Hidden Springs of Crazy Horse-iana

Reread Larry McMurtry’s short life of Crazy Horse.  

Discovered something new: when No Water shot Crazy Horse for running away with his wife Black Buffalo Woman, he borrowed the gun he used from Bad Heart Bull.

This Bad Heart Bull was an uncle of Amos Bad Heart Bull, the ledger artist, who made this drawing of the death of Crazy Horse:

At the time of his death, Amos’ sketchbook was given to his younger sister, Dolly Pretty Cloud. In the 1930s, she was contacted by Helen Blish, a graduate student from the University of Nebraska, who asked to study her brother’s work for her master’s thesis in art. When Pretty Cloud died in 1947, her brother’s ledger book full of drawings was buried with her.

Before they were buried, the drawings were photographed by Blish’s professor, Hartley Burr Alexander, and they’re reprinted in this volume:

Amos Bad Heart Bull was only one of the Ledger Artists.

Much Ledger Art can be seen digitally through the Plains Ledger Art Project at UC San Diego.

Amos Bad Heart Bull’s work is vivid:

A literal translation of the Lakota word čhaŋtéšiče is “he has a bad heart”, but an idiomatic meaning is “he is sad.” Tȟatȟáŋka Čhaŋtéšiče would likely have been understood in the same way “Sad Bull” would be in English. When Lakota names are translated literally into English, they may lose their idiomatic sense.

Crazy Horse, Little Bighorn, these names alone are compelling enough.  Cavalrymen wiped out to the last man on the plains, these stories are interesting, or they have been to me as long as I remember.

This book couldn’t’ve been more what I wanted.  I first discovered it when TV commercials for the miniseries aired.

In my opinion the miniseries is damn good, but the book!  Part of what makes it so compelling is Connell sees how the telling of what happened, the attempt to figure out what happened, is as interesting as what happened itself.  The history of the history is as interesting as the history.

Connell starts his book with the troopers who discovered the stripped and mutilated bodies on the hillside, then takes us on a digressive journey towards how this happened, what happened, and what it all might mean, if anything.

Wikipedia presents this disputed picture of Crazy Horse.  It cannot be him.  He would never.  At Fort Robinson??  A desolate prairie outpost? This was taken in a city.  Etc.  From what we know of Crazy Horse, this is the opposite of what he would do.

But who knows?  Who is it?  Ghosts appear and disappear.

crazy horse

Crazy Horse had a daughter named They Are Afraid of Her.  She died, probably of cholera, McMurtry says, when she was three.

How about the legend of what happened at the Baker Fight:

In the middle of a frantic battle a man sits on the grass and smokes a pipe.

This occurred during what is sometimes called the Arrow Creek Fight, or the Baker Fight.

found that here.

Once spent some time on Google Maps trying to find the site of the Baker fight.

While reading about one of the few white men Crazy Horse trusted, Doctor Valentine McGillycuddy:

I find a reference to a thirteen volume set, Hidden Springs of Custeriana.

The hunt for hidden springs in the long pored-over records of the past.  The ledger photographed, then buried in Nebraska.

more:

 

 


2 Comments on “Hidden Springs of Crazy Horse-iana”

  1. Marguerite Tancraitor MS.Ed., TVI says:

    Love going down rabbit holes with you! Thanks for another treat.

  2. Anonymous says:

    The book “Keep the Last Bullet for Yourself” has an interesting account of the Battle of the Little Big Horn based upon Sioux sources.

    I came across your site because I was thinking about Lee Sandlin, a friend from high school, and I saw your encomium on his article on the Battle of Midway.


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