Bruce Brown's 100 Voices...
Hollow Horn Eagle and Brave Bird's
HOLLOW HORN EAGLE AND BRAVE BIRD'S STORY OF THE BATTLE
IN THICK timber on the banks of the Little Big Horn near the Brule camp, Woman Who Walks With The Stars wandered, looking for stray cavalry horses. Since the now dead soldiers on the ridge had turned their mounts loose, many of the thirsty chargers had been rambling through the brush, trying to get to water.
As the wife of Crow Dog, ranking Brule chief in the village, Woman-Who-Walks-with-the-Stars well knew the value the big sturdy horses would assume now that the fighting was over. During the kill-talks and honor giveaways which were sure to follow such a great victory, nothing would add more to her husband's prestige than gifts of fine horses to chiefs of other tribes.
Suddenly a flash of dusty blue caught the woman's eye. There in a thicket close to the water crawled a man -- a uniformed white soldier. Badly wounded, he was struggling through the undergrowth to get to the river's edge. As he inched along over the ground, the woman saw he was carrying a carbine. For some reason he was trying to get back across the river, though he seemed at times too weak to crawl any farther. Every so often he was forced to stop creeping and lay panting a while until he could build up strength again. At last he was near enough to the water to push his carbine over the bank. While he lay prostrate, weary from this last exertion, Woman-Who-Walks-with-the-Stars picked up a heavy branch of deadwood. For a moment she watched the soldier curiously. White men always seemed strange with their hairy faces and bodies and their pink skin. She found herself wondering what their women were like, for she had only seen pioneer women at a great distance, when they were cloaked in mother hubbards and sunbonnets hid their faces. Perhaps some white woman loved this very soldier. A strange tenderness swept over Crow Dog's wife.
The soldier stirred a little. Dragging himself along again, he slipped over the bank's edge and plunged into hip-deep water. Watching him, the softness left the eyes of Woman-Who-Walks-with-the-Stars. After all, the soldiers had come attacking. Women, even children, would not have been spared by them, for had not entire Cheyenne families been wiped out by the soldiers in the south? It was always the whites who were the aggressors, seeking to destroy Pte, the sacred buffalo uncle of the Sioux, crowding the Indians out of the land Wakan Tanka had given them. Taking a tighter grip on the driftwood club, Woman-Who-Walks-with-the-Stars moved swiftly to the river's edge, where the soldier now saw her for the first time. Stark terror widened his eyes. A hoarse scream started in his throat. But his cry was lost under the loud crash of driftwood about his head and shoulders. In a little while he sank beneath the surface as the woman kept striking at the roiled water where his head had been...
Custer's Fall: The Indian Side of the Story by David Humphreys Miller, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE 1957 p 141
Arapaho warrior Sage said that two badly wounded Seventh Cavalry troopers -- one of them Mitch Bouyer, Custer's half-Sioux head scout, the other a trooper with "a bugle and a carbine" -- crawled to the edge of the river and were killed there.
Woman Who Walks With The Stars' story may refer to the second American, who is described as "carrying a carbine," although there is no mention of a bugle in her story. Perhaps the wounded bugler discarded his bugle since he wouldn't be blowing it under the circumstances.
Thus, in a broad sense, Woman Who Walks With The Stars' story supports the stories of Curley, Pretty Shield, White Cow Bull, Soldier Wolf and Horned Horse when they stated that two or more American troopers were killed or badly wounded at the river at the beginning of the Custer Fight. See Who Killed Custer -- The Eye-Witness Answer for more info.
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According to David Humphreys Miller, "Woman-Who-Walks-With-The-Stars actually did better at Little Big Horn than her husband, Crow Dog, who succeeded only in capturing three badly shot-up cavalry horses."
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Although not born into the Teton Sioux, David Humphreys Miller was adopted late in life by both Iron Hail and One Bull, and like the other Sioux, Cheyenne and Crow chroniclers in 100 Voices (Ohiyesa, John Stands In Timber, William Bordeaux, Pretty Shield, Bird Horse, George Bird Grinnell), he had unique access to important particpants in the Battle of the Little Bighorn, some of whom left no other record, such as White Cow Bull and Drags The Rope.
Miller frequenlty made pastel sketches of the Sioux survivors of the Battle of the Little Bighorn whom he interviewed. Some of Miller's portraits are exceptionally fine evocations of the historic personalities in their own right, such as his portraits of Lazy White Bull and Old Eagle and Black Elk late in life.
Click here for information of David Humphreys Miller's sources among the Sioux, Cheyenne, Crow, Arikara and Apapaho.
This material was excerpted from Custer's Fall by David Humphreys Miller. in the June 1971 American Heritage.