Crow Biographical Information
Thanks to Frank Srealm and his web site
for the info he let me post.
Curley (or Curly) 1859-1923
Curley was born in Montana in 1859. As an
member of the Crow tribe he took part in several skirmishes with the
Sioux before agreeing to became a scout with Colonel John Gibbon in
April 1876. Two months later he was sent by Gibbon to join General
George A. Custer in his search to locate the villages of those Native
Americans involved in the battle at Rosebud Creek.
An encampment was discovered on the 25th June. It was
estimated that it contained about 10,000 men, women and children.
Custer assumed the numbers were much less than that and instead of
waiting for the main army under General Alfred Terry to arrive, he
decided to attack the encampment straight away.
Custer divided his men into three groups. Captain Frederick
Benteen was ordered to explore a range of hills five miles from the
village. Major Marcus Reno was to attack the encampment from the upper
end whereas Custer decided to strike further downstream. Custer then
sent Curly and the other three Indian scouts (Hairy Moccasin, Goes
Ahead and White Man Runs Him) away from Little Bighorn before the
At the battle of the Little Bighorn George A. Custer and
all his 264 men were killed. The soldiers under Reno and Benteen were
also attacked and 47 of them were killed before they were rescued by
the arrival of General Alfred Terry and Colonel John Gibbon and their
After the battle false stories circulated that one of
Custer's party had survived. On 26th July 1876 the New York Herald
Tribune published an interview with an unnamed Indian scout who it
claimed had survived the battle. The newspaper quoted the scout as
saying that "General Custer was the last man to be killed." He also
added that Custer had not been scalped because the Sioux respected
their brave enemy.
Curley was the person most often identified as the lone
survivor. He denied that he had witnessed the battle but on 29th July,
the Chicago Tribune published an article claiming that Curley had told
them that "more Indians were killed than Custer had men." John F.
Finerty of the Chicago Times also claimed that Curley had witnessed
Custer's death. In a book published several years later, Finerty
claimed that "Curley said that Custer remained alive throughout the
greater part of the engagement, animating his men to determined
resistance, but about an hour before the close of the fight lie
received a mortal wound."
Curley died of pneumonia on 21st May 1923.
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