Lame White Man

Lame White Man was born a Southern Cheyenne, but in 1876 he was living with the Northern Cheyenne on the northern plains. First person sources disagree about his status, one source states that he was a tribal chief and another that he was a warrior chief. The sources agree that Lame White Man assumed a leading role in the fighting at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and was killed in the combat that took place around the Custer / Last Stand area of the Battle.

Before the Battle started, Lame White Man was reported to have been taking a sweat bath in the village. When Reno's assault struck the village, Lame White Man didn't have the time to put on his proper war clothing and grabbed his weapons, mounted his horse and rushed into battle. When his body was found after the battle, he had been scalped and it is thought that his body was discovered by Lakota Warriors. Because he was not wearing distinctive Cheyenne Warrior regalia he may have been mistaken for an enemy army scout and scalped.

Wooden Leg, a young Cheyenne warrior reported on the portion of the battle that Lame White Man was involved in and about his death in the battle. "After the long time of the slow fighting, about forty of the soldiers came galloping from the east part of the ridge down toward the river, toward where most of the Cheyennes and Ogallalas were hidden. The Indians ran back to a deep gulch. The soldiers got off their horses --- Lame White Man, the Southern Cheyenne chief, came on his horse and called us to come back and fight. Then Lame White Man called out: Come. We can kill all of them."

Later Wooden Leg recounted seeing the body of Lame White Man in the vicinity of where he earlier described Lame White Man leading the fighting.

Kate Bighead, also recalled seeing Lame White Man fighting in the area where he was reportedly killed. She describes the event; "the Indians were gradually creeping closer to the soldiers, by following the gullies or dodging from knoll to knoll --- there was a long time - the old men now say they think it must have been about an hour and a half - of this kind of fighting slowly, with not much harm to either side. Then a band of the soldiers on the ridge mounted their horses and came riding in a gallop down the broad coulee toward the river --- the Indians hidden there got back quickly into the deepest parts of the gulch ---Lame White Man the bravest Cheyenne warrior chief, stayed in hiding close to where the small band of soldiers got off their horses. From there he called to the young men, and they began creeping and dodging back to him." Kate concluded her description of this part of the battle by stating that this band of soldiers was defeated, but she did not see Lame White Man killed and only later learned of his death.

Today a Granite marker has been erected near the site of Lame White Man's death that commemorates his participation in the battle.

Last updated: January 29, 2017

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Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
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