Moxtaveto lost even more respect for signing the Little Arkansas Treaty of 1865 after the Sand Creek Massacre. It gave some land to Black Kettle and others, promised food and other survival necessities, promised that conflicts would be handled by taking Indians into custody rather than being murdered, "and that no white person, except officers, agents, and employees of the Government, shall go upon or settle within the country embraced within said limits, unless formerly admitted and incorporated into some one of the tribes lawfully residing there, according to its laws and usages."
The treaty then listed a few "exceptions" to those promises and rules, but the promises were not kept which would have possibly created the peace Black Kettle strove for. Since the promises of the Little Arkansas Treaty weren't kept, he was even more blamed and shunned for being too trusting. However, his separate encampment should be viewed as following his convictions for peace and wanting to be seen as being separate from the Dog Soldiers, I think. He never let popular opinion steer him away from acting on his vision.
Now we will discuss the deception that happened at Fort Cobb on November 20th, one week prior to Washita and Black Kettle's death, so we can further comprehend Custer's propaganda concerning "white hostages" in Moxtaveto's village at Washita.
Black Kettle and Big Mouth (Arapaho) met with Colonel William B. Hazen, seeking refuge and safety.
Colonel Hazen refused to give them the protection they sought.
He told them that the federal government had initiated a winter campaign to punish them for attacks against Kansas settlers. When the chiefs returned to their respective winter camps with the bad news, everyone was alarmed.
Hazen was also likely aware of their location,
Traditionally, while the location of friendly Indians was generally known, the location of hostile Indians was generally not known, for they, unlike friendly Indians, did not report their whereabouts to the government.
I consider it safe to assume that Hazen was also likely aware that preparations were being made to advance in the direction of Black Kettle's encampment, which he did not reveal. Whether or not he knew of Moxtaveto's camp location, military preparations were being made to advance towards Moxtaveto's camp location overall.
Even as Black Kettle and Big Mouth parlayed with General Hazen, the 7th Cavalry established a forward base of operations at Camp Supply, Indian Territory as part of Sheridan's winter campaign strategy.
And under these orders.
The Dust Rose Like Smoke: The Subjugation of The Zulu and the Sioux."By James Oliver Gump. P.80.
"To proceed south in the direction of the Antelope Hills, thence towards the Washita River, the supposed winter seat of the hostile tribes; to destroy the villages and ponies, to kill or hang all warriors, and bring back all women and children."
If Hazen, Custer, and Sheridan communicated thoroughly about all of this seems less relavent to me - than this:
Understanding Complexity: A Commemorative Volume of the World Congress of the Systems Sciences. By Gillian Ragsdell, Jennifer Wilby. p.286.
"I can't hear what you're saying, because your actions speak so loud!"
Ralf Waldo Emerson
If it wasn't coordinated that well in-so-far as communication went at that time, I feel safe in saying it was good luck to them. The deception worked well. Black Kettle and Big Mouth were to return to their known encampment locations and live the last week of their lives. They wouldn't have been aware of the orders to "kill or hang all warriors" (the War Department didn't discriminate between peaceful and "hostile Indians"); nor, that in the very instance they were denied protection at Fort Cobb, the Custer's 7th was making the preparations to "kill or hang" them both (and all warriors) at Camp Supply, getting ready to continue the campaign of extermination in their future direction. Custer's success and "victory" would be achieved in one week; however, his lie concerning white hostages in Black Kettle's village in a report after his "victory" would be unsuccessful (cliffhanger).
Perhaps Moxtaveto ("Black Kettle") at Washita: 11- 27, 1868 (Re-introduction) will make more sense now, and the story of reconciliation and forgiveness there will have more meaning. I sincerely hope that it does.
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