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Sioux Guide Who Died In Massacre Honored After 120 Years

July 1, 1987

FORT LEAVENWORTH, Kan. (AP) _ A Sioux guide who died with U.S. Army troops during the Indian Wars 120 years ago was honored Wednesday for his service to the military.

Red Bead died in a massacre of an Army patrol in western Kansas. Since the 1880s, a marker over a mass grave honored 10 soldiers and an ″unknown civilian guide.″

Ron Stover, a television news photographer at KAKE-TV in Wichita, discovered Red Bead’s identity while conducting research earlier this year for a movie screenplay.

About 60 people, including a descendant of the Apache leader Geronimo, attended the ceremony at the National Cemetery at Fort Leavenworth, which featured a 21-gun salute and an Indian war dance.

″We are out here today to pay tribute and show our appreciation to an Indian scout who served his country well,″ said Col. John Fincher, Fort Leavenworth garrison commander.

Red Bead and the soldiers died on July 1, 1867, about 40 miles northeast of Goodland in what was known as Kidder’s Massacre. They were attacked by more than 100 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors as they searched for Gen. George Armstrong Custer and the 7th Cavalry.

The Army had hired Red Bead as a guide for a troop of 10 men led by Lt. Lyman S. Kidder at Fort Sedgwick, in northeastern Colorado. Kidder and his men were assigned to deliver dispatches to Custer, who was camped on the Republican River in southwestern Nebraska near the Kansas border.

Kidder and his men got lost because Custer had pulled up his camp before they arrived. All of them died during the massacre, an incident in the government’s campaign to drive the Indians from between the Platte and Arkansas rivers in the Midwest after the Civil War.

″From the records that have been kept, we are told they fought courageously,″ Stover said. ″Red Bead was a Sioux chief but still very friendly with the soldiers.″

Chief Glittering Rainbow, the great-grandson of Geronimo, accepted an American flag on behalf of the Mid American Indian Center in Wichita.

″It is for all Indians who have given their lives for this country,″ Truman Ware, the director of the center’s board, said of the ceremony. ″This flag will fly over the Mid American Indian Center until one of Red Bead’s relatives claims it.″

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