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More on Crazy Horse's last battle
Fri Jan 8, 2010 12:38am

January 8, 1877
Crazy Horse fights his final battle

Outnumbered, low on ammunition, and forced to use outdated weapons to defend themselves, Crazy Horse and his warriors fight their final losing battle against the U.S. Cavalry in Montana.

Six months earlier, Crazy Horse (Tashunca-uitco) and his ally, Sitting Bull (Tatanka Iyotake), led their combined forces of Sioux and Cheyenne to a stunning victory over Lieutenant Colonel George Custer and his men near the Little Bighorn River of Montana. Outraged by the killing of the flamboyant Custer and more than 200 soldiers, the American people demanded speedy revenge. The U.S. Army responded by commanding General Nelson Miles to mount a winter campaign in 1876-77 against the remaining hostile Indians on the Northern Plains.

Combining military force with diplomatic overtures, Nelson succeeded in convincing many Indians to surrender and return to their reservations. Much to Nelson's frustration, though, Sitting Bull refused to give in and fled across the border to Canada, where he and his people remained for four years before finally returning to the U.S. to surrender in 1881. Meanwhile, Crazy Horse and his band also refused to surrender, though they were suffering badly from sickness and starvation. His followers later reported that Crazy Horse, who had always been slightly odd, began to grow even stranger during this difficult time, disappearing for days into the wilderness by himself and walking about the camp with his eyes to the ground.

On January 8, 1877, General Miles found Crazy Horse's camp along Montana's Tongue River. The soldiers opened fire with their big wagon-mounted guns, driving the Indians from their warm tents out into a raging blizzard. Crazy Horse and his warriors managed to regroup on a ridge and return fire, but most of their ammunition was gone, and they were reduced to fighting with bows and arrows. They managed to hold off the soldiers long enough for the women and children to escape under cover of the blinding blizzard before they turned to follow them.

Though he had escaped decisive defeat, Crazy Horse realized that Miles and his well-equipped cavalry troops would eventually hunt down and destroy his cold and hungry people. On May 6, 1877, Crazy Horse led 1,100 Indians to the Red Cloud reservation near Fort Robinson. The mighty warrior surrendered in the face of insurmountable obstacles. Five months later, a guard fatally stabbed him after he allegedly resisted imprisonment by Indian policemen.

  • Today In Old West History ~ January 8Leah, Fri Jan 8 12:35am
    January 8 1863- Sacramento, California- the Central Pacific Railroad has its groundbreaking ceremony. 1865- Dove Creek, Texas- 1,400 Kickapoo's defeat 370 members of the Texas militia who attacked... more
    • Crazy Horse and Nelson MilesK.t.K., Fri Jan 8 9:34pm
      Here a depiction of it: Before the year was out Miles City came into existance not far from Tongue River Cantonment. Colonel Miles ordered the whiskey merchants to... more
      • Great story, K.t.K.! Leah, Fri Jan 8 9:57pm
        I don't have access to the JSTOR so I can't get through that way. (Wish I did)This link will take anyone who is in the same boat to the story.... more
        • Crazy Horse bone_woman, Sat Jan 9 10:30pm
          hello, I sure do enojy reading all your posts. I lived a mile or so from where Sitting Bull camped for quite a while in Canada. The site is now covered in oil rigs, Wonder what he would have thought... more
          • Hi bone_woman, welcome!Leah, Sun Jan 10 1:31am
            We are really lucky to have some great posters here. Personal opinion, the oil rigs would have broken his heart. Best, Leah
          • For Bone-Woman - Sitting Bull's PrayerK.t.K., Sat Jan 9 11:06pm
            Model Prayer. With the military on his heels, Chief Sitting Bull led his band across into Canada, beyond the reach of the U.S. Army. It was said General Terry traveled north to offer the Chief a... more
            • Sitting Bullbonewoman, Sun Jan 10 2:50am
              Yeah, I lived on the res where he stayed, The medicine wheel is not too far from there. Every now and then we'd have a ceremony there and one of the Sun Dances was held at the med Wheel. The other... more
              • Your Sioux?James Wright, Sun Jan 10 10:57pm
                I'm Choctaw/Chickasaw, and a member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma.
                • Nakoda bonewoman, Sun Jan 10 11:42pm
                  Hi James, I'm actually an Aussie, but lived on several res's in Canada for 8 years, a Nakoda ranch for 4 years. I would still be there but had a real bad car accident (Run off the road in the middle... more
                  • TexasJames Wright, Mon Jan 11 8:38am
                    Several years ago I stopped in Durant, Oklahoma at the Choctaw Tribal Hdqs, visited with then Chief Roberts, who told me I needed to move up to Oklahoma. I told him I might be a Choctaw by blood, but ... more
              • Wow! Very interesting.K.t.K., Sun Jan 10 4:19pm
                You have much practical experience relating to frontier times. It should be helpful for your novel. Evidently "Blood on the Buffalo Grass" is about the Blackfeet, but its a novel? Sweet Grass Hills... more
                • HardwickDorman Nelson, Tue Jan 12 7:20am
                  Howdy, Tom Hardwick was as hard a man that interacted with the frontiersmen and women and business folks back east. He was lifetime friends with Skakel, who owned gambling places in Chicago. They... more
                  • Re: HardwickK.t.K., Tue Jan 12 6:20pm
                    Thanks Dorman. This fits right in with my Deadwood research, regarding a powerful Chicago influence which moved right in to occupy key mining and gambling interests. Also a couple of hotels. They... more
                    • Hardwick and gunmen and gamblersDorman Nelson, Tue Jan 12 6:55pm
                      Howdy Kenny, During the 1860s and onward, monied people found it was easy to pay and produce gunmen from the west. Most feared nothing, were travelers, wanted money, found it easier and a toot to go... more
                • sweet grass hills massacrebonewoman, Sun Jan 10 6:36pm
                  Hi Kenny, My novel does contain facts about the Nakoda (Assiniboines) who were massacred by Tom Hardwick at the Sweet Grass Hills, but that is only a part of it of course. I have included many of the ... more
                  • Re: sweet grass hills massacreK.t.K., Sun Jan 10 9:24pm
                    Sally Bone Woman. You get more interesting with every post. During my first research trip to Montana (2002) I met a young gal in Miles City who was full-blooded Sioux. Given the fact that I knew very ... more
                    • emailbonewoman, Sun Jan 10 11:50pm
                      Yes please email me. I would be very grateful, and like I said, you would get a mention. Assiniboine Sioux are Nakoda, and they live on several reserves in Canada, Carry The... more
            • Thank you K.t.K! (nm)Leah, Sun Jan 10 1:32am
        • Colonel Miles had a bunch of great scouts.K.t.K., Sat Jan 9 11:49am
          Montana Scouts: Among them, besides “Liver Eating” Johnston were: George Boyd – club-footed in both feet. John P. “Big Leggins” Bruguier a.k.a. “Johnnie” Bruguier George Johnson William F. “Fred”... more
          • SCHMALSLEEllen K. Compton, Thu May 8 10:03am
            Kenny, W.F. Schmalsle was my relative.
          • SCHMALSLEEllen K. Compton, Tue Feb 19 7:10pm
            Dear Kenny: William F. Schmalsle was my relative. I didn't know he rode with Morgan Earp. His brother knew Calamity Jane when she dressed as a man and drove a freight wagon.
          • scoutsdorman nelson, Sat Jan 9 9:19pm
            Howdy, I saw a picture of Schmalsle somewhere.....I will have to see if I have one.... Tom Irvine hired Johnston later as Deputy in Coulson, Montana... George Johnson and there was one more--one died ... more
            • Thanks Dorman! (nm)Leah, Sun Jan 10 1:35am
            • photosK.t.K., Sat Jan 9 9:54pm
              Yes, I have copies for several of those mentioned: Johnston, Irvine, Kelly, Bruguier and Fred Schmalsle. With the exception of "Yellowstone" Kelly, most of those guys went into the saloon business by ... more
              • Fred SchmalsleDorman Nelson, Sun Jan 10 10:03am
                Notes on Schmalsle from discussions at Miles City site, these are listed in Hoopes book on Miles City: "Schmalsle's Restaurant and Saloon; sleeping quarters upstairs; two story split cottonwood,... more
              • Thank you K.t.K.! (nm)Leah, Sun Jan 10 1:34am
          • "he rode posse with Morgan EarpLeah, Sat Jan 9 3:15pm
            capturing a very famous outlaw"!? Don't tease Kenny, who'd they catch? And thank you for the list. Best, Leah
    • More on Crazy Horse's last battle — Leah, Fri Jan 8 12:38am
      • Crazy HorseDorman Nelson, Sat Jan 9 7:12am
        Howdy, That was the Battle of Wolf Mountain. Liver Eating Johnston was a scout with Yellowstone Kelly and more.....there are some photos of Miles and groups, plus a great read on the battle on the... more
        • Howdy Dorman,Leah, Sat Jan 9 3:22pm
          I hadn't been to the site in awhile,it was good to see the picture again.Thank you for the link. Please keep us informed on the books release, I am looking forward to it. Best, Leah
      • Good stuff, LeahJames Wright, Fri Jan 8 4:33pm
        • It's been an interesting thread.Leah, Sun Jan 10 1:40am
          It's funny though, I had thought that the post on JWH and Callie would be the one that people talked about. I'm glad that we are having the opportunity to "mix it up" more. I was a little concerned... more
          • Its an interesting threadJames Wright, Sun Jan 10 4:45pm
            As the John Wesley HArdin and Callie Lewis, their marriage didn't last long enough to really matter much. I seem to remember all of his bullet scars freaked her out, and he returned her to her... more
            • the time of his death. Separated of course. I hadn't heard that about the scars,could well be. Speaking of folks being related,on your board there is the story about the bear. One of the people... more
              • Simp "Ol Dixie" DixonJames Wright, Sun Jan 10 6:50pm
                Is one darned interesting character, and I wish there was more available about him. He was a "reconstruction outlaw", connected with both the Cullen Baker bunch and the Bob Lee bunch, and according... more
                • Sounds like he is a great candidate forLeah, Sun Jan 10 7:13pm
                  "Lawmen, Outlaws and S.O.B." volume 3. Or a new Deadly Dozen, 3. If you speak with Donaly or Chuck please tell them I said Hello. And thank you very for the information on him. He is starting to... more
                • As to Hardin's marriage to Callie Lewis,James Wright, Sun Jan 10 6:52pm
                  I dont remember ever seeing anything about them ever being officially divorced, but...quien sabe?
        • And, Kenny and Dorman (nm)James Wright, Sat Jan 9 6:02pm
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