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Native American Sioux Chief. He was born Washicun-Tashanka, son of Old Smoke, Oglala Sioux chief. American Horse opposed the white settlement of Sioux land his entire life. With his cousin Chief Red Cloud, he fought in many of the battles to keep settlers off of the Bozeman Trail. After the Ft. Laramie Treaty of 1868 was broken, he traveled with Red Cloud to Washington to meet with government officials but talks broke off when gold was discovered in the Black Hills in 1874. In 1876, American Horse sought to make the US Government live up to its treaty and took up arms when miners began to overrun Sioux land. Together with Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull, he was one of the principal war chiefs during the Battle of the Little Bighorn. After the battle rather then follow other tribes into the Black Hills, American Horse made the decision to take his lodges to a US treaty agency in Dakota Territory. As they traveled, he crossed path with troops commanded by General George Crook. On September 9, 1876, at Slim Buttes, near the present town of Reva, South Dakota, 3rd Cavalry Captain Anson Mills and 150 troopers surrounded American Horse’s village and attacked. Taken by surprise, the camp was destroyed and American Horse killed. He died as he had lived attempting to secure his homeland from invaders. American Horse was buried according to Indian custom, placed on a scaffolding poles along with other tribe members near the battle site. In 1888, the US Army collected the scattered Indian remains and exhumed the buried soldiers. A memorial monument was erected at the Slim Buttes Battlefield.

Bio by: John “J-Cat” Griffith

Decimal Degrees: 45.54338, -103.12479