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Crazy Horse's Speech before the Battle
CRAZY HORSE GIVES A RARE SPEECH TO HIS MEN
...HE [Crazy Horse] addressed his followers. Riding along the line, his right hand raised in admonition, the left cradling the Winchester against his hip, Crazy Horse talked "calmly to them[,] ... telling them to restrain their ardor till the right time when he should give the word; that he wanted Reno's men to get their guns hot so they would not work so well." [Billy Garnett interview, Eli S. Ricker Papers, tablet 2] [Note: this was a trick that Crazy Horse had used for years against the Americans. Eagle Elk said Crazy Horse did the same thing in the 1865 Powder River campaign.] Red Hawk remembered Crazy Horse closing his speech with the words "Here are some of the soldiers after us again. Do your best, and let us kill them all off today, that they may not trouble us anymore. All ready! Charge! [Hokahe!]" [interview by Eli S. Ricker, Nov. 20, 1906, Eli S. Ricker Papers, tablet 29,] At about 3:45, Crazy Horse turned his pony toward the battle. Followed by Kicking Bear, he led a stream of Oglala warriors at a run...
Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life by Kingsley M. Bray, University of Oklahoma Press, Norman, OK, 2006 p 205 - 207
Kingsley M. Bray here cites two heretofore unpublished accounts of Crazy Horse's speech before the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Red Hawk and Billy Garnett, both from the Eli S. Ricker Papers. William J. Bordeaux gave another account of this rare speech by Crazy Horse.
Englishman Bray's Crazy Horse: A Lakota Life is the best of the new Crazy Horse biographies. A stylish and evocative narrative writer, Bray has probably made his biggest contribution to Crazy Horse studies by somewhat untangling the meaning and sequence of Crazy Horse's visions. Where Mari Sandoz's seminal biography, Crazy Horse: Strange Man of the Oglala, portrays Crazy Horse's first vision as a gift of the Sky Powers in the guise of Thunder, Bray portrays it as a gift of the Earth Powers in the guise of Water. In other words, it was not the gift of Thunder, it was power over Thunder -- a subtle but important distinction which sets the stage for another of Bray's realizations, that through his dream visions Crazy Horse ultimately achieved the power of all the elements, as the Sioux conceived them, making him the most complete mujahidin of his era.
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