Battle Of Little Big Horn (1235 words) Essay

Battle Of Little Big Hornbattle of little big horn
Five springs ago I, with many Sioux Indians, took down and packed up our
tipis and moved from Cheyenne river to the Rosebud river, where we
camped a few days; then took down and packed up our lodges and moved
to the Little Bighorn river and pitched our lodges with the large camp of
Sioux. The Sioux were camped on the Little Bighorn river as follows: The
lodges of the Uncpapas were pitched highest up the river under a bluff. The
Santee lodges were pitched next. The Oglala’s lodges were pitched next. The
Brule lodges were pitched next. The Minneconjou lodges were pitched next.

The Sans Arcs’ lodges were pitched next. The Blackfeet lodges were pitched
next. The Cheyenne lodges were pitched next. A few Arikara Indians were
among the Sioux (being without lodges of their own). Two-Kettles, among
the other Sioux (without lodges). I was a Sioux chief in the council lodge. My
lodge was pitched in the center of the camp. The day of the attack I and four
women were a short distance from the camp digging wild turnips. Suddenly
one of the women attracted my attention to a cloud of dust rising a short
distance from camp. I soon saw that the soldiers were charging the camp. To
the camp I and the women ran. When I arrived a person told me to hurry to
the council lodge. The soldiers charged so quickly we could not talk
(council). We came out of the council lodge and talked in all directions. The
Sioux mount horses, take guns, and go fight the soldiers. Women and
children mount horses and go, meaning to get out of the way. Among the
soldiers was an officer who rode a horse with four white feet. [This officer
was evidently Capt. French, Seventh Cavalry.] The Sioux have for a long
time fought many brave men of different people, but the Sioux say this officer
was the bravest man they had ever fought. I don’t know whether this was
Gen. Custer or not. Many of the Sioux men that I hear talking tell me it was. I
saw this officer in the fight many times, but did not see his body. It has been
told me that he was killed by a Santee Indian, who took his horse. This
officer wore a large-brimmed hat and a deerskin coat. This officer saved the
lives of many soldiers by turning his horse and covering the retreat. Sioux say
this officer was the bravest man they ever fought. I saw two officers looking
alike, both having long yellowish hair. Before the attack the Sioux were
camped on the Rosebud river. Sioux moved down a river running into the
Little Bighorn river, crossed the Little Bighorn river, and camped on its west
bank. This day [day of attack] a Sioux man started to go to Red Cloud
agency, but when he had gone a short distance from camp he saw a cloud of
dust rising and turned back and said he thought a herd of buffalo was coming
near the village. The day was hot. In a short time the soldiers charged the
camp. [This was Maj. Reno’s battalion of the Seventh Cavalry.] The soldiers
came on the trail made by the Sioux camp in moving, and crossed the Little
Bighorn river above where the Sioux crossed, and attacked the lodges of the
Uncpapas, farthest up the river. The women and children ran down the Little
Bighorn river a short distance into a ravine. The soldiers set fire to the lodges.

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All the Sioux now charged the soldiers and drove them in confusion across
the Little Bighorn river, which was very rapid, and several soldiers were
drowned in it. On a hill the soldiers stopped and the Sioux surrounded them.

A Sioux man came and said that a different party of Soldiers had all the
women and children prisoners. Like a whirlwind the word went around, and
the Sioux all heard it and left the soldiers on the hill and went quickly to save
the women and children. From the hill that the soldiers were on to the place
where the different soldiers [by this term Red-Horse always means the
battalion immediately commanded by General Custer, his mode of distinction
being that they were a different body from that first encountered] were seen
was level ground with the exception of a creek. Sioux thought the soldiers on
the hill [i.e., Reno’s battalion] would charge them in rear, but when they did
not the Sioux thought the soldiers on the hill were out of cartridges. As soon
as we had killed all the different soldiers the Sioux all went back to kill the
soldiers on the hill. All the Sioux watched around the hill on which were the
soldiers until a Sioux man came and said many walking soldiers were coming
near. The coming of the walking soldiers was the saving of the soldiers on the
hill. Sioux can not fight the walking soldiers [infantry], being afraid of them, so
the Sioux hurriedly left. The soldiers charged the Sioux camp about noon.

The soldiers were divided, one party charging right into the camp. After
driving these soldiers across the river, the Sioux charged the different soldiers
[i.e., Custer’s] below, and drive them in confusion; these soldiers became
foolish, many throwing away their guns and raising their hands, saying, Sioux,
pity us; take us prisoners. The Sioux did not take a single soldier prisoner,
but killed all of them; none were left alive for even a few minutes. These
different soldiers discharged their guns but little. I took a gun and two belts
off two dead soldiers; out of one belt two cartridges were gone, out of the
other five. The Sioux took the guns and cartridges off the dead soldiers and
went to the hill on which the soldiers were, surrounded and fought them with
the guns and cartridges of the dead soldiers. Had the soldiers not divided I
think they would have killed many Sioux. The different soldiers [i.e., Custer’s
battalion] that the Sioux killed made five brave stands. Once the Sioux
charged right in the midst of the different soldiers and scattered them all,
fighting among the soldiers hand to hand. One band of soldiers was in rear of
the Sioux. When this band of soldiers charged, the Sioux fell back, and the
Sioux and the soldiers stood facing each other. Then all the Sioux became
brave and charged the soldiers. The Sioux went but a short distance before
they separated and surrounded the soldiers. I could see the officers riding in
front of the soldiers and hear them shooting. Now the Sioux had many killed.

The soldiers killed 136 and wounded 160 Sioux. The Sioux killed all these
different soldiers in the ravine. The soldiers charged the Sioux camp farthest
up the river. A short time after the different soldiers charged the village
below. While the different soldiers and Sioux were fighting together the Sioux
chief said, Sioux men, go watch soldiers on the hill and prevent their joining
the different soldiers. The Sioux men took the clothing off the dead and
dressed themselves in it. Among the soldiers were white men who were not
soldiers. The Sioux dressed in the soldiers’ and white men’s clothing fought
the soldiers on the hill. The banks of the Little Bighorn river were high, and
the Sioux killed many of the soldiers while crossing. The soldiers on the hill
dug up the ground [i.e., made earth-works], and the soldiers and Sioux
fought at long range, sometimes the Sioux charging close up. The fight
continued at long range until a Sioux man saw the walking soldiers coming.

When the walking soldiers came near the Sioux became afraid and ran away.

American History


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