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Near the Crow Agency, S. E. Montana

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Tumbleweed

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Pprms post about the artist who did a painting of the survivor of the battle on the Little Big Horn started me looking for a picture I had cut out of the Rapid City paper a few years ago. It was a picture and story of the indian survivors taken in 1948 in the Black Hills at a reunion of some of the indians who were there. I also found a lot of pictures I took at a reinactment that the Crows put on at the battle field. The Sioux and Cheyenne are the ones that fought Custer and the Crows were helping the cavalry because they wanted them out of that country and weren’t strong enough to drive them out. I guess they figured with the help of the cavalry they could. I thought it was kind of funny that the Crows were putting on the reinactment and asked one of them if any of the Sioux ever came over from South Dakota and helped them and he said..... “ no them Sioux they don’t like us much”. When I got back home there were a couple of Sioux indians helping my neighbor and we were fixing a crick crossing that had washed out. I was telling one of them where I had been and he got a big grin on his face and laughed. He said.....”The Crows they was helpin Custer”. So I asked him if he thought any of the Sioux would like to go over and help them put it on and he said......”no them Crows they don’t like us much and we could get in big trouble over there”!!!

Gary Carter and Hank Realbird are blood brothers and they invited me and Jinglebob to come over and camp with them when they put on the reinactment a few years ago. I don’t know if they are still putting it on. I think there is a one at Hardin but I don’t know if the Realbirds still do the one on the Little Big Horn where the battle was. So we went over and spent a couple of days and camped with them. They had cooked a buffalo to eat and there was plenty of other good food for the cavalry reinactors and the Crows that was helping. After we ate Jinglebob and I were invited to join them in the sweat lodge. Jinglebob chose to stay at the campfire and make music and tell stories. I thought it was an honor to be invited so I decided accept their offer. The sweat lodge is like an indian church where they prayed and talked about Old Man Coyote and things that he could teach you . The medicine man said Old Man Coyote is tricky and sometimes he teaches you things you didn’t think you needed to learn. The sweat lodge is one of the hottest, steamiest places I’ve ever been in my life. When I got out of there I went down and soaked in the Little Big Horn River. It was the twenty third of June and the water was ice cold but I was so over heated that it was no shock to get in it. It just felt good! .

I think being in the place where the battle took place, the sound and smoke from those big rifles going off, war whoops, horses whinnying, the dust being stirred up with the sound of all those horses hooves hitting the ground and the beat of the drum in the background which is the beat off the heart is pretty exciting to watch. I was also impressed with how well the Crows rode their horses. They were riding around flat out like a bunch of wild indians with just a bridle and a breach cloth and I never saw any of them fall off there horses.

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An old friend and neighbor who passed away a few years ago told me when he was little he used to stay with a couple of old indians quite often. They told him when they were little kids they were camped along the Little Big Horn with their families when Custer attacked their camp. They said they didn’t remember much about the fighting but what did make a big impression on them was that after it was over there were lots of dead horses laying everywhere that got shot during the fight.

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This is the picture I saved from the Rapid City Journal and a little of the story that went with it.

“They wish they could do it again, said six of the eight known survivors of the Custer massacre who are holding a reunion today in Custer State park.
The dignified old warriors, whose ages range from 98 to 78, are still proud of their people’s triumph over the white general on June 25, 1876. They are only sorry the Sioux are not strong enough to chase the whites out of their hunting grounds and their Black Hills, where they believe the Great Spirit dwells”.
 

the_jersey_lilly_2000

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WONDERFUL PICTURES!!!!!! and a great story to go with it. thank you ever so much for taking the time to post them and type the story. That's what I love so much about Ranchers.net, everyone is so willin to go the extra mile to share things with all of us. Almost like gettin to take a mini vacation to somewhere we might otherwise not get to go.

Thanks again Tumbleweed.
 

Liberty Belle

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Very interesting Tumbleweed - wish I could have been there with you and Jinglebob. I have visited the battle site several times and find it very impressive.

The bad feelings between the Sioux and other tribes like the Crow, Hidatsa, Ree and Mandan will never be overcome, do you think? We have a close family friend who is a Hidatsa/German that we have known well for years and it wasn’t until several years ago on the way home from a long rodeo run that he admitted that he also has a little Sioux in his bloodlines – but he asked us to please not tell any of our other friends because he was so ashamed of it. Not long after he confessed his family secret to us, he was waylaid coming out of a bar in North Dakota by several Sioux who almost beat him to death and broke his knee caps with a tire iron. After several surgeries, extensive therapy and a long recovery, he’s back to bull dogging and we don’t bring up his “shameful secret”.

You know this story is going to blow stevec's mind, don't you? At least what little he has. He thinks all the Indians were killed off. Evidently his grade school history classes there in the People’s Republic of Massachusetts only focused on black folks and liberal politicians and didn’t mention anything about which race lost at the Little Big Horn.
 

Big Muddy rancher

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My wife took a week long workshop with the CAA bunch and Gary Carter was one of her favorites.

When we met in Deadwood last summer I GPS'd it as 327 miles from Deadwood to home in the Big Muddy valley. As the crow flies. But that country was ranged over by the Sioux. When Sitting Bull was escorted back to Plentywood MT to meet up with the US cavalry from Fort Buford they traveled the Willow Bunch trail that travels about 4 miles through our pasture going right behind our house.

Johnny Chartrand the scout that helped get Sitting Bull back to the US and made quite a ride to get the cavalry coming in a hurry from Fort Buford. Anyway a granson of his was marrying a woman that alreadfy had a child. When asked about the boy the motherin law said he's Sioux. Meaning trouble. They were Cree. So I guess it wasn't only the Crows that didn't like the Sioux.
 

theHiredMansWife

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The bad feelings between the Sioux and other tribes like the Crow, Hidatsa, Ree and Mandan will never be overcome, do you think?

Oh, I think they probably will, eventually. Just like the bad feelings between Indians and whites. (My husband has a good story about being in the bar in Oelrichs when an Indian lady decided it was time to kick the white man's backsides and he and his buddy looked around and decided it was time to leave. :lol: )
But we have to keep in mind, that's one of those things that goes back a few hundred years. Well before Custer. And for folks on the rez at least, there's always that part of them that's living a century behind...
 

Northern Rancher

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I've been to the battlefield a few times and it is a beautiful but chilling place-if you go there about the same time of year as the battle was-on a pretty spring day with the meadow larks singing and you think of what went on there it gives you a weird feeling. Imagine the courage of the lone Mountie who rode into Sitting Bull's camp after he escaped to Canada. The story of the Nez Perce and Chief Joseph is very interesting too to go as far as they did and fight as many engagements along the way is pretty remarkable-his speech on surrendering is one of America's greatest pieces of literature in my opinion.
 

sw

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Thanks Tumbleweed, those are great pictures you been hiding from us. Even as close as we live, we have never gone to the reenactment. I do know a couple of guys from Roundup that are part of the cavalry every year, but we just never go down there. I'm not sure if Realbirds are still doing their thing or not, I was told that theirs is the one to see, not the more commercial one put on.
 

PPRM

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I grew up in Joseph, Oregon, home of Chief Joseph and the Nez Pierce. As kids, we made suana's and would sweat in them and run out and jump in that ice cold water. Course, we didn't know there was anything but Ice cold creeks and lakes, LOL. It seemed to work some of the stuff in skin out.

I forgot about all that till this thread.

I also remember an uncle talking about when he was a kid, maybe the thirties???? He said once in awhile some indians would come back and a lot of the old timers would get real nervous. Chief Joseph Days has done a lot to allieviate that. They put on tribal dances and Pow Woo's during the weekend of the Rodeo, share some culture,

They used to do a reinactment in Jospeh of the main street bank robbery. Seems the money and one guy was never found, lots of lore and stories to go around,

PPRM

Anyways, nice pics.
 

Faster horses

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Super pictures, stories and topic. Thanks so much for starting this thread.

Now, I would hope NR would tell us the story of the lone Mountie riding into Sitting Bulls camp. Have not heard that one before.

Again, fascinating topic. And I have been the battlefield and you do get an odd feeling there, very odd, in fact...
 

nr

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I'd often heard that in the 1800s the Indians rode ponies or small horses which could wheel around more quickly. Those in the pictures didn't look small to me.?
Interesting that they still can ride fast and saddleless.
Guess I'd ride fast if I were naked too. :lol:
 
A

Anonymous

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Liberty Belle said:
The bad feelings between the Sioux and other tribes like the Crow, Hidatsa, Ree and Mandan will never be overcome, do you think?

How right you are Liberty Belle- those old tribal rivalrys and mistrust may never go away...I spent a couple hours yesterday talking with an Assiniboine lady- and she was cussing Sioux, even tho the Sioux and Assiniboine are stuck on the same reservation...But then she started on the Crows- would spit on the floor every time she had to say Crow...

One of the reasons the local tribes went away from BIA Police and back to Tribal Police is that the BIA officers came from all tribes...An old friend who was Assiniboine had a fire- BIA police came to investigate and he ran them off and called me to come investigate--When I asked him what the problem was he said the Officers were Crows and No Crow will ever step foot on his land!!!!
 

Soapweed

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It just goes to show that even before the white man came to clutter up the land, the Native Americans were not exactly living in Utopia. What difference does it make if you get killed by a white man or by another Indian? You still end up just as dead.

Thanks for posting the pictures, Tumbleweed. They are of super quality.
 

Northern Rancher

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It's not a story it's a fact-when Sitting Bull crossed into Canada -one Mountie rode into his camp and told him his people would have to obey the laws of the land-which they did more or less the time they spent north of the medicine line-those old time redcoats were tough customers but they kept their word-i imagine that was a refreshing change for the Sioux.
 
A

Anonymous

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NR- When Sitting Bull went north after the Little Big Horn battle he went up "The Pass" next to Porcupine Creek which is just a couple miles east of our north place- He then camped in the Wood Mountain area for much of the time he was in Canada- which its my understanding is why they built the mountie post there- which is now an angus ranch with some of the old post buildings still remaining....
 

OldDog/NewTricks

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At one time (60's) I had a Runnin Pardner - His brother was Killed at Wouned Knee - he left here ready to Kill - we were really worried about him - Nice Guy - Lost track of him, then he showed up a Salinas in the late 70's - Had changed his name said he was a Chief to keep the youngn at peace.

When I knew him he was Tuffy Sierra

V_Key has California Indian Blood - "Ohlone" the spanish called them Coastanoans (Coastal People)

Tumbleweed

Great Pictures
What kind of a Camera do you shoot?
 

Juan

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PPRM..........

"POW WOO'S.........Was that when you met the Young gals? :D :D :D :D
 

Tumbleweed

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Liberty Belle I think maybe some day things might get a little more peaceful. Trouble is when whites and indians or indians of differen tribes get together with old grievances and you mix in a little alcohol things can get dangerous in a hurry.

Back a few years ago some friends and I were headed out to Yellostone. We were hauling horses and stopped to pick up a Sioux indian and more horses near Lodge Grass, Mt. He was married to a Crow woman so I guess they must be able to get along sometimes. We spent a week in the Yellowstone back country camping and seeing the country.

I had a good friend I met on a pack trip in the Yellowstone back country that was from Massachusetts. He was part indian and was decended from the indians in the northeast. I wonder if maybe some of the indians just seem to disapear because they marry white people and eventually just get blended together.
 

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