Bloody Knife

Biography of Bloody Knife

Bloody Knife
Bloody Knife

A famous Arikara warrior and chief, who was long in the Government service. His father was a Hunkpapa Sioux and his mother an Arikara. He was born on the Hunkpapa Reservation, North Dakota, but as he approached manhood his mother determined to return to her people and he accompanied her. Prior to the building of the Northern Pacific R. R. the mail for Ft Stevenson, North Dakota, and other Missouri River points, was carried overland from Ft Totten. The high country east of the Missouri was at that time a hunting ground for hostile Sioux who had been driven west from Minnesota after the massacre of 1862, and so often were the mail carriers on this route killed that it became difficult to find anyone to carry the mails. Bloody Knife undertook the task, and traversing the country with Indian caution almost always got the mail through on time. Soon after the establishment of Ft Abraham Lincoln, North Dakato, a number of Arikara scouts were engaged for service at the post, and of these Bloody Knife was the chief. He was with Gen. Stanley on the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873 and took part in the fighting of that trip; he also accompanied Custer to the Black Hills in 1874, and was one of the scouts with Custer and Terry’s expedition in 1876. On the day of the Custer fight he was with the other scouts with Reno’s command, took part in the effort made by them to check the Indians who were charging Reno’s force while crossing Reno Creek, and was killed there, fighting bravely.

Hodge, Frederick Webb, Compiler. The Handbook of American Indians North of Mexico. Bureau of American Ethnology, Government Printing Office. 1906.

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