100 Voices from the Little Bighorn by Bruce Brown Deluxe CD-ROM Bundle Edition

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100 Voices: Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapahoe, Crow, Arikara and American Eye-witness accounts of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

100 Voices: Full List * Crow/Arikara * Sioux/Cheyenne * American * Rosebud

Guided Tours: Crazy Horse at the Little Bighorn * Crazy Horse at the Rosebud

Features: Who Killed Custer? * Who Killed Custer? Audio Book
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This is a FREE EXCERPT from
Bruce Brown's 100 Voices...

Little Hawk's Story of the Battle
A Northern Cheyenne's account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

From an interview with George Bird Grinnell on September 5, 1908. Note

Northern Cheyenne warrior Little Hawk in 1880[FOLLOWING the Rosebud Battle, the Cheyennes] went back to Reno Creek and stayed one night then moved down to mouth of Reno Creek and stayed there three nights and then moved down on Little Horn and were there one night. The next day Custer made his charge. His presence on Rosebud was reported, but Custer must have traveled as fast as the man who brought the news.

The first charge [Reno's troops] was made by troops who went down Reno Creek and crossed Little Horn, went down Little Horn about two miles and halted and went down into a low place where water used to stand and where there is timber among the lodges of one of the villages. The Cheyennes charged him [Reno] and he did not stand but charged through them, going back the way he had come. He did not cross where he had come but jumped over a bank. When he had crossed, the Cheyennes did not follow him, for looking back they saw another lot of soldiers coming and they went back to meet them. Little Hawk went back towards Custer. He does not know what became of Reno. Little Hawk went back toward Custer and rode up the little ravine which the Indians went up in approaching Custer. The first thing he saw was Chief Comes In Sight on a bobtail horse riding up and down in front of soldiers who were firing at him. Contrary Belly and Yellow Nose made the first charge. The two rode part way toward the soldiers and turned their horses and came back. Soldiers were all dismounted to fight on foot. As these two came back an officer was killed and fell from his horse and then all the soldiers mounted. Yellow Nose and Contrary Belly now made a second charge and were followed by the rest of the Indians. When they charged, the soldiers ran and went along the straight ridge where they chased them like buffalo and as long as they had their backs toward Indians the Indians rode right in among them. At the knoll where the monument stands the soldiers turned and that is the last place he saw them. White Bull's son [Noisy Walking or Thunder Walking] and [illeg.] Black fell right in among the soldiers as they were going along. White Bull's son lived till next day. Twenty-three [?] dead. [Note: the Northern Cheyenne war chief White Bull was also known as Ice Bear or Ice. Here is Wooden Leg's account of Noisy Walking's death.]

Upon this round knoll, the soldiers having tied their horses in fours, let them go and they scattered, most of them running toward the Little Horn. One company of soldiers went down toward the Little Horn and all but one man dismounted. The one man who did not dismount rode away. He was riding a sorrel horse and Indians began to shoot at him, but they could not hit him nor overtake him. At last, when he was almost out of shot [range], a ball hit him and knocked him off his horse. He is the only man who has not a stone [marker]. [Note: this probably refers to the last "suicide" described by Flying Hawk, He Dog, White Cow Bull and others.]

In the charge up the ridge where soldiers and Indians were together (when White Bull's son [Noisy Walking] and [illeg.] Black were killed) not many soldiers were slain. Most of them got upon the knoll where the monument now stands. From there the most of them were killed by the Indians hidden behind the little ridge, but there was some charging in to these troops by Indians. Yellow Nose captured from a soldier a flag which had a gilt lance head on the staff, the only one of this kind taken. About fifteen flags were captured.

After Custer was finished they went back to Reno to keep him from getting water. They stayed there two days and one [two] night[s]. Then word came that Gen. Miles [Terry] was coming up the Big Horn, but that he had big guns with him. To fight him under such conditions would be merely to waste ammunition for on account of the big guns they could not get close enough to fight him.

The second day in the evening they left Reno and moved camp toward the head of the Little Horn, traveling after night. They do not know when the soldiers came to the place to look at their dead friends. Back when Reno made his charge there were some Ree Indians with him.

When they met in the timber Black Crane's son [Wooden Leg says it was Whirlwind] met a Ree scout. These two were riding side by side and pulled triggers at same instant the Cheyenne was killed. . . . [Note: the Arikara or "Ree" scout was Bob-tailed Bull. Here is Arikara scout Young Hawk's description of the moments leading up to Bob-Tailed Bull's death. Arikara scout Red Bear saw Bob-Tailed Bull's horse running terrified with a bloody saddle a short time later.]

Lakota and Cheyenne: Indian Views of the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877 by Jerome A. Greene, University of Oklahoma Press 1994, p 59 - 61


Wooden Leg said he gave some of the whiskey he found on dead Seventh Cavalry soldiers to his friend Little Hawk, who drank some and got sick.

Here is Little Hawk's account of the Battle of the Rosebud eight days prior.

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