Eyewitness Reports in History Custer's Last Stand Part 4

An eyewitness account of the Custer's last stand at the Battle of Little Bighorn an important event in United States history.

Custer's Last Stand

"Then the second band of white warriors came. We did not know who was their chief, but we supposed it was Custer's command. The party commenced firing at long range. We had then all our warriors and horses. There were 80 warriors in my band. All the Sioux were there from everywhere. We had warriors plenty as the leaves on the trees. Our camp was as long as from the fort to the lower end of our camp here [more than 2 1/2 mi.]. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were the great chiefs of the fight. Sitting Bull did not fight himself, but he gave orders. We turned against this second party. The greater portion of our warriors came together in their front and we rushed our horses on them. At the same time warriors rode out on each side of them and circled around them until they were surrounded. When they saw that they were surrounded, they dismounted. They tried to hold on to their horses, but as we pressed closer they let go their horses. We crowded them toward our main camp and killed them all. They kept in order and fought like brave warriors as long as they had a man left. Our camp was on the Greasy Grass River [the Little Bighorn]. When we charged, every chief gave the cry, 'Hi-yi-yi.'

"When this cry is given, it is a command to all the warriors to watch the chief and follow his actions. Then every chief rushed his horse on the white soldiers, and all our warriors did the same, every one whipping another's horse. There was great hurry and confusion in the fight. No one chief was above another in that fight. It was not more than half an hour after the long-haired chief attacked us before he and all his men were dead.

"Then we went back for the first party. We fired at them until the sun went down. We surrounded them and watched them all night, and at daylight we fought them again. We killed many of them. Then a chief from the Hunkpapas called our men off. He told them those men had been punished enough, that they were fighting under orders, that we had killed the great leader and his men in the fight the day before, and we should let the rest go home. Sitting Bull gave this order. He said: 'This is not my doings, nor these men's. They are fighting because they were commanded to fight. We have killed their leader. Let them go. I call on the Great Spirit to witness what I say. We did not want to fight. Long Hair sent us word that he was coming to fight us, and we had to defend ourselves and our wives and children.' If this command had not been given, we could have cut Reno's command to pieces, as we did Custer's. No warrior knew Custer in the fight. We did not know him, dead or alive. When the fight was over, the chiefs gave orders to look for the long-haired chief among the dead, but no chief with long hair could be found."

Custer had had his hair cut short before starting on his last march.

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