The following article appeared in the May 3, 1912 Delta Independent and reflects “eye-witness” history relating to the 1876 battle at Little Big Horn.
INDIAN TELLS OF CUSTER
As the years roll by and the Indians become more used to the ways of the white man further light is shed upon that memorable battle of June 25, 1876, when Gen. Custer and his 375 troopers of the Seventh cavalry were massacred by the Sioux and Cheyenne’s under Sitting Bull on the Little Big Horn, says a Crow Indian Agency, Mont., dispatch to New York Times. Not a trooper escaped, and history has had to content itself with official correspondence and the story of Maj. Reno, who, instead of going to Custer’s aid, sought safety on a high bluff several miles distant.
Two Moons, a Cheyenne brave, now converted to Christianity, who took part in the battle, has told at least the other side of the story, and he is of the belief that had Custer’s entire command fought as bravely as the Gray Horse troop, there would have been no massacre.
Custer’s men charged right into the Indian camp, he says, without any semblance of order. No skirmish lines were thrown out, and when the Indians recovered from their panic it took but a short time to surround the cavalrymen. Then the soldiers became panic-stricken. According to Two Moons, many dropped their guns and tried to break through the Indians. Many seemed to have become insane. Only the Gray Horse troop rallied, and they fought like demons. They worked their way slowly up the ridge, but the savages shot them down one by one.
Had the whole command done the same, Two Moons says he doubts the Indians would have continued the battle, as they had squaws and children with them, but the helplessness of the troopers was taken advantage of by Sitting Bull. The battle started about 11 o’clock in the forenoon, and according to Two Moons lasted about an hour and a half.
“We didn’t allow even a yellow dog to escape,” said Two Moons, “One ran out from somewhere, and the Indian boys killed it.”
Two Moons declared that the Cheyennes did not recognize Custer during the fighting, as all the soldiers looked alike.