Hi Dietmar, I think this is the background of the above photograph:
In Nov 1889 Maj. William H. Powell wrote an article in United Services ("Soldier or Granger?" United Service 2 / Nov. 1889):
Powell argued „ ….[if] Indians could not be made into grangers, especially the young men ambitious for honors" and "the old men who have beenused to an entirely different mode of life … Why not, educate them to our ways by employing them in that which is the most acceptable to their instincts and tastes?—that is, make soldiers of them“.
In November 1890, with the Ghost Dance movement gaining momentum on South Dakota Reservations, the Indian Scout Program was further expanded.
And in January 1891 Capt. Jesse M. Lee (Ninth Infantry) was assigned to organize the Indian recruiting efforts in the Department of the Dakota.
War Department General Order No. 28 (March 1891) assigned five Indian companies to the Department of Dakota: 1. First Cavalry (Troop L) , was to be recruited from among the Crow Indians and stationed at Fort Custer 2. Eighth Cavalry (Troop L), would be formed from the Cheyennes ("Casey's Scouts") at Fort Keogh 3. Third Infantry (Company I), to be recruited among the Cheyenne River Sioux, was assigned to Fort Sully. But this Company did not develop as planned. Only eleven men could be enlisted. 4. Twentieth Infantry (Company I), would recruit Assiniboine and Sioux stationed at Camp Poplar 5. Twenty-second Infantry (Company I), would be filled with Sioux from the Standing Rock Rez
Maybe the photograph shows recruitment or enlistment talks at Fort Sully. In March 1891 Sitting Bull was dead for months and his followers, who fled Standing Rock, were at Pine Ridge. In the background of the photo we can see Army tents and it would be intersting to identify the Officer in the front row.
grahamew and Dietmar, yes I agree. The Photograph seems to show a Hunkpapa Group (your link to the Essay "Trust and Survival" is extreme helpfull in this matter - so, Forget my former post ).
Here, summarized the Events for those who have no Access to the Essay:
After Sitting Bull’s killing Hunkpapa families fled their Grand River camp. They were badly frightened and were fleeing for safety. On December 21, Indian Police and Agency Farmers stopped them at the Cheyenne River. 37 of them were brought to the Agency by the Farmers, the others were brought in by Lieut. Hale.
Army reports indicate “… Lieut. Hale …effected the surrender of 294 Indians, including 227 Uncapapa Sioux of Sitting Bull’s Band (81 men, 72 women, and 74 children), 69 Minniconjou Sioux belonging to the Cheyenne River Reservation, 148 ponies and 4 wagons.”
The night of December 22 the group camped at Dupree’s ranch and the next night at Cook’s Camp, twenty-three miles from Fort Bennett. Hale and the Indians, including Hump and his family, arrived at Fort Bennett on December 24.
Among them were tiyospaye elders Sleep, Medicine Man, Crow Indian, His Running, Old Bull, Standing Cloud, Pretty Bear, Old Crow, Kills the Enemy, Yellow Earring, In the Mouth and Afraid of the Hawk.
The Standing Rock Indians were transferred to Fort Sully on the 30th [December?] ultimo as military prisoners, by orders of the Department Commander, numbering 227—81 men, 43 boys, 72 women and 31 girls—148 ponies and 4 wagons, for which the commanding officer, Fort Sully receipted. They remained for five months and Lieutenant Hale was put in charge of the prisoners’ camp at Fort Sully.
By the time of their journey back to Standing Rock (May 1891), the number of Hunkpapa POWs would increase to 254. At least five children were born at Fort Sully according to a letter by May 16, 1891.
In a letter (May 13, 1891) to Commissioner of Indian affairs McLaughlin wrote: “Yesterday I sent transportation to Cheyenne Agency to bring to this Agency the 254 Standing Rock Indian prisoners now at Fort Sully and expect their return in about 10 days.”
But to be honest ... I do not see either Steps, American Horse or Grass in the Picture. But I think the Officer is indeed Lieutenant Hale (thanx grahamew ] I'm not sure if Steps lived with the Hunkpapa at that times. There are reports that he left Standing Rock and worked as a Farm Hand/ Horse Wrangler on a Farm near Faith (South Dakota).
Thanks Gregor and Grahame, that sounds all plausible.
The article mentions some names as being present at Fort Sully in 1891, that have been previously part of Sitting Bull´s band: Strikes the Kettle, Bull Ghost and Takes the Gun. The first two were wounded during Sitting Bull´s killing.
Another Burkholder image posted in the Little Crow thread: members of the Dakota YMCA in Fort Pierre, Dakota Territory, 1887. That's supposed to be Thomas Wakeman, Little Crow's son, seated in the centre.