Custer's death?

Publié le par custerwest

Minneconjou Beard's account
Custer's Fall by David H. Miller. 

I had no time to paint Zi Chischila properly for making war, just a minute or so to braid his tail and to daub a few white hail spots of paint on my own forehead for protection before I galloped out on the little buckskin to help defend the camp. I met four other Lakotas riding fast. Three were veteran fighters, armed with rifles; the other was young like me and carried a bow and arrows as I did. One of the veterans went down. I saw my chance to act bravely and filled the gap. We all turned when we heard shooting at the far side of the village nearest the Miniconjou camp circle and rode fast to meet this new danger. I could see swirls of dust and hear shooting on the hills and bluffs across the river. Hundreds of other warriors joined us as we splashed across the ford near our camp and raced up the hills to charge into the thickest of the fighting.

This new battle was a turmoil of dust and warriors and soldiers, with bullets whining and arrows hissing all around. Sometimes a bugle would sound and the shooting would get louder. Some of the soldiers were firing pistols at close range. Our knives and war clubs flashed in the sun. I could hear bullets whiz past my ears. But I kept going and shouting, "It's a good day to die!" so that everyone who heard would know I was not afraid of being killed in battle.

Then a Lakota named Spotted Rabbit rode unarmed among us, calling out a challenge to all the warriors to join him. He shouted, "Let's take their leader alive!" I had no thought of what we would do with this leader once we caught him; it was a daring feat that required more courage and much more skill than killing him. I dug my heels into my pony's flanks to urge him on faster to take part in the capture.

A tall white man in buckskins kept shouting; at the soldiers and looked to be their leader. Following Spotted Rabbit, I charged toward this leader in buckskins. We were almost on top of him when Spotted Rabbit's pony was shot from under him. Zi Chischila shied to one side, and it was too late. A Miniconjou named Charging Hawk rushed in and shot the leader at close range. In a little while all the soldiers were dead. The battle was over.

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