A Ree's Story of the Battle
THE STORY OF AN ANONYMOUS REE SCOUT
I WAS RIDING a slow horse that had become I tired out, and this put me behind the command. There were two other Ree scouts with me. We passed the lone tepee and came to the place where the trail of the soldiers separated, one trail keeping on down the creek toward the Little Bighorn, and the other taking off to the right, in a direction down the river. We three Rees took the right-hand trail, which we afterward learned was the way Gen. Custer had gone.
We followed this right-hand trail and came to the bluffs overlooking the Little Bighorn, and after going some farther we came upon a soldier whose horse had given out. He was kicking the horse and striking him with his fist, and saying: "Me go Custer! Me go Custer," at the same time pointing in the direction that Custer and the five companies had gone.
We went up a little dip and came in view of the Sioux camp in the valley, and soon came up to another soldier whose horse was down, overcome by the heat, and he could not get him up. He was kicking the horse and swearing and calling the horse a son of a bitch. [Note Here's Ree scout Soldier's description of Seventh Cavalry troopers kicking their exhuasted horses.] We went on some distance and then turned back, going along the bluffs in a direction up the river. We again saw the two soldiers whose horses had given out. They were together, and on foot, on the side of the bluffs. Five Sioux came up over the bluff, from the valley, following us. We went on, and the last we saw of the two soldiers they had separated and the five Sioux were circling them. We always supposed that these two soldiers were killed right there, as they were afoot and the Sioux had them where they could not very well get away."
When I told this Ree that at least one of the two soldiers whom he had seen surrounded by the five Sioux was still living he would not believe me. [Note: Medal of Honor recipient Peter Thompson was the incredible survivor. Here's Thompson's account of his escape, which began his equally incredible foray to the river where he glimpsed Custer in the midst of some kinky business with a tethered Sioux squaw. See Who Killed Custer -- The Eye-Witness Answer for more info.]
The Custer Myth: A Source Book of Custerania, written and compiled by Colonel W.A. Graham, The Stackpole Co., Harrisburg, PA 1953, p 44
Walter Mason Camp originally shared this account with Peter Thompson because he was one of the troopers who mircalulously escaped the five circling Sioux.
For more information on Custer's scouts, please see The Twisted Saga of the Unsung Seventh Cavalry Scouts.
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