White Man Runs Him's
IN '76 I was enlisted with others as a scout under Gen. Gibbon. At that time I was twenty-two or twenty-three years old. Gen. Custer was on a boat close to the mouth of the Rosebud, and asked for a detail of scouts. I was on this detail.
"I went with Custer and did scout's duty; looked for tracks and trails; went on hills and looked for smoke. At the head of Reno Creek we came to a butte from which we saw the village. We went down the creek to the forks, where we separated, the scouts going with Custer to the right, Reno going to the left.
"We followed down the creek and went on a high ridge from where we could see the village. We fired on them, then went to join Custer, who had been behind us and to the east. We went with Custer down a dry gulch to near the river. Near the mouth of the gulch some dismounted and fired into the village. There were a good many Sioux around firing at us. Mitch Boyer said that Custer had told us to go back to the pack-train and we went. As we went back lots of Sioux were around and shot at us. When we met the pack-train I told one of the officers of a good place to entrench, and we went there and built entrenchments.
"Toward sun-down we got away and rode through some sharp buttes where a good many Sioux fired at us. We killed one of them. We kept on and came to the Big Horn near the mouth of the Little Horn. It was raining and very dark and muddy. Part of Gibbon's command were coming up the east side of the river. We told them the camp was up the river, and that they were fighting hard. We told the scouts to come with us to the Crow camp to get fresh horses, so we could come back and join the command. We told them they would get killed if they went to the Sioux camp. They went with us and we traveled till we reached the Crow camp on Pryor Creek.
"Before the battle La Forge [Thomas LaForge] sent us down Powder River to look for Custer. We found him near the mouth of the river. I was the first Crow to shake hands with Gen. Custer. There was a packer there who talked a little Crow. Custer said that he was glad to see us Crows, that we were working to one end. That was when I was first called 'Custer's Friend."'
The Custer Battle Book by Herbert Coffeen, A Reflection Book, Carlton Press, Inc., New York, 1964 p 46 - 47
All the Indians -- friendly and hostile -- were very guarded about what they said about the battle to the Americans, which is understandable given the Americans' murderous history. But a full and candid account of the battle as the Crow scouts observed it is contained in the story told by Pretty Shield, who was the wife of Goes Ahead and the neice of Half Yellow Face, leader of the Crow scouts. Pretty Shield fills in the blanks left in the accounts of Goes Ahead, Hairy Moccasin and White Man Runs Him.
For more information on Custer's scouts, please see The Twisted Saga of the Unsung Seventh Cavalry Scouts.
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