Tall Bull

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Tall Bull
Cheyenne: Hotóa'ôxháa'êstaestse
Chief of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers leader
Personal details
Born 1830
Died July 11, 1869
Cause of death Killed in the Battle of Summit Springs

Tall Bull (1830 - July 11, 1869) (Hotóa'ôxháa'êstaestse) was a chief of the Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. Of Cheyenne and Lakota parentage, like some of the other Dog Soldiers by that time, he identified as Cheyenne.[1]

He was shot and killed in the Battle of Summit Springs in Colorado by Major Frank North, leader of the Pawnee Scouts.[2][3]


Tall Bull was a major Southern Cheyenne Chief, war chief and Dog Soldier leader. In 1864, under his leadership he had approximately 500 people following him in the eastern Colorado and western Kansas and Nebraska area. He participated in the 1864-65 Arapaho-Cheyenne War, the retaliation that followed the Sand Creek massacre, but gave up the fight after seeing the futility of winning the war. In 1868, he participated in the Beecher Island battle. During the battle he warned Roman Nose not to go into battle until he fixed his broken medicine and to do it quickly so that he could join the fight. During 1869, Tall Bull was shot dead, during an ambush by Maj Frank North at a ravine near White Butte.

At a peace council in 1867 he argued that the whites and the soldiers should stop making war upon the Cheyenne by invading the Cheyenne land and instigating further calamities. Furthermore they should stop telling the Cheyenne that they should give up their land to have peace. Their Indian agent Edward Wynkoop tried bartering a peace with direct tones that were none too conciliatory. During one peace talk Tall Bull personally stopped the great Cheyenne warrior Roman Nose from killing Gen. Winfield Hancock.

Tall Bull was killed in the Battle of Summit Springs on 11 July 1869, not even a year had passed after the death of his fellow Dog Soldier leader the great Roman Nose. Also dead was Chief Black Kettle. The war societies were devastated due to the loss of leadership. The Cheyenne never recovered and were no longer a threat on the American Plains.[4]

Wolf song[edit]

One of his wolf songs survives:

My love, it is I who am singing. Do you hear me? [5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Hyde 1968, p. 339.
  2. ^ Hoig, Stan. The Peace Chiefs of the Cheyennes, p. 92
  3. ^ Cheyenne-English Dictionary, Chief Dull Knife College
  4. ^ L. Robert Pyle, "Cheyenne Chief Tall Bull", Wild West, April 2002 republished on HistoryNet.
  5. ^ Grinnell, George Bird (Apr–Jun 1903). "Notes on Some Cheyenne Songs". American Anthropologist. 5 New Series (2): 316. JSTOR 659056.