Chief Touch The Clouds was the leader of the Minneconjou, a band of the Sioux Indians. He lead the band from 1875 until his death in 1905. His reign lasted 30 years.
Touch The Clouds was the youngest son of the powerful Chief Lone Horn, who lead the Minneconjou. He was born sometime between 1837 and 1839. In 1875, Lone Horn died. Touch The Cloud’s brother, Spotted Elk, became leader of the Minneconjou. Touch The Cloud was given leadership of a war society, and he quickly proved his ability to fight competently and bravely in battle. Over time, he became an influential leader of the Minneconjou.
In 1876, the Minneconjou split. Touch The Clouds became the leader of his own band of Minneconjou and fled the Cheyenne River Agency due to the threat of the United States Army confiscating the Indians’ horses and weapons. Touch The Clouds and his band joined the hostiles, or Indians that opposed the United States Army and government. Eventually, the hostiles disbanded and Touch The Clouds and his band settled on the Little Missouri River. They left in early 1877 for the Spotted Tail Agency, where Touch The Clouds joined the Indian Scouts. In 1878, Touch The Clouds and his band of Minneconjou returned to the Cheyenne River Agency, where he remained for the rest of his life.
In 1890, Touch The Clouds’s brother, Spotted Elk, died in the Wounded Knee Massacre. 150 other Minneconjou men, women and children were also killed in this scuffle. Touch The Clouds was made the headman of the Minneconjou, as his brother had no children. His brother’s death enraged Touch The Clouds, and for the rest of his life he advocated the rights of the Sioux people. He travelled to towns near the Cheyenne River Agency and gave speeches about the rights Indians had to a good education and freedom.
Touch The Clouds died on September 5, 1905. His age at the time of his death is around 66 or 68 years old. Today, Touch The Clouds is remembered for his military prowess, his courage, and his competence as a negotiator and a diplomat.
Interesting Fact #1: Touch The Clouds gets his name from his height and strength. Some claim that he was seven feet tall, but he was probably around six foot five inches. He weighed 280 pounds.
Interesting Fact #2: Touch The Clouds was Crazy Horse’s first cousin. He was with Crazy Horse at the time of his death in 1877.
Interesting Fact #3: Touch The Clouds was married twice and had several children. His son Amos Charging First became headman of the Minneconjou after his death.