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Bravehorses Warriors PART TWO
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Gall (Sioux)
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Evans (Cherokee) (MOH) (KIA)
Deserontyon (Mohawk)
Tatankanajin (Dakota)
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Peguis (Ojibwa)
Kamdyistowesit (Cree)
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Payipwat (Cree)
Kupeyakwuskonam (Cree)
Pastedechouan (Montagnais)
Karaghtadie (Mohawk)
Paskwuw (Cree)
Kayahsotaa (Seneca)
Papwes (Cree)

Adjunct Professor

Lakota Warrior
Killed in Action

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Chief Crazy Horse

(1840 –1877)
Warriors Citation

Crazy Horse (Lakota: Thašųka Witko, literally "his-is-crazy") was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who fought against the U.S. federal government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. The available evidence suggests that Crazy Horse was born in the fall of 1840. According to He Dog, a close friend, he and Crazy Horse "were both born in the same year and at the same season of the year", which census records and other interviews place at about 1840. Chips, an Oglala medicine man and spiritual adviser to the Oglala war leader, reported that Crazy Horse was born in the fall "in the year in which the band to which he belonged, the Oglala, stole One Hundred Horses, and in the fall of the year", a reference to the annual Lakota calendar or winter count. Among the Oglala wintercounts, the stealing of one hundred horses is noted by Cloud Shield, and possibly by American Horse and Red Horse owner, equivalent to the year 1840-41. Oral history accounts from relatives on the Cheyenne River Reservation place his birth in the spring of 1840. Probably the most credible source, however, is Crazy Horse's own father. On the evening of his son's death, the elderly man told Lieutenant H. R. Lemly that his son "would soon have been thirty-seven, having been born on the South Cheyenne River in the fall of 1840." Crazy Horse was born with the name 'In The Wilderness' or 'Among the Trees' (in Lakota the name is phonetically pronounced as Cha-O-Ha) meaning he was one with nature. His nickname was Curly. He had the same light curly hair of his mother. Crazy Horse's father, a Lakota who was also named Crazy Horse (born 1810), passed the name to his son, taking the new name of Worm for himself thereafter. The mother of the younger Crazy Horse was Rattling Blanket Woman (born 1814), a Lakota as well. Rattling Blanket Woman was the daughter of Black Buffalo and White Cow (also known as Iron Cane). Black Buffalo is the one who stopped Lewis and Clark on the Bad River. She was the younger sister of One Horn (born 1794) and Lone Horn (born between 1790 and 1795, and died in 1875). She also had an older sister named Good Looking Woman (born 1810) and a younger sister named Looks At It (born 1815), later given the name They Are Afraid of Her. Looks At It had a much bigger build than her two older sisters. She got her second name because she had married a man named Stands Up For Him. They had a child and when the child died of a disease, he tried to take her south away from her family. A fight ensued. She defeated him and thus the name They Are Afraid Of Her was bestowed on her. Rattling Blanket Woman also had another older half-brother named Hump who was born in 1811. Hump's mother was Good Voice Woman and Black Buffalo's second wife. Hump and Waglula became best friends. When Waglula began to court Hump's half sister, he presented three horses to the family head Lone Horn (the older sibling One Horn had died earlier after being gored by a buffalo, making Lone Horn the oldest male and head man of the family. Their father, Black Buffalo, had died in about 1820 near Devil's Tower (Lakota called it Grey Horn Butte) of sickness. In return for the three horses he hoped he could take Rattling Blanket Woman as his wife as was the custom. But the family's women wanted eight horses, and so Hump volunteered to go on a raiding party with Waglula to obtain more horses; they brought back 16 horses, four loaded with meat they had captured from a Crow hunting party and presented it to the family. In 1844 Waglula (Worm) went on a buffalo hunt. He came across a Lakota village under attack by Crow warriors. He led his small contingent in and rescued the village. Corn who was the head man of the village (the famed painter, George Catlin painted his picture while visiting the tribe in 1832 entitled "Corn, Miniconjou Warrior") had lost his wife in the raid. In gratitude he gave Waglula his two eldest daughters Iron Between Horns (age 18) and Kills Enemy (age 17) as wives. Corn's youngest daughter, Red Leggins, who was 15 at the time requested to go with her sisters and all would become Waglula's wives. When he got back to his village and his wife, Rattling Blanket Woman, found out about his new wives she became distraught. She and Waglula had been attempting to conceive another child, but had failed. The arrival of the new wives made her think she had lost favor with Waglula because she could not get pregnant. At the time they were camped along the White River. Without discussing it with Waglula she went out and hung herself from a cottonwood tree. Waglula mourned her death for four years and was celibate during that time. Upon hearing what had happened to her sister, Good Looking Woman, who also found she could not conceive, left her husband and came to Waglula to offer herself as a replacement wife for her sister. Waglula turned her down as a wife, but relented in allowing her to raise her sister's son, Crazy Horse. Later, Crazy Horse's other aunt They Are Afraid of Her helped in the raising of Crazy Horse. She helped teach him to hunt and take care of himself.
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Crazy Horse lived in the Lakota camp with his younger brother, High Horse (son of Iron Between Horns and Waglula) and his cousin who he grew up with, Little Hawk (Little Hawk was actually the nephew of his maternal step grandfather, Corn), when it was attacked by Lt. Grattan and 28 other troopers during the Grattan massacre. After witnessing the death of Lakota leader Conquering Bear, Crazy Horse began to get trance visions. His father Waglula (Worm) took him to what today is Sylvan Lake where they both sat to hemblecha (vision quest). A red-tailed hawk led them to their respective spots in the hills as the trees are tall in the Black Hills and they could not always see where they were going. Crazy Horse sat in between two humps that were at the top of a hill just a bit north and to the east of the lake. Waglula sat just a little south of Harney Peak but north of his son. Crazy Horse's vision first took him to the South where in Lakota spirituality you go when you die. He was brought back and was taken to the west in the direction of the wakiyans or thunder beings and was given a medicine bundle which contained medicines that would protect him for life. One of his animal protectors would be the white owl, which according to Lakota spirituality would give extended life. He was also shown his face paint, which consisted of a yellow lightning strike down the left side of his face and white powder he would wet and with three fingers put marks over his vulnerable areas that when they dried resembled hail stones. His face paint was similar to his father's except his father used a red lightning strike down the right side of his face and three red hailstones on his forehead. Crazy Horse wore a yellow lightning strike down the left side of his face but put no make up on his forehead and did not wear a war bonnet. He was also given a sacred song that is still sung today and told he would be a protector of his people. Crazy Horse also received a black stone from a medicine man named Horn Chips to protect his horse, a black and white paint he had named 'Inyan' meaning rock or stone. He placed the stone behind the horse's ear so that the medicine he received from his vision-quest and the medicine that Horn Chips had given him would combine to make his horse and himself to be as one in battle.
Title of Shirt Wearer
Through the late 1850s and early 1860s, Crazy Horse's reputation as a warrior grew, as did his fame among the Lakota. Little written record exists because the Lakota were oral historians and had no written language. His first kill was an enemy of the Lakota, a Shoshone raider who had killed a Lakota woman washing buffalo meat along the Powder River,. He was in many battles between the Lakota and their enemies, the Crow, Shoshone, Pawnee, Blackfeet, and Arikara among others. In 1864 after the Sand Creek Massacre of the Cheyenne in Colorado, the Lakota joined forces with the Cheyenne against the military. Crazy Horse was present at the Battle of Red Buttes and the Platte River Bridge Station Battle in 1865. Because of his fighting ability, Crazy Horse was installed as an Ogle Tanka Un (Shirt Wearer or war leader) in 1865. On December 21, 1866, Crazy Horse and six other warriors, both Lakota and Cheyenne, decoyed Lt. William Fetterman's 53 infantry men and 27 cavalry troopers under Lt Grummond from the safe confines of Fort Phil Kearny on the Bozeman Trail into an ambush. Crazy Horse personally led Fetterman's infantry up what Wyoming locals call Massacre Hill while Grummond's cavalry followed the other six decoys along Peno Head Ridge and down towards Peno Creek where some Cheyenne women were taunting the soldiers. At that moment, the Cheyenne leader Little Wolf's and his warriors closed the return route to the fort. They had been hiding on the opposite side of Peno Head Ridge. Meanwhile, the Lakota warriors came over Massacre Hill and attacked the infantry. There were additional Cheyenne and Lakota hiding in the buckbrush along Peno Creek behind the taunting women, effectively surrounding the soldiers. Seeing they were surrounded, Grummond headed back to Fetterman to try to repel them in numbers --they were wiped out. The warrior contingent was comprised of nearly 1,000 warriors. In present day history books it is known as Red Cloud's War however Red Cloud was not present that day. The ambush was the worst Army defeat on the Great Plains at the time. On August 2, 1867 Crazy Horse participated in the Wagon Box Fight near Fort Phil Kearny. He captured one of the army's new Second Allin breech-loading rifles from one of the soldiers on the wood cutting crew. However, most of the soldiers made it to a circle of wagon boxes that had no wheels and used them for cover as they fired at the Lakota. The Lakota took horrific losses in the fight as the new rifles could fire ten times a minute compared to the old muskets in prior battles at a rate of only three times a minute. The Lakota would charge after the soldiers fired, expecting them to still be using the muskets that took about 20 seconds to reload. But instead it took only about six seconds to reload the new rifles. The Lakota casualties numbered around 200 that day. Many are still buried in the hills that surround Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming. In the fall of 1867, Crazy Horse invited Black Buffalo Woman to accompany him on a buffalo hunt in the Slim Buttes area in what is now the northwestern corner of South Dakota. She was the wife of No Water. No Water had a reputation among the tribe at the time as someone who spent a lot of time near military installations drinking alcohol.[5] It was Lakota custom to allow a woman to divorce her husband at any time. She did so by moving in with relatives or with another man, or by placing the husband's belongings outside their lodge. Although some compensation might be required to smooth over hurt feelings, the rejected husband was expected to accept his wife's decision for the good of the tribe. No Water was away from camp when Crazy Horse and Black Buffalo Woman took off on their trip. No Water tracked down Crazy Horse and Black Buffalo Woman in the Slim Buttes area. When he found them in a tipi, he called Crazy Horse's name from outside the tipi. When Crazy Horse answered, No Water stuck a pistol into the tipi and aimed for Crazy Horse's heart. Touch the Cloud, Crazy Horse's first cousin and son of Lone Horn, was sitting in the tipi nearest to the entry and knocked the pistol upward as it fired, causing the bullet to hit Crazy Horse in the upper jaw. No Water took off with Crazy Horse's relatives in hot pursuit. No Water ran his horse until it died and continued on foot until he reached the safety of his own village. Several elders convinced Crazy Horse and No Water that no more blood should be shed and as compensation for the shooting, No Water gave Crazy Horse three horses. The elders also sent Black Shawl, a relative of Spotted Tail, to help heal Crazy Horse. When he saw that she cared for him he decided to make her his wife. She bore him a daughter, named They Are Afraid of Her, after his maternal aunt, in late summer of 1872. His daughter later died at the age of two in 1874. Because of the incident, Crazy Horse was stripped of his title as Shirt Wearer (leader). At about the same time, Little Hawk was killed by a group of miners in the Black Hills while escorting some women to the new agency created by the Treaty of 1868. On August 14, 1872, Crazy Horse, along with Sitting Bull took part in the first attack by the Lakota on troops escorting a Northern Pacific Railroad survey crew. The Battle of Arrow Creek ended with minimal casualties on either side.
Great Sioux War of 1876-77
On June 17, 1876, Crazy Horse led a combined group of approximately 1,500 Lakota and Cheyenne in a surprise attack against Brig. Gen. George Crook's force of 1,000 cavalry and infantry and 300 Crow and Shoshone warriors in the Battle of the Rosebud. The battle, although not substantial in terms of human loss, delayed Crook from joining up with the 7th Cavalry under George A. Custer, ensuring Custer’s subsequent defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. At 3:00 p.m. on June 25, 1876, Custer's 7th Cavalry attacked the Lakota and Cheyenne village, marking the beginning of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Crazy Horse's exact actions during the battle are unknown. Possibly Crazy Horse entered the battle by repelling the first attack led by Maj. Marcus Reno, but it is also possible that he was still in his lodge waiting for the larger battle with Custer. Hunkpapa Warriors led by Chief Gall led the main body of the attack, and once again Crazy Horse's role in the battle remains ambiguous. Some historians think that Crazy Horse led a flanking assault, assuring the death of Custer and his men, the only fact that can be proven is that Crazy Horse was a major participant in the battle. In September 10, 1876 Captain Anson Mills and two battalions of the Third Cavalry captured a Minicoujou village of 36 lodges in the Battle of Slim Buttes, SD. Crazy Horse and his followers attempted to rescue the camp and its headman, (Old Man) American Horse. He was unsuccessful and American Horse and nearly his entire family were killed by the soldiers after holing up in a cave for several hours. On January 8, 1877, his warriors fought their last major battle, the Battle of Wolf Mountain, with the United States Cavalry in the Montana Territory. On May 5 of that year, knowing that his people were weakened by cold and hunger, Crazy Horse surrendered to United States troops at Camp Robinson in Nebraska.
Surrender and Death
Crazy Horse and other northern Oglala leaders arrived at the Red Cloud Agency, located near Camp Robinson, Nebraska, on May 5, 1877. Together with He Dog, Little Big Man, Iron Crow and others, they met in a solemn ceremony with First Lieutenant William P. Clark as the first step in their formal surrender. For the next four months, Crazy Horse resided in his village near the Red Cloud Agency. The attention that Crazy Horse received from the Army elicited the jealousy of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, two Lakota who had long before come to the agencies and adopted the white ways. Rumors started to spread at the Red Cloud Agency and Spotted Tail Agency about Crazy Horse's desire to slip out of the agency and return to the old ways of life. In August 1877, officers at Camp Robinson received word that the Nez Perce of Chief Joseph had broken out of their reservations in Idaho and were fleeing north through Montana toward Canada. When asked by Lieutenant Clark to join the Army against the Nez Perce, Crazy Horse and the Miniconjou leader Touch the Clouds objected, saying that they had promised to remain at peace when they surrendered. According to one version of events, Crazy Horse finally agreed, saying that he would fight "till all the Nez Perce were killed". But his words were apparently misinterpreted by scout Frank Grouard who reported that Crazy Horse had said that he would "go north and fight until not a white man is left". When he was challenged over his interpretation, Grouard left the council. Another interpreter, William Garnett, was brought in but quickly noted the growing tension. With the growing trouble at the Red Cloud Agency, General George Crook was ordered to stop at Camp Robinson. A council was called of the Oglala leadership, however, this was cancelled when Crook was informed that Crazy Horse had said the previous evening that he intended to kill the general during the proceedings. Crook ordered Crazy Horse's arrest and then departed, leaving the military action to the post commander at Camp Robinson, Lieutenant Colonel Luther P. Bradley. Additional troops were brought in from Fort Laramie and on the morning of September 4, 1877, two columns moved against Crazy Horse's village, only to find that it had scattered during the night. Crazy Horse fled to the nearby Spotted Tail Agency with his ill wife. After meeting with military officials at the adjacent military post of Camp Sheridan, Crazy Horse agreed to return to Camp Robinson with Lieutenant Jesse M. Lee, the Indian agent at Spotted Tail. On the morning of September 5, 1877, Crazy Horse and Lieutenant Lee, accompanied by Touch the Clouds as well as a number of Indian scouts, departed for Camp Robinson. Arriving that evening outside the adjutant's office, Lieutenant Lee was informed that he was to turn Crazy Horse over to the Officer of the Day. Lee protested and hurried to Bradley's quarters to debate the issue, but without success. Bradley had received orders that Crazy Horse was to be arrested and forwarded under the cover of darkness to Division Headquarters. Lee turned the Oglala war chief over to Captain James Kennington, in charge of the post guard, who accompanied Crazy Horse to the post guardhouse. Once inside, no doubt realizing the fate that was about to befall him, Crazy Horse struggled with the guard and Little Big Man and attempted to escape. Just outside the door of the guardhouse, Crazy Horse was stabbed with a bayonet of one of the members of the guard. The mortally wounded war leader was taken to the adjutant's office where he was tended by the assistant post surgeon at the post, Dr. Valentine McGillycuddy. Crazy Horse died late that night. The following morning, Crazy Horse's body was turned over to his elderly parents who took it to Camp Sheridan, placing it on a scaffold there. The following month when the Spotted Tail Agency was moved to the Missouri River, Crazy Horse's parents moved the body to an undisclosed location possibly somewhere on the present Pine Ridge Reservation. His final resting place remains a mystery to this day. From: historical accounts & records

Adjunct Professor