounded the entire community and were said to be the heavy runner area that wasn’ t really a part of the chief mountain that was attacked.
However, having knowledge of their peaceful act and not belonging to the group rather than having a part in name, Baker demanded their death immediately without minding their situation as they were sleeping in the early hours of the morning.
Some of the men and children who have already been afflicted with the disease were kept aside when it comes to the area of being taken captive by the garrison rather than those who have been sterved along with killing most of the residents. Some were killed by gunfire, while some by heavy weapons, as confessed by the soldiers.