On April 10, 1876, Colonel John Gibbon enlisted 23 Crow men at their agency (located on the Mission Creek present day Livingston, MT) to serve as scouts for his Montana Column moving east along the Yellowstone River. Six of these scouts, Hairy Moccasin, Goes Ahead, White Man Runs Him, Curly, White Swan and Half Yellow Face were assigned to Custer's 7th Cavalry on June 21. Mitch Boyer, a half-blood Sioux who had traded and worked at the Crow Agency as well as married a Crow woman, served as their interpreter. It was the Crow scouts with Boyer who first identified the location of the Sioux/Cheyenne village from the Crow's Nest early morning on June 25. White Man Runs Him urged a hurried attack once he felt the 7th's column had been observed but was later critical of Custer dividing his command in the face of so many enemy warriors Two scouts, White Swan and Half Yellow Face, followed Reno's battalion when he was directed to cross the river and attack the south end of the village. White Swan and Half Yellow Face participated in the valley fight with Reno where White Swan was wounded in the right wrist and thigh during the retreat after he crossed the river.
Half Yellow Face assisted White Swan up to the bluffs where Reno made his stand. The other four scouts, Hairy Moccasin, Goes Ahead, White Man Runs Him and Curley stayed with Boyer and Custer's battalion when they turned north along the bluffs.
Accounts conflict as to how long the four Crow Scouts stayed with Custer's battalion and how much of the fight they witnessed.All say they witnessed Reno's attack and retreat from the bluffs across the river. Somewhere in their approach to the north along the bluffs Curly became separated from the other three. Goes Ahead said they never entered Medicine Tail Coulee, but White Man Runs Him said the three went into the Coulee with Custer and witnessed at least part of the Custer battalion going all the way to the ford at the mouth of the Coulee. All agree that Mitch Boyer released them from any fighting. They retired to the Reno-Benteen defense site and that evening escaped the encircling Sioux and looped back north to the mouth of the Little Bighorn where they informed Gibbon's Crow scouts of Custer's demise.
Curly's accounts vary. One account says that he left at Boyer's request at about the time Custer divided his battalion toward the upper end of Medicine Tail Coulee. Another account says that Curly witnessed the early part of the fight until the battalion reunited in the vicinity of Calhoun Hill. At that time Boyer told him to leave.He escaped to the east and witnessed much of the Custer fight from a high hill 1 ½ miles east of the
battlefield. He then left and went north to the mouth of the Little Bighorn to inform Terry's command of Custer's
probable demise. White Swan survived his wounds and eventually returned to Crow Agency.