Modern history



Sitting Bull’s Village on June 25, 1876

There were two major tribes represented at the Battle of the Little Bighorn: the Lakota (also known as the Teton Sioux) and the Cheyenne, along with a small number of Arapaho and Santee Sioux. Of the Lakota, there were seven bands: the Blackfeet, Brulé, Hunkpapa, Minneconjou, Oglala, Sans Arcs, and Two Kettles. Below is a listing of the participants mentioned in the text, grouped alphabetically by tribe and band.2


Left Hand: part of a five-man hunting party that joined the village shortly before the battle; mistakenly killed a Lakota warrior in the dusty confusion around Last Stand Hill

Waterman: companion of Left Hand’s who described the Oglala warrior Crazy Horse as “the bravest man I ever saw”


Kill Eagle: leader of a band detained against their will by Sitting Bull’s warriors


Julia Face: married to Thunder Hawk; watched the battle from the hills to the west of the river

Standing Bear: not to be confused with the Minneconjou of the same name; told his son Luther of his experiences at the battle


Beaver Heart: told tribal historian John Stands in Timber of Custer’s boast about capturing the Lakota woman “with the most elk teeth on her dress”

Buffalo Calf Road Woman: rescued her fallen brother during the Battle of the Rosebud prior to the Little Bighorn

Comes in Sight: saved by his sister Buffalo Calf Road Woman at the Rosebud

Hanging Wolf: told the tribal historian John Stands in Timber of the soldiers’ northernmost approach to the river

Kate Bighead: told Thomas Marquis of how she watched the fighting from the periphery of the battlefield

Lame White Man: warrior killed by friendly fire during the charge near Battle Ridge

Little Hawk: discovered Crook’s Wyoming Column prior to the Battle of the Rosebud; also present at the Little Bighorn

Little Wolf: saw the Seventh approaching from the east but didn’t reach Sitting Bull’s village till after the fighting

Noisy Walking: cousin to Kate Bighead; mortally wounded by a Lakota during the battle

Two Moons: played a pivotal role during the battle with Custer; later spoke extensively about his experiences

White Shield: about twenty-six years old at the time of the battle; had a nine-year-old son named Porcupine and fought with a stuffed kingfisher tied to his head

Wolf’s Tooth: young warrior who later told John Stands in Timber about the battle

Wooden Leg: fought both Reno’s and Custer’s battalions and later told of his experiences to Thomas Marquis

Yellow Hair: brother to Wooden Leg

Yellow Nose: Ute captive raised as a Cheyenne who figured prominently in the Custer fight

Young Two Moons: twenty-one years old at the time of the battle; nephew to Chief Two Moons


Black Moon: announced Sitting Bull’s vision at the 1876 sun dance; lost a son during the battle

Crawler: father of Deeds and Moving Robe Woman; closely aligned with Sitting Bull

Deeds: ten-year-old son of Crawler; one of the first killed

Four Blankets Woman: younger sister of Seen by the Nation and wife of Sitting Bull

Gall: lost two wives and three children at onset of the battle; subsequently led in capturing the troopers’ horses

Good Bear Boy: friend of One Bull injured during the attack on Reno’s skirmish line

Gray Eagle: brother of Sitting Bull’s two wives, Four Blankets Woman and Seen by the Nation

Gray Whirlwind: with Sitting Bull when Reno attacked the Hunkpapa circle

Her Holy Door: mother of Sitting Bull

Iron Hawk: only fourteen years old during the battle; fought near Last Stand Hill

Jumping Bull: adopted brother of Sitting Bull

Little Soldier: Sitting Bull’s fourteen-year-old stepson at the time of the battle

Moving Robe Woman: also known as Mary Crawler; joined the fighting after the death of her brother Deeds

Old Bull: close ally of Sitting Bull who later claimed, “Soldiers made mistake attacking Hunkpapas first”

One Bull: Sitting Bull’s nephew and a major source on the life of his uncle

Pretty White Buffalo Woman: also known as Mrs. Horn Bull; claimed Reno might have won the battle if he had charged the village

Rain in the Face: noted warrior who became famous for the apocryphal story that he cut out Tom Custer’s heart

Seen by the Nation: elder sister of Four Blankets Woman and wife of Sitting Bull

Shoots Walking: just sixteen years old, fought against the objections of his parents; claimed that the soldiers “did not know enough to shoot”

Sitting Bull: forty-five-year-old political leader and holy man whose sun dance vision presaged the victory at the Little Bighorn


Red Horse: spoke of a single soldier who “alone saved his command a number of times by turning on his horse in the rear in the retreat”

Standing Bear: seventeen years old at the time of the battle; described the slaughter as Reno’s battalion retreated across the river

White Bull: brother of One Bull and nephew of Sitting Bull; counted seven coups during the battle


Black Bear: leader of a seven-person band seen at the divide by Custer’s scouts on the morning of June 25

Black Elk: twelve years old at the time of the battle; later related the story of his life in the classic Black Elk Speaks

Crazy Horse: thirty-five years old at the time of the battle; the preeminent Lakota warrior

Eagle Elk: twenty-four-year-old cousin to Crazy Horse; one of the many warriors who reported seeing Yellow Nose capture a company’s flag

Flying Hawk: twenty-four-year-old nephew of Sitting Bull

He Dog: thirty-six-year-old warrior and Shirt Wearer noted for his bravery

Low Dog: also about twenty-nine years old; married to a northern Cheyenne woman; later fled to Canada with Sitting Bull

Red Hawk: part of the Crazy Horse–led charge of Reno’s skirmish line; later drew a detailed map of the battle


Long Road: killed just seventy-five feet from the soldiers’ line on Reno Hill


Inkpaduta: veteran of Minnesota Uprising of the 1860s and ally of Sitting Bull


Runs the Enemy: leader of a hundred-warrior band that fought both at the Valley Fight and on Last Stand Hill

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