The Sioux were camped on the Little Bighorn river as follows: Thelodges of the Uncpapas were pitched highest up the river under a bluff. TheSantee lodges were pitched next. The Oglala’s lodges were pitched next. TheBrule lodges were pitched next. The Minneconjou lodges were pitched next.
The Sans Arcs’ lodges were pitched next. The Blackfeet lodges were pitchednext. The Cheyenne lodges were pitched next. A few Arikara Indians wereamong the Sioux (being without lodges of their own). Two-Kettles, amongthe other Sioux (without lodges). I was a Sioux chief in the council lodge.
Mylodge was pitched in the center of the camp. The day of the attack I and fourwomen were a short distance from the camp digging wild turnips. Suddenlyone of the women attracted my attention to a cloud of dust rising a shortdistance from camp. I soon saw that the soldiers were charging the camp. Tothe camp I and the women ran. When I arrived a person told me to hurry tothe council lodge.
The soldiers charged so quickly we could not talk(council). We came out of the council lodge and talked in all directions. TheSioux mount horses, take guns, and go fight the soldiers. Women andchildren mount horses and go, meaning to get out of the way. Among thesoldiers was an officer who rode a horse with four white feet.
The Sioux have for a longtime fought many brave men of different people, but the Sioux say this officerwas the bravest man they had ever fought. I don’t know whether this wasGen. Custer or not. Many of the Sioux men that I hear talking tell me it was.
Isaw this officer in the fight many times, but did not see his body. It has beentold me that he was killed by a Santee Indian, who took his horse. Thisofficer wore a large-brimmed hat and a deerskin coat. This officer saved thelives of many soldiers by turning his horse and covering the retreat. Sioux saythis officer was the bravest man they ever fought. I saw two officers lookingalike, both having long yellowish hair.
Before the attack the Sioux werecamped on the Rosebud river. Sioux moved down a river running into theLittle Bighorn river, crossed the Little Bighorn river, and camped on its westbank. This day a Sioux man started to go to Red Cloudagency, but when he had gone a short distance from camp he saw a cloud ofdust rising and turned back and said he thought a herd of buffalo was comingnear the village. The day was hot.
In a short time the soldiers charged thecamp. The soldierscame on the trail made by the Sioux camp in moving, and crossed the LittleBighorn river above where the Sioux crossed, and attacked the lodges of theUncpapas, farthest up the river. The women and children ran down the LittleBighorn river a short distance into a ravine.
The soldiers set fire to the lodges. All the Sioux now charged the soldiers and drove them in confusion acrossthe Little Bighorn river, which was very rapid, and several soldiers weredrowned 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 thewomen and children prisoners. Like a whirlwind the word went around, andthe Sioux all heard it and left the soldiers on the hill and went quickly to savethe women and children.
From the hill that the soldiers were on to the placewhere the different soldiers were seenwas level ground with the exception of a creek. Sioux thought the soldiers onthe hill would charge them in rear, but when they didnot the Sioux thought the soldiers on the hill were out of cartridges.
As soonas we had killed all the different soldiers the Sioux all went back to kill thesoldiers on the hill. All the Sioux watched around the hill on which were thesoldiers until a Sioux man came and said many walking soldiers were comingnear. The coming of the walking soldiers was the saving of the soldiers on thehill. Sioux can not fight the walking soldiers , being afraid of them, sothe Sioux hurriedly left. The soldiers charged the Sioux camp about noon. The soldiers were divided, one party charging right into the camp.
Afterdriving these soldiers across the river, the Sioux charged the different soldiers below, and drive them in confusion; these soldiers becamefoolish, 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. Thesedifferent soldiers discharged their guns but little.
I took a gun and two beltsoff two dead soldiers; out of one belt two cartridges were gone, out of theother five. The Sioux took the guns and cartridges off the dead soldiers andwent to the hill on which the soldiers were, surrounded and fought them withthe guns and cartridges of the dead soldiers. Had the soldiers not divided Ithink they would have killed many Sioux. The different soldiers [i.
e. , Custer’sbattalion] that the Sioux killed made five brave stands. Once the Siouxcharged 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 ofthe Sioux. When this band of soldiers charged, the Sioux fell back, and theSioux and the soldiers stood facing each other. Then all the Sioux becamebrave and charged the soldiers.
The Sioux went but a short distance beforethey separated and surrounded the soldiers. I could see the officers riding infront 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 thesedifferent soldiers in the ravine.
The soldiers charged the Sioux camp farthestup the river. A short time after the different soldiers charged the villagebelow. While the different soldiers and Sioux were fighting together the Siouxchief said, Sioux men, go watch soldiers on the hill and prevent their joiningthe different soldiers. The Sioux men took the clothing off the dead anddressed themselves in it. Among the soldiers were white men who were notsoldiers.
The Sioux dressed in the soldiers’ and white men’s clothing foughtthe soldiers on the hill. The banks of the Little Bighorn river were high, andthe Sioux killed many of the soldiers while crossing. The soldiers on the hilldug up the ground , and the soldiers and Siouxfought at long range, sometimes the Sioux charging close up. The fightcontinued 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