LITTLE BIGHORN CAMPAIGN
Sioux yanktonai Thunder Bear's account
A SIOUX ACCOUNT OF THE LITTLE BIG HORN
source: Richard G. Hardorff, Indian Views of the Custer Fight, Arthur H. Clark Company, 2004, pages 87-90
The Yanktonai were camping at Old Fort Peck in 1876. Four of us decided to visit Sitting Bull's camp on Pezhi sda wak-pa, Grease Grass river (the Little Big Horn river). So I, Medicine Cloud, Iron Bear, and Long Tree, with Medicine Cloud's wife, started in the first part of June. We struck Powder river below where Miles City is now and followed the trail leading southwest.
We had been in the big camp about twenty sleeps when one morning the women who had been gathering turnips came riding in all out of breath and reported that the soldiers were coming. The country, they said, looked as if filled with smoke, so much dust was there. There were four big circles of Sioux and one of Cheyennes in the camp.
(Reno's) men charged right up to the edge of the camp, dismounted, and began fighting. The horses became wild and we were still trying to catch them. Very few of us fell. But soon we gathered and charged. It was like a cloud of mosquitos. We rode right up to the soldiers' skirmish line. Indians and horses fell everywhere, some right among the soldiers. But more (warriors) were there and finally we made them run. Then right among them we rode, shooting them down as in a buffalo drive.
(Custer's men) ran to the top of a knoll and dismounted, one man holding four horses. We dismounted, too, and filled the gullies that the running water had made in the side of the hill. From there we could shoot straight up at the soldiers. Many of them fell, but the others kept shooting and killing some of us. The fighting continued, and what horses had not been killed, stampeded and rushed down the hill across the river, where the women and children were. The women captured them.
All the time we kept closing in on them. One crowd of the soldiers left the hill and ran down into a deep ravine, but we gathered on the edge and shot them . Pahinhanska (General Custer, "Long Hair" in Sioux) was killed in the middle of his men. We all knew him. His long hair had been cut off. We did not cut him up, or even scalp him.