Crazy Horse (Around 1842-September 5, 1877) was a contemporary of Sitting Bull, and worked closely with him in the battle for Sioux independence and the resistance against U.S. forces. Part of the Ogala Lakota tribe, Crazy Horse was largely responsible for the Sioux victory at Little Bighorn.
Both of Crazy Horse’s parents were Sioux, although from different tribes. His mother died when he was a small boy, and he was raised by his father and his new wives. As a boy, he witnessed the massacre of American troops by the Sioux in the Grattan massacre, and began to experience spiritual visions. By adulthood, he was described as modest, quiet, and largely alone. He was kind and generous to those in need.
On December 21, 1866, Crazy Horse and several others led the Fetterman fight, called the Fetterman massacre by whites and the Battle of the Hundred in the Hand by the Sioux. U.S. forces were defeated by the combined efforts of the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne in a decisive victory.
Crazy Horse’s most significant victory came during the Great Sioux War of 1876 and 1877. Crazy Horse led a group of 1500 Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne against General George Crook’s forces. Crazy Horse and his men won the battle, and delayed aid reaching General Custer at Little Big Horn. On June 25, 1876, Crazy Horse and his men fought Custer’s troops and were victorious. Men of other tribes reported on Crazy Horse’s bravery in battle. After another battle in September 1876, Crazy Horse and his men, facing starvation, surrendered to U.S. forces in January 1877.
According to the military, Crazy Horse attempted to escape or resisted custody and was stabbed with a bayonet and died. There is some dispute about this story; however, his body was returned to his parents after his death.