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Crazy Horse Facts

Crazy Horse was a famous Native American.

He was a leader of the Ogala band, one of the seven sub-tribes of the Lakota Sioux.

Crazy Horse

Crazy Horse was born in South Dakota in 1840. Crazy Horse was not always called Crazy Horse. When he was a child, he was named “Curly Hair” or “Light-Haired Boy.”

He got the name “Crazy Horse” after a battle with Arapaho warriors.

Crazy Horse Sketch

A famous warrior

Crazy Horse was very famous among the Lakota Sioux because he won so many battles against the Crow, the Shoshone, Pawnee, Blackfeet and the Arikara.

Lakota Portraits

Crazy Horse was given the name “shirt wearer” which meant he was a war leader.

This was because of his fighting ability in the Battle of Platte Bridge and the Battle of Red Buttes in 1865.

The Silenced War Whoop

Battle of the Hundred in the Hand (the Fetterman Massacre)

Crazy Horse was responsible for the U.S. Army’s greatest defeated until the 1860s. Crazy Horse provided a decoy to distract the U.S. soldiers.

Fetterman Massacre

On December 21st 1866, Crazy Horse and six other warriors led 53 infantrymen and 27 cavalry into a surprise attack.

The soldiers were led up a hill and then the Lakota and Cheyenne warriors swept in and killed 1,000 U.S. soldiers.

Kim Douglas Wiggins Painting Of The Fetterman Massacre

Wagon Box Fight

This fight also happened near Fort Phil Kearny. The Lakota did not do so well in this battle. Between 1000 and 2000 Lakota attacked a crew of wood-cutters.

However, the Lakota had much slower guns that could only be loaded three times a minute.

The settlers had new breech-loading rifles. The Lakota lost 150-200 men but the wood-cutters only lost 5 men.

Fort Phil Kearney

The Great Sioux War 1876-77

Battle Of The Little Big Horn

Crazy Horse led an attack on General George Cook’s army in 1876.

This battle did not see many losses, but it meant that George Crook’s army was slow to reach George A. Custer in the Battle of Little Bighorn.

For this reason, people say Crazy Horse and his army played a great part in the defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Custers Last Charge

In retaliation, Custer’s 7th Cavalry attacked Cheyenne and Lakota bands. Crazy Horse was reported to have been very brave in this battle.

He and his soldiers surrendered and fled to Fort Robinson (Nebraska).

Crazy Horse died here, when he tried to escape.

Last Sun Dance of 1877

Sun Dance Rosebud Agency Sd


Crazy Horse’s bravery and commitment to the Battle of the Little Big Horn was honoured at the Last Sun Dance of 1877.

Lots of prayers and dancing were dedicated to him for the times ahead. Crazy Horse himself was there to watch the dancing.


Crazy Horse Memorial

Crazy Horse is remembered as one of the great resisters of  U.S forces. He has a memorial in the Black HiIls of South Dakota. It is his face carved out of the mountainside.

The artist Korczak Ziolkowski had also worked on Mount Rushmore in 1948.

He received a request from a Lakota chief – Henry Standing Bear – to remember a Native American in the same way as the American presidents were remembered.

It is 87 feet tall – taller that any of the faces of the American presidents on Mount Rushmore.

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Quiz Time!

Which band  was Crazy Horse part of?

What was Crazy Horse’s name when he was a child?

What was the name of the dance festival held in honor of Crazy Horse?

When did that festival take place?

How tall is Crazy Horse’s monument?

Native Americans

Crazy Project

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