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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Thursday, January 8, 2015

Battle of Wolf Mountain

This Day in History: January 8, 1877

Throughout American history lies legend after legend, story after story, event after event surrounding the Native Americans. At many historical points, Indian/white-man relations were more hostile than peaceful. Westward Expansion led the white-man on a quest toward acquiring more and more territory leaving the Native Americans on the losing end of the deal...Displaced as new settlers moved in, they lost their traditional way of life and were relocated to reservations but not without a fight.

The event today focuses on a brave leader and his warriors who refused surrender in spite of starvation and severe illness. 

Alleged photo of Crazy Horse in 1877
en.wikipedia.org
Crazy Horse led his warriors into their final battle against the U.S. Cavalry: the Battle of Wolf Mountain in the Montana territory. Even amid harsh winter weather, outnumbered, weak, starving, low on ammunition, using outdated weapons to defend themselves, the warriors continued into battle.

"Although a draw in many aspects, in effect the battle was a strategic victory for the U.S. Army, as it demonstrated that the Indians were not safe from the army even in winter and harsh conditions. Many individuals began slipping away and returning to their reservations. By May, Crazy Horse had led his surviving band into Camp Robinson to surrender." Source: en.wikipedia.org

Crazy Horse, legendary warrior and leader of the Lakota Sioux, will long be remembered for his ferocity in battle. His determination to preserve Native American traditions and way of life will always be remembered and revered.

The 'end' of the story...

Crazy Horse did not die in battle as one might think considering his warrior background and status. After surrendering to federal troops in May, 1877, Crazy Horse was killed on September 7 amid rumors of a planned escape. Within the annals of history is record of Crazy Horse's need to take his sick wife to her parents but the problem was that he left the reservation without authorization. General George Crook ordered Crazy Horse arrested for fear he was plotting a return to battle. Crazy Horse did not resist arrest at first. However, when he realized he was being led to a guardhouse, he began to struggle. It was during that struggle the great warrior lost his life. While his arms were held by one of the arresting officers, a soldier ran him through with a bayonet. A death unbefitting to an Indian chief, a great warrior who had proven himself mighty in battle.
Crazy Horse Memorial

A model of the planned statue,
with the Crazy Horse Memorial in the background.
Source: en.wikipedia.org
With construction having begun in 1948, the Crazy Horse Memorial is a work in progress, far from completion. Amid much controversy and opposition, progress is slow. Upon completion, the memorial will consist of the mountain carving (monument), the Indian Museum of North America, and the Native American Cultural Center. If completed, it stands to possibly be the world's largest sculpture