We mounted and rode over to General Custer’s camp. He had a big tent. We got off at the door. I was the first to shake his hand. I had a dollar in my hand, and I pressed that into his hand. Each scout shook hands with him.
Then our interpreter told us there was a man in the camp of the army who wanted to see us, and we went over there. Then we went into General Custer’s tent; we sat on one side of the tent, and that was a day of great pleasure to me. I saw that General Custer was a man of about six feet two inches, slim and well-built, and kind-hearted. He wore long hair.
When we got to the camp, we saw that a battle had been fought, for we found the scalps and the beards of white men. We went back that night and reported to Custer. It was pretty late, but Custer’s cook was up and had a light in his tent. Then Custer told the cook to give the boys their meal. After we got through our supper we went to his tent as Custer wanted to see us.
And then the rest dismounted and gathered in a bunch, kneeling down and shooting from behind their horses. We circled round and round, firing into Custer’s men until the last man was killed. I did not see Custer fall, for all the Indians did not know which was Custer.
They further testify that after Reno made his attack with a portion of his men, thus depleting his effective fighting force by one half and in desperation made his bungling retreat, had he later come to the aid of Custer with the added reinforcements of Benteen, French, and Weir, who begged him to hear the appeal of Custer’s rapid volleys, Custer would have broken the Indian camp.
According to my estimate there were about two thousand able-bodied warriors engaged in this fight; they were all in good fighting order. The guns and ammunition that we gathered from the dead soldiers of Custer’s command put us in better fighting condition than ever before, but the sentiment ran around among the Indians that we had killed enough, and we did not want to fight any more.
George A. Custer. “Custer’s Last Battle,” as chroniclers of Indian wars have designated that grim tragedy, has been written about, speculated upon, and discussed more than any other single engagement between white troops and Indians. The brave dead sleep on; they are bivouacked on Fame’s eternal camping ground.
From the point that juts out just below where the monument stands about thirty of us got through the line, firing as we went, and captured a lot of Custer’s horses and drove them down to the river. The horses were so thirsty that the moment we reached the river they just stood and drank and drank, and that gave us a chance to get off our horses and catch hold of the bridles.
When I turned back I could not see anything but soldiers and Indians all mixed up together. You could hardly tell one from the other. As I rode along the ridge I found nearly all the soldiers killed. I again rode up to the ridge along which Custer’s troops had been stationed.
It is historically significant, therefore, that the Indian now speaks, and the story of Custer’s Last Battle, now told for the first time by all four of his scouts, and leaders of the Sioux and Cheyennes, should mark an epoch in the history of this grim battle.