American Horse Monument


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The Battle of Slim Buttes was fought on September 9 and 10, 1876. This was the first U.S. Army victory of the great Sioux War of 1876 after defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25 and 26. General George Crook defeated and killed Chief American Horse. American Horse’s location was achieved when troopers were alerted about a ravine when Private John Wenzel, Company A, Third Cavalry, became the first army fatality at Slim Buttes when he ill-advisedly approached the ravine from the front and a Sioux bullet slammed into his forehead.

Chief American Horse refused to leave, and with three warriors, five women and an infant, remained in the cave. Exasperated by the increasing casualties in his ranks, Crook directed some of his infantry and dismounted cavalry to form across the opening of the gorge. On command, the troopers opened steady and withering fire on the ravine which sent an estimated 3000 bullets among the warriors.

Center map

Decimal Degrees: 45.3628911, -103.1198779

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