Wooden Leg (Kum-mok-quiv-vi-ok-ta or Kamâxeveohtahe) Northern Cheyenne; boyhood name was Eats From His Hand. He was the son of Walks on Crutches. Wooden Leg was a menber of the Elkhorn Scrapers warrior society. He fought at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, where he counted coup on a soldier and wrenched the rifle from his back. He was also in the hand to hand fighting during Reno's retreat to the bluffs. Wooden Leg was later an Indian scout at Fort Keogh in 1889, and a tribal judge on the reservation. His American name was Richard Woodenlegs. His grandson, John Woodenlegs, was the only Indian member of President Johnson's National Advisory Commission on Rural Poverty in 1967.
Some things to consider... Not too long after the "battle" the Indians were busy ridding themselves of souveniers for fear of white retaliation. Stories would have been toned down for the same reason. Accounts, such as Wooden Leg's which cast doubts on soldier's bravery and fighting ability had to be true. Why invent or embellish a disparaging story?? Not a good thing to talk about years later.
Finally, Officers and enlisted lies at Court Martial proceeding in Chicago contradicted those given immediately after the battle. Reno became a savior not a coward, Benteen became a wise and concerned officer who saved the 7 th not one who hated the Custer clique and disobeyed direct orders. And.. Custer's troopers became brave men fighting to the death rather than a bunch of terrified rookies who had lost their horses, had arrows raining down, had jammed rifles, little ammo, were fragmented and surrounded, had seen many of their pals already fall and "saved the last bullet". On the north end of the battlefield, the Seventh committed suicide !!!
General of the Army (Medicine Man/Chief))
Could it possibly be, as warrior accounts passed into the shouded mist of time and history, that a Sioux tale, told to Charles Eastman, filtered into Cheyenne legend. The first company endeavoured to return the way they came, but they were forced to the east almost at right angles with their trail. Just as the Indians made their general charge, the 2nd company of soldier turned to flee. They were closely pursued. The Indians, having full knowledge of the ground and the river, were greatly encouraged. The leaders shouted "We can drown them all -- charge closer!"
There have been considerable problems with the historical tribal accounts, for some reason. I'm now of the opinion that the matter requires considerable expert social sciences and linguini, applied. Did ya hear about the Swedish chef?
The point is, that Wooden Leg was a part of the Reno drownings!
I've checked and yes, Wooden Leg, the Warrior who fought Custer - fought Reno! Most students, authors and historians accept that TBM had propensities. Whilst diving into the copious tombe that is various notes I maintain, I rediscovered a revelation (for me) many years back. It was to do with river crossings and village size.
So there's the ford where the Cheyennes crossed to attack Custer. That would have been the one which White Shield identified being a half mile ABOVE the battlefield, Grinnell; 1915; p338. This is the same ford where Big Beaver crossed towards Custer after bringing the pony herd into the village. He drew a map sketch of the battle, telling how he crossed at Realbird ford and approached LSH over Greasy Grass Ridge. When Two Moon arrived North of Custer's Hill, soldiers were there fighting. Big Beaver did not go to the Reno fight. White Shield Did not. Two moon did but did not cross the river to Reno Hill. Wooden Leg followed on behind Two Moon from an emptied village. books.google.co.uk/books?id=-A4aAQAAIAAJ&q=big+beaver+custer&dq=big+beaver+custer&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CEUQ6AEwB2oVChMIxbGN_ImZyQIVARsUCh065wv0
Now, quoting quote of Marquis - "Wooden Leg made a long visit.... and told sign-talk old time stories. He makes clear and slow signs and I understand almost everything". Marquis acquired two names: Soldier Walks Among Indians and White Man Doctor. TBM, Weist;1978;p39. Quite fascinating
As the troops of Reno's command broke away from combat, scouts who had fought on the skirmish moved for their horses. Red Bear - '.... pulled at the horse's head until finally the horse came on, the saddle girth broke but he did not turn back, though he lost his extra cartridges. Then he tried to mount but twice his canteen, which he carried around his neck, got under him and he fell off. At last he mounted and rode on after Little Brave, who had not dismounted and was by this time far ahead. He soon came out of the timber where he had lost sight of Little Brave. He could see nothing on account of the smoke and dust which filled the air, but somewhere ahead he saw dimly someone riding.
Just then he saw ten soldiers on horseback in full retreat toward the timber. At this point there was a deep cut and the horses of the soldiers fell into it and he heard the soldiers calling out, "Whoa, whoa!". He swung his horse to the left and escaped falling into the cut and he left the soldiers floundering there with their horses. He followed on after Little Brave until the dark object ahead of him turned to the left. Then he rode straight on thinking that this could not have been Little Brave and he rode past the point where he saw the rider turn to the left. His horse stumbled and fell and threw him off. The horse then ran on toward the river and Red Bear chased him. It was an open place here, a few trees and many rose bushes. A long, dry limb caught in the side of the bridle and dragged behind the horse, and stopped him.... The Arikara Narrative p125 archive.org/details/collectionsofsta06stat