Depicted in the film, Confederate Gen. Stand Watie (1806-71) was a Cherokee leader who fought for the Confederacy during the Civil War and commanded two regiments of the Cherokee Mounted Rifles. On 10 May 1864 he became the first Native American to be promoted to the rank of Brigadier General.
In 1865 Red Cloud (1822-1909), chief of the Bad Face band of the Oglalas and leader of Sioux and Cheyenne bands, attacked U.S. forces in an attempt to stop the flow of settlers. Between 1865-67 Red Cloud and his braves killed Army construction troops on the Bozeman Trail and destroyed many white settlements. However, in 1868, he agreed to have his people settled on the Red Cloud Agency in Nebraska.