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  • Matthew Kerns

The Battle of the Greasy Grass

Updated: Jun 27, 2019

143 years ago, Texas Jack was in Philadelphia getting ready to participate in the events of the American Centennial. His plans would soon be thrown aside when he was called into service as a scout for General Terry in the aftermath of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and Cheyenne who fought there as the Battle of the Greasy Grass. The battle was fought from June the 25th-26th, 1876.

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer

News of the death of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer at the hands of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors quickly reached Philadelphia, and Texas Jack and his friend and partner Buffalo Bill Cody were soon headed towards Montana and the Dakotas to assist Generals Terry and Crook in searching for holy man Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) and shirt wearer Tȟašúŋke Witkó (Crazy Horse).

Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) 1883.


Though Texas Jack and Buffalo Bill went to work for the army when called, neither felt any personal animosity towards the Sioux they were charged with tracking. Texas Jack would hire several Sioux (along with Warm Springs, Pawnee, and members of several other tribes) for his Texas Jack Combinations, and Buffalo Bill travelled with his Wild West Show to Europe with several Sioux. When asked about the Indians he had famously fought in his youth, Cody responded that "In nine cases out of ten where there is trouble between white men and Indians, it will be found that the white man is responsible. Indians expect a man to keep his word. They can't understand how a man can lie."


Charles M. Russell "The Custer Fight"

Tokála Luta (Red Fox) who travelled with Cody's Wild West Show said after his death that, "In my imagination, I can see his noble spirit winging over the lofty peak , and I bow my head in memory of one who always impressed me with kindness and compassion, and enriched me with the deeply entrenched integrity of his character."


Tokála Luta (Red Fox)

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