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Snow Owl, June 2003

From various sources, including PBS, Charles Eastman and others.
     Chief Gall decided to make his appearance into The Creator’s World in the area known as South Dakota circa 1840 amongst his people, the Lakota Hunkpapa Sioux.

    His name Gall, contrary to some so-called thinkers of non-Native American heritage, was not given to him by the “white man” in later years, but came via an incident involving the eating of a gall bladder of an animal. Prior to receiving Pizia (Gall), his youth name had been Matohinsda or Bear Shedding His Hair.

    Gall fought at the Battle of Big Mound with Inkapudta and accompanied Red Cloud during the 1866-1868 campaign. 

(A small aside here, my own grandfather was said to be 1 year old at the date given for the beginning of the above campaign.)

    Sometime after this, Gall had decided to defend his name and reputation by going to Fort Berthold, where a murder charge had been pending against him. At this time he


Chief Gall; National Anthropological Archives,
Smithsonian Institute

was captured, bayonetted and of course, callously left where he lay, having thought to be dead. Well, he wasn’t and he survived to be with Chief Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Rosebud against Gen. George Crook.

    While not as well known, at least by “white man’s history”, this man seems to have been one of those that while not achieving some great thing or becoming some incandescent aura that crosses the tribal boundaries of all Peoples: such as Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull and others, he always seems to be where such people are, and just as heavily involved as they.

    During the various actions that have collectively become known as Custer’s Last Stand, the initial fuse was lit by Reno when he attacked Gall’s village along the Little Big Horn River. During this unprovoked attack, Gall suffered the killing of several members of his family. Gall then did the counter-attack routine and using skill combined with inspiring ferocity eventually led his band to be involved in the eventual decimation of Custer’s 7th Calvary command.

    Sometime after the Custer Affair, Gall went with Sitting Bull to Canada in order to escape the relentless pursuit of the US Government and Military, who basically had but one goal in mind: either eradicate the Native American from the face of the continent or decimate him so badly that he would never pose any type of threat again.

    However, at some point, Gall and Sitting Bull came to disagreement and Gall returned to the US area along with an unknown number of warriors. Being very poorly armed, Gall surrendered to the military at Poplar Creek, Montana.

    This does not end the saga of Gall. After the above events, Gall lived on the Standing Rock Reservation which is located in South Dakota. He was appointed a Judge of the Court of Indian Affairs in 1889. Why, it is not known, but he ignored the Ghost Dance Religion when it appeared on the scene and instead became an envoy to Washington, D.C.

    Eventually, like Sitting Bull, Gall was sought out by Buffalo Bill to be a part of the Wild West Show. However, unlike Sitting Bull, Gall refused saying: "I am not an animal to be exhibited before crowds.".

    This man had quite a life. All the more remarkable when you think that all the above came about before he reached 55, at which age he Walked On near Wakpala, South Dakota. You can see his burial spot at the St. Elizabeth Cemetery on Highway 1806 near the above mentioned town. The honorable words on the stone that stands above him reads: An Honest Man Should Always Be Remembered.

James McLaughlin, Indian Agent of Standing Rock, on Gall: 

"A large man of noble presence with military talents of high order combined with personal character that won respect from those having contact with him."

HEYA!

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