A Warrior Who Fought Custer
Wooden Leg was one of the sixteen hundred warriors of the Northern Cheyennes who fought with the Sioux against Custer at the legendary Battle of the Little Bighorn. As an old man in his seventies, he related his story of the battle to Thomas B. Marquis, formerly an agency physician for the Northern Cheyennes, in scores of interviews, illustrating his statements with drawings and maps. Some aspects of Wooden Leg's account have provoked controversy, but—as Marquis points out—soon after the battle the Sioux were settled in the Dakotas while the Cheyennes "were located on the reservation in the heart of the region where had been the conflicts. Thus they have kept their memories fresh or have kept each other prompted into true recollections. This advantageous condition has rendered them the best of first-hand authorities." The author checked and corroborated or corrected all points of importance with other Cheyennes—among them Limpy, Pine, Bobtail Horse, Sun Bear, Black Horse, Two Feathers, Wolf Chief, Little Sun, Blackbird, Big Beaver, Medicine Bull, and the younger Little Wolf—"all of whom were with the hostile Indians when Custer came."