Bruce Brown's 100 Voices...
Grant Short Bull's Story of the Battle
SIX DAYS after the Rosebud fight, Custer ran into us. In this Custer fight I was helping fight Reno and never noticed Custer coming. We had Reno's men on the run across the creek when Crazy Horse rode up with his men.
"Too late! You've missed the fight!" we called out to him. "Sorry to miss the fight!" he laughed, "But there's a good fight coming over the hill."
"That's where the big fight is going to be," said Crazy Horse. "We'll not miss that one."
He was not a bit excited, he made a joke of it. He wheeled and rode down the river and a little while later I saw him on his pinto pony leading his men across the ford. He was the first man to cross the river. I saw he had the business well in hand.
They rode up the draw and then there was too much dust, I could not see any more. The next day we saw Bear Coat (The Indian name of General Miles, but Short Buffalo obviously means Gen. Terry, more commonly called the Limping Soldier, or One With No Hip) coming from below along the river. These soldiers are the ones that dug in the ground and didn't do much fighting. In the morning they joined forces with Reno on his hill. The Indians quit and went away. There had been three armies after us, Crook, Custer and Bear Coat (Terry). If all three forces had struck together it might have been a different story. But each struck separately.
The day we saw Bear Coat (Terry), Crazy Horse was in charge. He placed scouts to see Bear Coat did not follow us. But he did not. His soldiers made racks (litters) and hauled the wounded to the mouth of the Bighorn. I was one of the scouts who saw this and reported to Crazy Horse. [Note: Here is Chares Windolf's vivid description of the Sioux and Cheyenne withdrawal at the end of the battle, with all the warriors under the unified command of Crazy Horse, as at the Battle of the Rosebud.]
Our next fight was the Slim Buttes fight. In that, five leaders were prominent, Crazy Horse, Kicking Bear, Wears-The-Deer-Bonnet, He Dog and Brave Wolf. There was no one commander. No leader did anything extraordinary.
This was the last battle I, myself, saw Crazy Horse take part in. The Indians call it "The Fight Where We Lost The Black Hills".
Six Indians were taken prisoner in this battle; we call them the Black Hills captives. Charging Bear (Little Big Man) was one of the captives. [Note: Short Bull's memory appears to be in error on this point, for the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger lists Little Big Man among the 899 Sioux and Cheyenne who surrendered with Crazy Horse on May 6, 1877.]
The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader edited by R. Eli Paul, University of Nebraska Press, Lincoln, NE 1998, p 204 - 205
Short Bull or Short Buffalo (later known as John Arnold Short Bull) was He Dog's brother. His comment about Little Big Man being captured at the Battle of Slim Buttes doesn't agree with the Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger, where Little Big Man is listed among those who surrendered with Crazy Horse at Ft. Robinson in May 1877, along with Short Bull, He Dog, White Twin, Knife Chief, Black Elk and nearly 900 others. Here is Short Bull's account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Battle of the Rosebud.
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I am honored that I have received personal communication from two of Short Bull's family. Both Tim Short Bull and Dr. Lisa Short Bull, both direct descendents of John Arnold Short Bull, the Ghost Dancer, shared information that has made this article more accurate. Thanks to both!