James Morrow Walsh was one of the original officers of the North-West Mounted Police. He was soon assigned as superintendent of a post in Cypress Hills, naming it Fort Walsh. It was here that he had his first chance encounter with Lakota led by Sitting Bull, narrowly avoiding bloodshed after the braves mistook a blue jacket he was wearing as the uniform of an American Army Officer. After Sitting Bull fled to Canada following the Battle of Little Bighorn, Walsh established a strong friendship with the powerful Sioux leader. Walsh's abundant charisma not only helped to win over Sitting Bull, but also the public. The media was fascinated by the man who was said to have 'tamed' the renowned Sioux chief, calling him 'Sitting Bull's Boss.' Of course in reality, Walsh was not simply his boss, but a friend who respected him.
In 1873, Prime Minister Sir John A. Macdonald called for the creation of a 300-member mounted force to police the North-West Territories. The lawlessness of the region resulted in all kinds of trouble. Alcohol sold to Native peoples by American whiskey traders was devastating their communities. In June, a tragic event occurred known as the Cypress Hills Massacre. The trouble began with a small group of American 'wolfers' who poisoned buffalo carcasses left by Indian hunters in order to harvest the fur from dead wolves and coyotes that ate the tainted meat. One day, when their horses went missing they mistakenly blamed a local Native settlement. Fuelled by alcohol, they murdered at least 23 men, women and children. Horrified by this event in particular, pressure was put on the Federal Government of Canada to act fast.
I've been busily researching daily for my upcoming historical novel on the life of Sam Steele. I read some when at home and listen to others on audio book when away. A great many notes have been taken. There are twelve primary books collected for my research, five I've already read and two I am reading now. They include: