A Good Day to Die

25 June 1876 marked one of the last major military engagements between the US Calvary and Native American Tribes. Known as the ‘Battle of the Little Bighorn’ it pitted George A. Custer, a veteran of the Civil War, against such Native warriors as ‘Sitting Bull’ and ‘Crazy Horse’. Many would later testify as to the courage of the combatants. ‘Water Man’, one of only five Arapaho warriors who fought, said Crazy Horse “was the bravest man I ever saw. He rode closest to the soldiers, yelling to his warriors. All the soldiers were shooting at him, but he was never hit.” A Sioux participant in the battle named, ‘Little Soldier’, said,

The greatest fighter in the whole battle was Crazy Horse.

Crazy Horse is said to have exhorted his warriors before the fight with the battle cry,

Hóka-héy! Today is a good day to die!

According to a study published in the Washington Post last month, 20 million Native Americans perished after the arrival of European settlers.