Colonel Ranald S. Mackenzie and his Fourth Cavalry were transferred to the Department of the Platte following the defeat at the Little Bighorn. Stationed initially at Camp Robinson, they formed the core of the Powder River Expedition that departed in October 1876 to locate the northern villages. On November 25, 1876, his column discovered and defeated a village of Northern Cheyenne in the Dull Knife Fight in Wyoming Territory. With their lodges and supplies destroyed and their horses confiscated, the Northern Cheyenne soon surrendered. They hoped to be allowed to remain with the Sioux in the north. They were pressured to relocate to the reservation of the Southern Cheyenne in Indian Territory. After a difficult council, they agreed to go.
When they arrived at the reservation in present-day Oklahoma, conditions were very difficult: inadequate rations, no buffalo left alive near the reservation, and malaria. A portion of the Northern Cheyenne, led by Little Wolf and Dull Knife, attempted to return to the north in the fall of 1877 in the Northern Cheyenne Exodus. They succeeded in reaching the north. After they divided into two bands, that led by Dull Knife was captured and imprisoned in an unheated barracks at Fort Robinson without food or water. When the Cheyenne escaped on January 9, 1878, many died at US Army hands in the subsequent Fort Robinson massacre. Eventually the US government granted the Northern Cheyenne a northern reservation, the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in present-day southern Montana.
Read more about this topic: Great Sioux War Of 1876–77
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