Red Cloud (b. 1822-d. December 10, 1909) leader of the Oglala Lakota, from 1868 to 1909. One of the most capable Native American opponents that the United States Army faced in its mission to subdue the western territories, he led a successful campaign in 1866–1868 known as Red Cloud's War over control of the Powder River Country in northeastern Wyoming and southern Montana. The largest action of the war, the Fetterman Fight (with 81 men killed on the US side), was the worst military defeat suffered by the US on the Great Plains until the Battle of the Little Bighorn ten years later.
After signing the Treaty of Fort Laramie (1868), Red Cloud led his people in the important transition to reservation life. Some of his US opponents mistakenly thought of him as overall leader of the Sioux (Dakota, Lakota, and Nakota) groups. The large tribe had several major divisions and was highly decentralized. Bands among the Oglala and other divisions operated independently, even though some individual leaders, such as Red Cloud, were renowned as warriors and highly respected as leaders.