Tomahawk (1951) Script

This is the Territory of Wyoming the year 1866.

On this soft sunlit day of early Summer, men of two different worlds have come together to talk.

There is bitterness, suspicion and distrust.

You remember your friends and loved ones who have been killed.

You've seen the bones of settlers on the trail and the bleached ribs of their wagons.

And still they come, pushing West with a vision.

A vision of farm and town on land they can call their own.

They come to reclaim the wilderness under your protection: the Army of the United States.

And in your hearts and minds there is also bitterness and hate because you also have a vision of sacred hunting grounds silent and empty of buffalo, elk and beaver.

Your food, clothing and shelter vanished forever.

Of starvation and sickness where once there was plenty.

This is the Laramie Conference a powder keg that may explode at any moment.

It would take little to light the fuse.

There are important and powerful men here.

On one side, The leaders of the Sioux Nations.

On the other side, representatives of the US.

On this day, it will take a great man to see both sides.

Jim Bridger, pioneer, trapper and scout is such a man!

If I remember right this is the 4th time the American government has talked treaty with the Sioux.

The first treaty pushed the Sioux back into Wyoming, then we pushed him back further.

Last year we shoved him back some more into the river basin, in the country east of the Big Horns.

That was supposed to be final.

Mr. Bridger, we're not discussing previous treaties.

I am Mr. Davis.

I'm sorry but I am talking previous treaties.

I rode over 200 miles to say my say and it'll get said my way.

You're planning to build a road over a trail Bozeman mapped out that runs through the middle of the Sioux's last hunting lands.

Gold has been discovered in Montana. Thousands of people are waiting.

But if wagons and troops start moving up that road, that's the end of the buffalo in Wyoming, and that's the end of the Sioux.

The buffalo means everything to these people. Their food, their clothing, skin for tipis, bones for weapons.

We've been told it's the only feasible route.

You've been told wrong Mr. Davis.

Last year Bozeman and I ran a race with wagons.

He went over his trail, I over one they call the Bridger trail west of the Big Horns, outside Sioux Territory.

34 days to get to Virginia City, just two days longer than Bozeman.

If we want peace with these Indians it'll cost us something.

The Sioux has already paid plenty we can pay 2 days extra travel.

Sounds feasible.

Now we'II... One moment gentlemen.

Before you're swept off your feet you should consider where Mr. Bridger's sympathies lie.

Monahseetah is Cheyenne. She's from Kansas.

The Powder River country is of no concern to her.

But she is of great concern to you.

And your friend Sol Beckworth, hasn't he lived among Indians?

Chief Two Bears asks, if no one will listen to Bridger, will they listen to anyone else?

The purpose of this conference is to reach an agreement.

Tell him we're here in all good faith to...

In all good faith?

That the American Cavalry's been ordered to build a fort above the Powder River?

Are Col. Carrington and his men here to prove your good faith?

Who told you? Mr. Bridger, one of these chiefs may know English.

I am Sioux Chief.

I am called Makhpiya Luta, which means "Red Cloud".

I understand and speak your language.

I understand even what you do not say.

We certainly didn't expect to keep the fort a secret.

No, we would have learned of it after we signed the Treaty.

See this warrior of the Great White Father.

You pretend to parley with us for a road through our lands, but soldiers are here to steal a road before we say yes or no.

What did he say? What did he say Mr. Bridger?

He said the white man's promises are written in water.

In other words, he said you're a pack of liars and this peace conference is a fake.

Does this mean they'll fight? Not exactly.

Though the Sioux have been betrayed Red Cloud said they want peace.

But if war is forced on them... Forced? Meaning the Fort?

No, you can put through your road and you can fortify it, but if one white man kills one Indian, that road's gonna come unraveled in your face.

Jim! Beckworth!

Jim, how did you know about the fort?

We put a few rumors together.

They didn't order your outfit out of Kansas for nothing.

How many going altogether? One cavalry troop, a squad from the Quartermasters, four officer's wives including Mrs. Carrington and six young ones.

Don't you know Red Cloud has the whole Sioux Nation under him?

The Oglalas, the Brules... 4,000 fighting men easy.

It's not a military expedition. We're going to maintain a fort.

We'll provide escort for wagons, carry mail and things like that.

I still need good scouts.

What about you two? I'm through scouting for the Army.

Can't make a living at it.

Five dollars a day and your keep?

Five dollars? It'll cost you more for whiskey to drown the boredom.

Beck's afraid I'll back out on our fur trading deal.

We're expecting a lot of Indian villages this year.

Why not join us later?

Fur trading's pretty slow by the middle of summer.

Sergeant, get those wagons rolling.

You know the Lieutenant? No.

Monahseetah likes his horse.

He's Lt. Rob Dancy, just been transferred to my command.

About that scouting job... Well if you can't, you can't.

I don't want to let Beck down but...

Chances are we wouldn't do any trading from June to the first snow, I think we could join you by midsummer.


Exactly where is the fort going to be?

Say this is where we are just west of Fort Laramie here.

The North Platte runs here, Bozeman's trail is here and the Powder River branches off here...

Never seen skin like this year. The cold winter that did it.

No, Beck, let it go. He's drunk.

You ought not let that buck get away with that Jim.

Now he thinks you're scared. Let him think.

Now is no time to start a fight.

All battened down Jim.

It's good you showed no anger, Tachahngpe.

Sit down.

Not one of our chiefs signed the treaty.

Yet the fort has been built and my young men are angry.

I know but for the sake of your people you must keep them from war.

Today there are a hundred soldiers, tomorrow there'll be thousands.

You can't hold back a flood.

But if something happens, if blood is shed on the road, I may have to go to war.

I see what lies ahead.

I would teach my people to change from the ways we have lived and to learn the ways of the white man, if the white man would only give us time.

They push us too fast.

What is it Corporal?

I been telling him there's nothing from here to Virginia City except the fort and Indians.

He should wait until more wagons come along.

You didn't say how long that might be?

Caravan might roll up tomorrow or a month from tomorrow.

Can't we have cavalry escort now?

There's only one cavalry troop at Fort Phil Kearney.

We haven't got the men to escort every contraption that comes along.

The rule is no escort for less than five wagons.

Every day I'm not in Virginia City it's costing me 500 dollars.

If you are riding into the fort why can't we come along with you.

We're the mail detail.

This wagon can't do 30 miles a day and we have to ride fast.

You could likely get through all right alone if you're a good shot.

You better take the long way round... Go back to Laramie, cut due north.

That would take a month longer. Well as he said, we're in a hurry.

Sergeant, who's commanding this detail?

I decide how fast we travel.

We can escort you as far as Fort Kearney.

Why that's...

That's acting like a perfect gentleman.

Cavalry men are well known for their gallantry.

We'll return the favor by giving a free show at the fort.

The Colonel will be glad for the diversion Ma'am.

If you're ready?

We're ready.

Think we'll get to the fort soon?

I'm in no hurry. Are you?

No, but Uncle Dan thinks that gold in Virginia City is melting away like butter.

It's not just that. I have to keep moving.

I got iron in my blood. If I sit still I rust.

Somebody's messing with the horses.

Come on.

Don't shoot Lieutenant.

You shouldn't have done that. You know the Colonel's orders.

Just a kid.

Just a scrawny little kid.

If anyone asks Sergeant it was a fox.

A fox was scaring the horses.

I shot and I missed.

Now let's get him out of sight.

Get your ropes!

I'll take the lines.

Dan and I would have just sat here. We wouldn't have known what to do.

Tricks of the trade.

How long have you been in the army?

Seven years off and on.

I was wounded in '63 and got a medical discharge.

I joined up again last year.

And got shipped out to this howling wilderness.

I asked for this assignment.

I got a taste for Indian fighting while I was out of the army.


Ever hear of Chivington?


He was a preacher who had a volunteer Indian fighting outfit.

I served with him for two solid years.

We really cleaned up that part of the country.

Chivington was quite a man.

We had a high time.

All ready Lieutenant.

Giddy up!

Hold it!


What do you make of that?

Indian sign of some sort.

Warning do you think?

We're too near the fort.

Looks like there's gonna be a little trouble.

Julie, it's awful nice of that young lieutenant to escort us.

You mean Rob? So it's Rob now, is it?

The lieutenant's crowding you. He thinks he is.



Stay with the wagon. Come on, Sergeant!

They never went down there.

Where'd those Sioux go?

I didn't see anybody.

How about you Beck?

You must have seen them. They made off behind those rocks.

Gully on the other side?

Sheer cliff. They couldn't have gone down there.

The Sioux are good horsemen. They can ride where you couldn't or I couldn't.

Is she Sioux?

No. She's Cheyenne.

Sure don't know your Indians, do you?

Let's get back to the wagon.

We'll push on. There's a doctor at the Fort.

Take it easy with that wagon.

That's a fool thing to do.

Likely kill that old man to bounce around with an arrow in him.

Rob, maybe he's right.

There's nothing we can do. You can take that arrow out.

That's a job for a doctor.

Go on. I'll ride behind.

We can manage from here.

The Colonel hired us as scouts. We'll ride along with you.

Is the Colonel expecting her?

I think so. She was with us when we were hired.

I doubt it'll go down with the men to have an Indian in the Fort.

That Sioux arrow should have got him.

No, I wouldn't want any Indian to kill that pretty soldier boy.

Oh, he's the one.

He's the guy Monahseetah spotted in Laramie.

He looks so young. She was just a kid when this happened.

She could be wrong. I know that.

That's why I'll wait until I'm sure.

After all these years, you still trying to track him down?

Wouldn't you be?

Come on. Let's beat it.

Mail detail approaching.

Open the gates.

Mail detail approaching.


Jim! I'd about given up on you. Hello Colonel.

Major, you know Jim Bridger.

Is that Jim Bridger?

My mean have done a good job here Jim, and a fast one.

What do you think of it? It's well placed Colonel.

We built this fort in 34 days.

Hurry up with the mail Parr.

We had a brush with the Indians. A man in the wagon was wounded.

How many Indian casualties? None. They all got away.

I want a full report. Go to my office. You too Sergeant.

Parr, Lt. Brown will help you sort the mail and distribute it.

Yes sir. Major, take care of the wounded man.

Right sir.

There's not much I can do Miss.

Doctor, please. I won't risk an operation.

If the doctor's brain was put in a jaybird, he'd fly backward.

Say, you THE Jim Bridger? That's right.

What's that Indian name I heard? "Techa" something?

Techahngpe. "The chump"?

No, "Techahngpe". That's Sioux for Tomahawk.

You must've been in this country quite a while I reckon.

I've been out here a while. Yeah, Jim says that when he first came west them hills was nothing but holes in the ground.

The Adjutant said you men can bunk in the Quartermaster Barracks.

He couldn't figure what to do about the squaw.

We'll wait here until he can figure.

She can't sleep in the barracks and the wives in the fort...

Mr. Bridger?

The Colonel says you should report to the office.

They kept hidden until we were nearly past.

They made a fast attack and ran. There was no provocation.

I left Red Cloud's village four days ago.

He said they wouldn't fight unless they were pushed.

And an Indian's word is Gospel?

In fact Indians don't lie. It's part of their religion.

Lieutenant, were you with that wagon all the way from Laramie?

All the way from the outpost.

And nothing happened? To the wagon? No sir.

And no other incident was reported to us.

And you Sergeant, hear anything? Not a thing.

What about it Jim?

Let the Lieutenant have it his way. They attack out of pure cussedness.

Let's have it now. Let's have the whole story.

Don't lie. I can read your face as plane as that buffalo skull.

Those Indians had a reason for making that attack.

Something happened on the road, something Dancy didn't tell.

I got to serve under Lt. Dancy. If I make him out a liar...

The Colonel will nail your hide unless you spit it out now.

Let's have it.

Dancy killed a Sioux.

One of the horses whinnied and we went to have a look see.

Two Indian kids were trying to steal the horses.

Dancy went and shot one.

I told him he hadn't ought to.

It was just two puny, scared, little kids.

What are you telling the Colonel?


Lights been flashing out there all last night.

Never seen them before. Now smoke signals.

The Sioux are having a conversation. They're calling in the hunters.

Maybe you'll get an invitation.

Misery loves company?

Or maybe you'd rather be alone?

No, you're very welcome company.

What's your misery? The old fellow? How you call him? Dan?

I imagine he'll be all right. He'll pull through.

The doctor says Dan's going to die.

He won't operate. He says the arrow is too close to his heart.

That doctor...

He could be wrong. You said you could take it out.

I had before. I said he shouldn't be left the way he is now.

Would you?

Do you think the old fellow is game?

I can't promise anything. But you'll try.

I'll try.

I won't be responsible.

Dan's willing.

As long as I can't stop you.

Drink as much of this as you can.

I never turn down a free one.

When we get this over with I'll have one with you.

Hold on Dan.

That's it.

Nothing to do now but wait until the shock wears off.

Don't worry. He's tough. He'll make it.

Hold it!

Williams, James! Here.

William, John... Morning assembly.

Come on, maybe we can get some coffee in the mess hall.

You're a strange man. The things you know!

Like what you did for Dan. You were better than any doctor.

You don't have to live wild like you do.

You could be a big man.

I have my idea of bigness.

Then why do I somehow feel sorry for you?

You shouldn't. I live the way I like to live.

But you miss so much.

For every way of living something has to be given up.

What do you give up?

Crazy notions like...

Miss. Yes?

There's something you could do that I'd take as a favor?


It's for Monahseetah. She's just a kid and she's scared.

I'll be away scouting. Would you look after her for me?

Well, Dan and I are leaving as soon as he's able.

That'll be weeks.

But don't you see... Yes. I think I do.

I'm sorry Miss Madden.


Has he been bothering you?

No, not really.

They say he cut the arrow out of Dan.

He saved Dan's life.

If he lives he can thank his own toughness, not Bridger.

Has that sqaw man been asking any questions about me?

No. Why should he? What do you mean, sqaw man?

Why a man who marries a sqaw.

Is she...

Is she his wife?

I doubt if any preacher mumbled over them.

The Colonel is worse than innocent to bring him here to the fort.

Bridger is a spy for Red Cloud.

No. He saw where the Sioux went.

He lied to save their skins.

Any trouble we have with Indians from here on out I'll bet a month's pay can be traced right back to Bridger.

Jim, over here.

Jim. Colonel.

Someday I'll get it through my head you always get back.

Beck get in alright? Rode in three days ago.

He scouted as far south as Red Fork.

I'll finish with Dan here and I'll be right with you.

How do you feel Dan? Fit as a fiddle.

Alright? Fine.

Dan, the show would be good for the men. It'd cheer them up and make them forget their worries at least for an hour.

That's if you make it good and lively.

We'll do our best, of course I can't do my juggling yet but I'll figure out something else to do and Julie's singing here will liven things up plenty.

I'm sure it will. Is that alright with you Miss?

Oh yes. That'll be fine. Good.

I'll tell them at assembly.

Jim, you cover a lot of country? I got as far as Montana.

A lot of them, an awful lot, camped along the Big Horn.

Winter is months off and they're already storing away meat.

Those young braves seem to be getting kind of impatient.

It doesn't look very good.

Dancy claims you load the reports to scare us.

What do you think?

You can't make me think it's any worse than I know it is.

Every day there's another incident.

While you were gone we lost three more troopers.

Trail wagon escort.

They sending reinforcements up from Laramie?

They haven't answered. They did close the road to settlers.

That's good. Last week I sent another request.

If they can't send men I asked for ammunition and rifles.

Mail detail's due now.

Hold it!


Open up! It's Hanna.

Where's the Colonel? In his quarters.

The other men sacrificed themselves so Hanna could bring us the mail.

Including the latest answer from Commissioner Davis.

"Our informants"...

"have convinced us that you exaggerate your situation.

Additional forces are unnecessary at Fort Kearney.

However we have dispatched some of the equipment you requested.

Signed: Russel E. Davis Commissioner for Indian Affairs."

Three men died to bring me that.

At least we're getting equipment. Let's hope it's rifles and powder.

It could be a new mowing machine for the parade ground lawn.

I'd like to speak my piece again.

Davis is right. We don't need reinforcements considering the caliber of our men. They're all seasoned veterans.

One Cavalry troop, a handful against 4000 Sioux.

The only answer to these Indian outrages is an immediate campaign.

I agree with Capt. Fetterman sir.

Send out every man we can spare, surprise the Sioux in his camp...

What's so funny?

I imagine he's laughing at the idea of surprising the Sioux camp.

That camp stretches more than 20 miles along the Big Horn River.

We've only your word for that.

Your own experience should tell you that I'm right Lieutenant.

You've done a little Indian fighting, haven't you?

Weren't you in that Colorado campaign in '64?

In 1864 I was in a Military Hospital in Washington.

Let's have your advice Jim? I don't know.

Prayer and those chuckleheads like Davis find out this fort has no business being here and maybe you'll be ordered out in time.

Shouldn't somebody ride down and hurry that equipment?

If it is on the road.

Otherwise they'll take their own sweet time.

Jim? I'll go if you want me to.

And pay your friend Red Cloud a visit?


It was my idea Lieutenant.

Jim's friendly with the Indians. He's sure to get through.

Maybe I ought to go instead. You seem anxious to volunteer.

Meaning I might pay a visit to Red Cloud?

Could be.

But that's a gamble.

Less of a gamble to send a soldier down the road.

But that's up to you Colonel.

I'll take a chance on you Beckworth. I'll come back to it later.

Dan, you think you're fit enough to travel?

I am but the Colonel won't let us leave before it's safe.

I'm sick of this fort.

The Lieutenant getting hard to handle?

Rob Dancy? Or is that Jim Bridger?

You don't think I'm so blind I don't know what ails you?

What ails me? The way you've been banging around.

There's no special reason.

Yes there is honey. A man's got you surrounded.

Only he's a man who can't be harnessed to your kind of life, who won't go near the big, bright cities.

That isn't what's wrong Dan.

Even if it breaks your heart I'd rather Bridger than that Lieutenant.

That isn't what ails me.

Only I never could say I'm sorry.

How does a girl go about saying she's sorry!

If she's really sorry, it'll get said.

I'm going out for a while.

Out where? Riding.

They won't let you ride outside the fort.


Come here dear.

I want you to go the Commissary.

Bring this food from the store.

Do you understand?


Bring food from store.

That's right.

I'd never have the patience to teach her English.

And I'd never feel safe.

I bless the Christian impulse I had to take her in to my home.

She's really a very sweet girl.

I only wish someone could adopt her and see to her schooling.

But isn't she that Mr. Bridger's squaw?

Or... wife I guess I should say.

Rubbish, she's no such thing.

You ain't aiming to ride outside? No, just around the parade ground.

Shouldn't you wait until night?

Dark don't mean nothing to Sioux. Even the kids are half bloodhound.

Besides I can make 20 miles by night.

If they sent those breech loaders, every hour counts.

Goodbye Colonel. Goodbye.

Beck. What?

If you're not back tomorrow I'll be out looking for you.

You know Jim, I haven't looked at a calendar in months, but I got a feeling tomorrow'll be an awful day.

Jim, what is it between you and Lt. Dancy?

You went after him like a mink going after a chicken.

I can't say that I care for him.

I think it goes deeper than that.

You were gonna turn down the job until you saw Dancy.

Alright Jim, I won't press you.

It's your business as long as there's no trouble on the post but there are a few questions I don't dare let die.

In the case of a showdown, which side are you on?

You mean yours or Red Cloud's?

I mean your country's or it's enemy's?

This is Red Cloud's country and yours and mine.

It takes facts to make a word like enemy real.

Too late to argue that. Too late for you, but not for me.

I've tried to do the job you hired me to do and...

I'm a fight. If it comes, you can't be on both sides.

I'll cross that bridge when I have to.

I'll promise you one thing though when I decide you'll be the first to know.

Present sabers!

Let's go after them sir. We're all saddled up.

Don't be a fool. That's what they want. It's an ambush.

Open up!

Don't open that gate. Nobody's to leave the fort.

Get that man to the hospital.

Alright. Detail dismissed!

Open up!

Nobody is to leave the post. Open up. I'm not in this army.

But the Colonel's orders... Get that gate open!

Get off! Get off and hurry up!

Let's hope they track that horse and not us.

Come on, get down in here and keep quiet.

If we shake those Sioux we can start hiking.

If we're lucky enough to shake them.

We'll wait here a while.

I'm very grateful to you for... Forget it.

I owe you a lot. You saved Dan and mine.

I said forget it.

Don't you know this is no country to go pleasure riding in?

This isn't like your big cities. A lot of trouble because of you.

Because I had to kill that young brave.

Not knowing what side you're on must make things complicated.

In fact it does.

Anyway it's Monahseetah that saved your life.

She saw you riding out like a fool and saw the war party riding the same way and told me.

Then please thank your wife for me.

My what?

Your wife. What do you call her? Monahseetah.

She's not my wife.

But I was told that she... You talk to the wrong people.

There's some at the fort that could have told you different.

I imagine the people you talk to call me a sqaw man, don't they?

Yes. I am a sqaw man.

My wife is dead.

I'll tell you a story to help you pass the time.

There was a Cheyenne Chief, Black Kettle, a great chief.

A few years back he signed a treaty with the American government.

He put an American flag on his tipi to show he meant to keep it and the US government kept it.

Then four years ago, a bunch of drifting, no good scum god up what they called the Colorado volunteers.

They were very brave, big heroes.

They were gonna make the West safe for the white man.

Their leader was a sanctimonious, blood-thirsty, so-called preacher named Chivington.

I've heard of him somewhere.

The only good thing you could have heard is that he's dead.

Well this...

Chivington and his volunteers rode out to Black Kettle's village early one morning, and had themselves a little fun.

More than 200 of them charged down on a sleeping Indian village.

They rousted the people out and then they shot and hacked and killed until they'd had enough fun.

Men, women, old people and kids.

Monahseetah was Black Kettle's youngest daughter.

She saw her mother and father shot, her sister cut down with a saber along with a baby she was holding.

Her sister's name was Nantah, and Nantah was my wife.

And the...

The baby was my son.

I was away trapping.

When I came home I buried them and then I started hunting the butcher who did it.

I'm sorry.

You're sorry the way you'd be if I told you my pet dog was killed, for me but not for her.

She was only an Indian.

Come on.

Let's start hiking.

It's Bridger and Miss Madden.

Miss Madden's horse came back hours ago.

Then those drums started up.

The Colonel was going to send out a scouting party at daybreak.

Maybe there's no use in my saying so but I'm not like you think I am.

Don't bother yourself over what I think.

You're as blind in your way as the others are in theirs.


Julie, we were heartsick.

I was worried about you Jim. What about those drums?

That Sioux war party caught up with Miss Madden.

I tried to get her without a fight but I had to kill one of them.

I killed Lone Elk. He was Red Cloud's favorite son.

My leave starts in ten days so I might ride with you to Virginia City.

Looks more like you'll spend your leave here in the fort.

We'll have our show down with Red Cloud before the week's out.

It'll be over as soon as it starts, now that Bridger lit the fuse.

The Colonel is not happy about it.

Carrington's been ducking a fight ever since we got out here.

He's a good officer but too squeamish for an Indian campaign.

They're asking for it.

He's up against the Indians. He's too old to learn new tricks.

Like you learned from Chivington?

I thought all my chatter had gone in one of your lovely ears and right out the other.

Julie, what's the matter? I'm tired.

I'll see you to the wagon. No, don't!

Don't you touch me.

I'm sorry.

You better go to bed.

You took an awful sudden fancy for sewing Julie?

It keeps me from hearing those drums.

How long have they been going now?

About four days I reckon.

It didn't get said, did it? What?

You asked me how a girl says she's sorry.

No, it didn't get said.

And now there's something else I can't say.

You want to tell me?

I know what you'd tell me because you're a man.

But this is something that might cause a killing.

Well, then talk to a woman.

Where are you going? To fetch firewood from the pinery.

I thought nobody was supposed to go outside the fort.

We got to have firewood. We got to cook.




I wish I could tell you.

I wish you could understand.

Listen, do you know "thank you"?

Jim, your Jim, told me and I thank you.


Thank you.

It's lovely to hear you laughing. You're so pretty Monahseetah!

I wish the pin was prettier.

I didn't know Monahseetah was learning English.

She's learning wonderfully fast.

Did you ever notice trouble seems to make us women forget differences?

With men it seems to turn them into snapping dogs.

I haven't seen my wife in a year.

It'll be doomsday before any of us see our folks.

What's the Colonel waiting for?

Bridger claims we haven't got a chance outside the fort.

He wants us penned up here where Red Cloud can push us over.

I wish they'd attack! I want to see some action.

Anything new from our Indian friends Mr. Bridger?

Nope. Nothing new.

When you don't see Indians, that's when you have to watch out.

There's a lot of truth to that old saying.

I say you have to watch out more when they got spies sneaking around.

What's that supposed to mean? That you shouldn't snoop around.

And your friend Beckworth.

Funny how the drums began the day he left.

And he ain't been heard of since.

Listen! They've stopped!

What does that mean?

Rifle fire.

That wood detail's in trouble.

May I go? It may be my last chance for action before my leave.

Go ahead. This may be a trap.

They should go and come straight back, and not over that ridge.

Nobody over that ridge Captain, that's an order.

Yes sir.

Jim, I have to tell you something. You have a right to know.

It's no proof but when you told me about Chivington, I knew I'd heard his name before.

Later I remembered.

Traveling from Laramie, Dancy said he'd served in his volunteers.

You sorry now you warned them?

No, there are other men out there besides Dancy.

Looks like Hanna bringing the good news.

We figured the Colonel was sending help.

We held off about ten charges then they sort of skedaddled up the hill.

How many? About 20.

We got two of them and not one of us was even nicked.

Look Captain.

Let's take a crack at those up there.

I want to get one scalp Sitting ducks Captain.

You've been in the Army long enough to follow orders.

Wait Captain.

If we take care of them Carrington couldn't bring charges against us.

The way they feel in Laramie we'd get a promotion.

It's the oldest rule in the Army.

Don't disobey orders when you can't win, But when you can't lose!


I'd have bet my life on Fetterman.

I wouldn't have bet mine on Dancy.

Sitting ducks.




Jim! Jim!

Laramie didn't send equipment. Three wagons full.

They sent the breech loading rifles too.

Now? Now they send the ammunition.

Well their wagons will be useful to carry back our dead.

Get a stretcher.

Colonel sir...

Son, why did Fetterman countermand my order?

Is the Captain dead? Everyone but you.

It was Lt. Dancy sir.

He ragged the Captain. He wouldn't take no.

He said they'd get promoted.

Dancy got away.

He threw away five men to give himself that one chance.

Which way? Which way?

Up through those hills.

Chivington said I should kill that sqaw.

I had to follow orders.


He told me she was the one you married.

Get up! Get up!

What happened to Dancy? A kid got him.

A little Indian kid.

Only one? There'll be more.

You better get ready.

Keep the ammunition wagons here and the others back to the fort.

Sergeant. Dismount!

Distribute the rifles, behind the wagons.

Yes sir. Dismount men! Get those rifles!

What are they singing? Death chant.

They always sing that just before they start a ruckus.

What are they waiting for Jim? Red Cloud.

Waiting for him to give the orders.

It's a pity. These new breechloaders will wipe him out he hasn't got a chance. What do you think he'll do?

How will he attack?

Probably come at you in waves.

He'll try to draw a volley with the first and keep hitting you, before you get a chance to reload.

He doesn't know with these breech loaders reload three times as fast.

Thanks Jim.

At my command fire by volley and reload as fast as possible.

It's Red Cloud.

That means back to earth. They'll fight till they die.

Get ready.






Well, it's finished.

Red Cloud's coming down to pick up his dead.

You had him in your sights.

I know.

Red Cloud is a great man.

We'll need great men on both sides when this ruckus is over.

It's a mixed up business.

Red Clod wins his in Washington after we beat him on the field.

We didn't beat him. It was those breechloaders.

It was a mechanical thing. But he is getting a new treaty.

We're closing the road and giving up the fort.

Maybe you're right. Maybe this treaty will be kept.

For the sake of the Sioux Nation I hope so.

Victory for the Sioux and their great leader, Red Cloud.

The year, 1868.

Fort Kearney is abandoned and the US government signs a peace treaty.

The offiicial document reads:

"From this day forward all war between the parties shall forever cease.

The white man is leaving and the red man is left with a bitter memory of dead and wounded.

So now he moves to destroy that memory, to destroy the last remaining symbol of another world.

There will be dances, feasting and singing.

The sacred hunting ground has not yielded to the plow.

For another 30 years the sun will rise on the world of the Sioux the world of Red Cloud and Sitting Bull, the world of Jim Bridger, pioneer, hunter, scout, American."