Iron Teeth's experiences were probably typical. Her husband had died in the attack on their village. With her five children, she went to Oklahoma and then participated in the escape. When the group separated, a son and daughter went with Little Wolf. She and the remaining children, including a twenty-two-year-old son named Gathering His Medicine, followed Dull Knife to Fort Robinson. During the breakout, she kept one daughter with her, and they were found hiding in a cave the following day. Her son, who had a pistol, carried the youngest girl on his back into another cave. When soldiers who tracked him through the snow reached the cave, Gathering His Medicine told his sister to stay hidden while he challenged them. "Lots of times" Iron Teeth admitted, "as I sit here alone on the floor with my blanket wrapped about me, I lean forward and close my eyes and think of him...fighting the soldiers, knowing that he would be killed, but doing this so his little sister might get away in safety. Don't you think he was a brave young man?" Viola 1999
Two couriers came up from Custer requesting re-inforcement, and announcing that he was advancing on the enemy.
General of the Army (Medicine Man/Chief))
Understanding of the Cheyennes battle has evolved through Grinnell, Marquis, Stands in Timber, and meodern writers who re~examine and redefine what George Bird Grinnell could not in 'The Fighting Cheyennes'. Marquis introduced personal quirk to the account of events and merged events. What Marquis did provide was a map that was the Godfrey model par exellence and long discredited; and in the closing two chapters of Wooden Leg story give true insight to Cheyenne diplomacy and its democracy.
Published Cheyenne history of LBH has evolved through generations of those approaching them for the facts..... ;D 'Well now, they rode big blue horses and we killed them all pretty quick. I don't know what happened to the soldiers but there were a lot of dead horses over..... there. I think, just about the time all the dust cleared and we moved on.'
Hardorff's Cheyenne memories carries the 1956 Stands in Timber interviewby Rickey and that is a must read for anyone interested in LBH. Forget what happened in 1876 and consider the roots of the published modern battle. Would it surprise you that the gray horses were a rear guard, the first fighting in the battlefield vicinity was at a ford, or that the soldiers retreated on foot driving the Indians east of the ridge, or that Calhoun's troops were the last to be killed. They were facing west at the time.
The Cheyenne battle has evolved tremendously since Grinnell's stab at the events, l suspect this will continue. There is not one first hand account from those present which locates troops beyond Custer's Hill, on Custer's ridge ~ except for Joseph White Bull's sketch of the companies movements which was made by Stanley Vestal.
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Yellow Nose wouldn't have known a regimental band from a church organ. What he heard were obviously bugle calls, hence the 'musicians threw aside their instruments for guns.'
Incidentally, the song is 'Garryowen' not as spelled by you.
As for accounts of troops beyond Custer Hill, read again.
Furthermore, the maps of Kill Eagle via R.E. Johnston, other participants via W. Philo Clark and other participants via James Bell all show troop movements north of Custer or Last Stand Hill. If you choose to ignore this evidence then you'll only end up with the wrong impression.
The other things you hint at can only be evaluated if you decide to stop playing coy and let us know why you reach those conclusions. Personally, I'm not into guessing games.
The maps referred to, and all maps, show movements 'west' which some consider north, of Calhoun Hill.
In regards trumpet's or bugles playing accompaniment to Custer's charge with musicsl interlude, referred to by Curley but obviously to many, a pinch of salt jobbie, perhaps there were also the strings of harps being plucked.
Last Edit: Feb 4, 2014 19:43:19 GMT -5 by herosrest
Two couriers came up from Custer requesting re-inforcement, and announcing that he was advancing on the enemy.
General of the Army (Medicine Man/Chief))
Winfield Courier, August 24, 1876. Custer's Last Trail.
Some Cheyenne Indians coming from the north to their agency in the Indian Territory gave to Agent Miles the following account of Custer's fight with Sitting Bull.
The soldiers first came upon a camp of about fifty lodges on the Rose Bud, who being appraised of his approach, made a hasty march to the Little Big Horn, going into camp at the extreme north end of the main Sioux and Cheyenne camp. Custer, crossing the Rose Bud, discovered the deserted camp and took the trail, attacking the last mentioned camp just before daylight, killing some men, women, and children, the camp stampeding or retreating in the direction of the main camp. Just at daybreak Custer came down on the camp with a charge, but in the meantime his attack had been sounded throughout the entire camp, and preparations had been made for his reception. Custer led the charge from the camp of fifty lodges in the direction of the main village, but was met with such a terrific fire from the Indians who had by this time gained superior advantage from the hills, as to force him into and across a big "slough," or "bayou," a point well known to all the northern Indians, in which many of his horses mired and sixty of his men were killed and afterwards dragged out by the Indians, and stripped of all valuables and generally scalped.
Custer, with the balance of his troops, endeavored to cross the river and make his way out through the hills on the opposite side of the river, but was unable to do so on account of the steepness of the bank. Failing in this, and as the Indians believe, fully realizing the trap into which he had been drawn, he recrossed the river thinking that he might possibly cut his way back through the Indian camps and escape by the way he came in, but the Indians claim to have forty warriors to every man of Custer's, and once demoralized, was an easy prey to the enraged Sioux and Cheyenne's only waiting to exterminate the whole party. After the return from the attempt to cross the river the struggle was a hand to hand fight Custer leading his band to the right and then back down the river to the point where they were first forced into the "slough," where they were so completely surrounded so as to be unable to escape in any direction, and most of those remaining were dragged from their horses and killed. Custer and a few others did succeed in riding through and over his enemy, and reached an eminence near by only to be met by thousands on the surrounding hills where he met the same fate of his whole command.
The Indians say that after the troops were driven into the "slough," they were completely demoralized and were an easy prey, showing or giving but little resistance; each one seemed trying to escape instead of trying to fight. They report that Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were not killed, and that less than sixty Sioux and Cheyennes were killed, the greater portion being killed during the first fire before day-break. The whole engagement did not last more than one hour from the time of the first charge.
Winfield Courier, September 7, 1876.
Major John D. Miles, agent of the Cheyenne and Arapahoes, came up from the Territory last Monday accompanied by his daughters. The Major lately wrote a very succinct and graphic account of Custer's last battle, which article was accompanied by an accurate plan of the battle and published in the Lawrence Journal. The Major informed us that he got the account from some of his own Indians, who were upon the ground. Nearly three hundred returned in one body, about two hundred in another, and three in another. What puzzles us is how these Indians, belonging to Major Miles' agency in the Indian Territory, found out that the United States troops were after their brothers nine hundred miles away to the north. We believe the Major's Indians disclaim taking any part in the Custer fight, but of course they did. Wichita Eagle.
A surprisingly inaccurate account of the Custer fight, given within 60 days of 25th June, 1876. Miles of course knew little, if anything, of the terrain and was handicapped by his ability with sign talk and Cheyenne. He may also have been influenced by Terry's initial report of the fight but the account, in modern hindsight, accurately matches detail which is now accepted as the way of it. Custer did not cross the river, therefore Miles has translated poorly and the creek, coulee, ravine, river, stream, problem is presented. Not too tough for the experienced student. The camp of fifty lodges was Little Wolf - a Cheyenne. The informants, obviously did not confront Reno. This story, contributed to, the running camp theory given by Gerard.... but, the running camp actually followed 7th Cavalry and was never attacked by them.
What Miles understood to be Custer's Last Trail, was in fact the route taken by.....................
Post by seanchaidh on Jan 24, 2016 13:37:05 GMT -5
Strictly speaking, trumpeters were not, in any army of the period, considered regimental musicians, ditto infantry drummers (who were also buglers on occasion). They were the equivalent of radiomen, used to relay orders, not play "music" as such. They were elevated to the post not necessarily by dint of musical ability, but by character and service and were trained to play the calls, in this instance by Voss, the 7th's Chief Trumpeter, not in musicianship. The Regimental Roster shows 22 Trumpeters on the books for the 7th, 2 per company being the established norm, of which about a third were actual musicians, including Martini, the rest being the usual odd-lots assortment. Trumpeters (and drummers for that matter)could, and did, play in the band on occasion, if they were musicians, but they were not paid as, commanded as, uniformed as, drilled as or seen as "musicians" per se. **S**
Last Edit: Jan 24, 2016 14:21:26 GMT -5 by seanchaidh
The opinion of ten thousand men is of no value if none of them know anything about the subject.--Aurelius
Post by Cheyenne Gold on Feb 5, 2019 8:31:44 GMT -5
The Oral Histories of Northern Cheyenne Descendants of the Battle of Little Bighorn collection documents a project, led in the mid-1980s by Oregon State University professor Royal Jackson, that sought to capture the perspective of contemporary Northern Cheyenne tribal members on the famous 1876 battle between certain of their ancestors and the U.S. 7th Cavalry, led by Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer. The interviews held in this collection also lend extensive insight into the changes experienced by the Northern Cheyenne people throughout the twentieth century and provide a snapshot of the Northern Cheyenne as they viewed themselves in the mid-1980s.
An excerpt of the Little Big Horn Battle given by unnamed Cheyenne informants related in a letter by George Bent to George Hyde, Sept. 11th, 1905, published in the Journal of the Custer Association of Great Britain, by Gary Leonard, p. 23, with my annotations in brackets:
The village was so big and long [that] lots of Indians did not know Custer was fighting with [the] Indians. When they [first] heard shooting, [ a] good many thought [that] Indians were chasing buffalo. Two Indians here now told me yesterday at the store [that] they were both boys there [at the Little Big Horn Fight], and were out with lot of more boys, herding ponies. they heard shooting and they thought herds of buffalo was running throught [sic. throughout] the camps. They Jumped on their ponies and rode towards the shooting. [Note: A reference to Reno's attack at the south end of the village.] When they rode up on [ a] hill [note: likely a high ridge just south of Shoulder Blade Creek opposite the Garryowen Bend of the river], they seen Indians coming from every direction towards where [the] smoke and dust was raising [sic. rising]. When the smoke and dust cleared up [ a] little, these boys seen Indians chasing [the Reno] soldiers as they do buffalo. They ran to where they were killing soldiers. [Note: Likely a reference to the casualties of Reno's retreat from the valley]. When they got there, they seen [the] naked bodies of soldiers laying all around. They were all cut up. Some [had their] heads cut off and [their] entrails scattered. Hands and feet [were also] cut off. These two men say that squaws of both the Cheyennes and Siouxs done this butchering. It was customary among all Indians for women to do this work of cut[t]ing up enemies.
Last Edit: Aug 1, 2021 16:11:37 GMT -5 by moderator
An excerpt of the Little Big Horn Battle given by unnamed Cheyenne informants related in a letter by George Bent to George Hyde, April 2nd, 1912, published in the Journal of the Custer Association of Great Britain, by Gary Leonard, p. 25, with my annotations in brackets:
When [the] Northern Cheyennes were down here in 1877 -- as I knew most of them when I was up there in 1865 -- they told me that it was hard to tell who killed Custer, as the Siouxs and Cheyennes were all around Custer and his men shooting them down like [ a] herd of Buffalo and they could not see very well for the smoke and dust. Yellow Nose has the honor and credit of being [the] first man charging in among Custer's men and taking [the] flag away from [ a] soldier. Since Yellow Nose has been living down here [in Oklahoma] and [is] blind, Two Moons, [the] Northern Cheyenne chief is claiming and getting credit [for taking a leading role] in that Massacre on account [of] Yellow Nose being down here.
An excerpt of the Little Big Horn Battle given by unnamed Cheyenne informants related in a letter by George Bent to George Hyde, June 11th, 1914, published in the Journal of the Custer Association of Great Britain, by Gary Leonard, p. 25, with my annotations in brackets:
[Brave Bear and Yellow Nose,] both of them were [the] bravest in Custer's fight. Brave Bear was [the] first one [to charge] in Reno's [valley] fight and Yellow Nose at Custer's fight. Yellow Nose rode right in among Custer's Men, the first Company that desmounted [sic. dismounted], [the] Indians claim. ...
some whites claim that Custer's men did not cross the Little Big Horn to [attack] the villages, but [the] Cheyennes say he did and was destroying the lodges until [the] Cheyennes and Sioux drove them across [the] Little Big Horn. [Note: Bent's Cheyenne sources here are likely referring to the Reno Battalion having crossed the river to attack the southern end of the village at the start of the battle before retreating across the river. Brave Bear made it clear to Bent that Custer's men did not cross the Little Big Horn River (see Brave Bear's statement in Bent's July 6, 1914 letter to Hyde.)]
Last Edit: Oct 1, 2021 16:39:59 GMT -5 by moderator
An excerpt of the Little Big Horn Battle given by unnamed Cheyenne informants related in a letter by George Bent to George Hyde, Aug. 3rd, 1914, published in the Journal of the Custer Association of Great Britain, by Gary Leonard, p. 26, with my annotations in brackets:
"Cheyennes say they drove him [i.e., Custer] back before he got to the river. His men did not fire into the [Hunkpapa] camp but Reno['s men] did."
Last Edit: Aug 2, 2021 13:52:08 GMT -5 by moderator