Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse, d. 1877, war chief of the Oglala Sioux. He was a prominent leader in the Sioux resistance to white encroachment in the mineral-rich Black Hills. When Crazy Horse and his people refused to go on a reservation, troops attacked (Mar. 17, 1876) their camp on Powder River. Crazy Horse was victorious in that battle as well as in his encounter with Gen. George Crook on the Rosebud River (June 17). He joined Sitting Bull and Gall in defeating George Armstrong Custer at the battle of the Little Bighorn (June 25). In Jan., 1877, Gen. Nelson Miles attacked his camp, and Crazy Horse and his followers spent the rest of that winter in a state of near starvation. Numbering about 1,000, they surrendered at the Red Cloud agency in May. Imprisoned because he was rumored to be planning a revolt, Crazy Horse was killed while reportedly attempting to escape. His bravery and skill were generally acknowledged, and he is revered by the Sioux as their greatest leader. Near Custer, S.Dak., the Crazy Horse Memorial, depicting the chief mounted on horseback, has been under construction since 1948.

See biographies by M. Sandoz (1942, repr. 2004), E. A. Brininstool (1949), L. McMurtry (1998), and K. M. Bray (2006); T. Powers, The Killing of Crazy Horse (2010).

The Columbia Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright© 2014, The Columbia University Press.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

The Death of Crazy Horse: A Tragic Episode in Lakota History
Richard G. Hardorff.
University of Nebraska Press, 2001
The Nebraska Indian Wars Reader, 1865-1877
R. Eli Paul.
University of Nebraska Press, 1998
Librarian’s tip: Chap. 9 "War or Peace: The Anxious Wait for Crazy Horse"
Indian Heroes and Great Chieftains
Charles A. Eastman.
University of Nebraska Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: "Crazy Horse" begins on p. 83
The Sixth Grandfather: Black Elk's Teachings Given to John G. Neihardt
Black Elk; John G. Neihardt; Raymond J. DeMallie.
University of Nebraska Press, 1984
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Crazy Horse begins on p. 168
Indian Fights and Fighters
Cyrus Townsend Brady.
University of Nebraska Press, 1971
Librarian’s tip: "Miles' Crushing Defeat of Crazy Horse at Wolf Mountain" begins on p. 326
With My Own Eyes: A Lakota Woman Tells Her People's History
Susan Bordeaux Bettelyoun; Josephine Waggoner; Emily Levine.
University of Nebraska Press, 1999
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Twelve "Crazy Horse, Tasunka Witco"
My People, the Sioux
Luther Standing Bear; E. A. Brininstool.
University of Nebraska Press, 1975
Librarian’s tip: Chap. VII "Custer's Last Fight and the Death of Crazy Horse"
Land of the Spotted Eagle
Luther Standing Bear.
University of Nebraska Press, 1978
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Crazy Horse begins on p. 178
Red Cloud and the Sioux Problem
James C. Olson.
University of Nebraska Press, 1965
Librarian’s tip: Discussion of Crazy Horse begins on p. 235
Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877
Jerome A. Greene.
University of Nebraska Press, 1991
Librarian’s tip: Chap. Seven "Wolf Mountains"
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