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John Sivertsen's Story of the Battle
THE STORY OF JOHN SIVERTSEN
"AFTER WE HAD forded the Little Big Horn, above the Indian village," he says, "Major Reno gave the command, `Right front into line! Load pistols! Gallop!' And away we went down the valley, the men shouting like Indians, `Hi-Yah! Hi-Yah!' Reno yelled, `That's right boys!' We rode until we got pretty close to the Indian camp. By this time we saw Indians on every side, the bluffs to the left being crowded with them. The command was given. `Dismount and fight on foot!' and we did so, forming in skirmish line, five feet apart. The Indians were shooting at us from all sides. Then we went into a clump of timber. I was the tallest man in the troop -- they called me 'Big Fritz' -- and I was Number One in the line. When we dismounted in the timber I gave my horse to Number Four, who held it with his own and two others.
"The fight in here was very hot and men were falling fast. We could not see the Indians, but they were signaling all the time to each other with their little bone whistles, and they seemed to be on all sides. [Note: the "little bone whistles" that Sivertson was refering to were called "eagle horns" by the Sioux, and were made form the leg bone of an eagle. Here is a sketch by David Humphreys Miller of Crazy Horse's Eagle Horn.] Major Reno got alarmed about the horses and...
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