Letters from Readers -- December 2006 Wild West Magazine | HistoryNet MENU

Letters from Readers — December 2006 Wild West Magazine

10/19/2006 • WW Issues

PLENTY OF GALL
I was the high bidder for the June 2006 Wild West Magazine at the Westerners (Denver Corral) meeting this past May. I read Robert W. Larson’s article “Gall: ‘The Fighting Cock of the Sioux’” with pleasure, a certain amount of pride, and with a touch of envy. Such well-written and informative articles, I think, are the goals of our members, including myself. The article is an inspiration for me to continue researching and working away at the keyboard. I want to congratulate Mr. Larson on this great contribution to our American Western history.

Michael F. Crowe
Aurora, Colo
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You have a wonderful magazine. I have bought it at the newsstands but recently sent in for a subscription. I really loved the story about Gall. On P. 31 of that article there is a photograph of five Lakota Indians under a tent at Fort Yates on the Standing Rock Reservation in the summer of 1881. I believe that the center man is Low Dog (with the hatchet), not Crow King. I have the stereo picture of the same Indians but with military men and civilians. I’m sending you copies of photos of Low Dog and Crow King that were taken by D.F. Barry in 1881 at Fort Buford, Dakota Territory.

Richard Birklid
Nome, N.D.

Author Robert W. Larson responds: Reader Birklid is right. Oglalas were assigned to the Pine Ridge Reservation to the south, but the Oglala Low Dog had remained north close to the Canadian border, and he was indeed at Fort Yates at the time of the photo. Moreover, North Dakota and Montana state archivists confirm that Low Dog is the Lakota warrior in the soldier’s jacket (not the Hunkpapa Crow King, who has been photographed elsewhere wearing a similar army officer’s coat).

& SOME LITTLE CROW
I am a recent subscriber and enjoy your magazine very much. In the June 2006 article on Gall it states that during the Dakota (Sioux) Uprising in Minnesota, Little Crow was killed during the Battle of Wood Lake on September 23, 1862. In fact he escaped with his followers west into the Dakotas. He returned to Minnesota in the summer of 1863 and was shot and killed either stealing horses, picking berries or stealing corn. This occurred near Hutchinson, Minn.

Loren Sundboom
St. Peter, Minn.

Sioux Chief Mankato was killed at the Battle of Wood Lake; he was the only major Indian leader to lose his life in the battles with white soldiers during the 1862 Sioux Uprising in Minnesota. After the uprising, Chief Little Crow and the other Sioux Indians scattered. During the winter of 1862-63, the location of Little Crow was uncertain, but it is believed he was camped near Devil’s Lake in what is now northern North Dakota. After returning to Minnesota in June 1863 to steal badly needed horses, he was shot while picking berries on July 3 by deer hunters Nathan Lamson and his son Chauncey. At that time Minnesota was still paying a bounty for Sioux scalps. Little Crow’s son escaped and later recounted the shooting of his father.

Little Crow’s remains — he had been scalped and decapitated — were brought back to Hutchinson, where he was identified by his deformed wrists and a double set of teeth that made his jaw look large. Lieutenant James D. Farmer of the Minnesota Mounted Rangers took the skull home and boiled off the skin and integuments. In 1875 Farmer gave the skull to Dr. Frank Powell, who in turn gave it to the Minnesota Historical Society in 1896. For many years the society displayed Little Crow’s skull and bones. The remains were returned to Little Crow’s family in 1971 and buried in the Presbyterian cemetery in Flandreau, S.D. A portion of the gravestone reads: “Born 1781/Died July 3 1863/Buried Sept. 27, 1971…‘Therefore I’ll die with you.’” Little Crow (or Taoya Te Duta) made the statement “Therefore I’ll die with you” to his warriors upon deciding to lead them in the Sioux Uprising.

Elroy E. Ubl
New Ulm, Minn.

Author Robert W. Larson responds: I was indeed incorrect in placing Little Crow’s death at Wood Lake. As reader Ubl suggests, I probably confused Little Crow with Chief Mankato, who was fatally struck by a cannonball that day.

UNTIMELY MISTAKE
I would like to correct a statement in my August 2006 article “Gatewood, Apache Courts and Justice.” On P. 51 it says “Captain F.E. Pierce, who replaced Crawford as commandant of San Carlos after Crawford’s untimely death, appreciated the lieutenant’s efforts.” Pierce in fact replaced Captain Emmett Crawford in 1885; Crawford died on January 18, 1886. Thanks.

Louis Kraft
North Hollywood, Calif.

Send letters to: Wild West Editor, World History Group, 741 Miller Dr. SE, Suite D-2, Leesburg, VA 20175, or e-mail to WildWest@weiderhistorygroup.com. Please include your name, address and telephone number. Letters may be edited. Wild West welcomes editorial submissions but assumes no responsibility for the loss or damage of unsolicited material. Material to be returned should be accom-panied by a self-addressed stamped envelope. Send SASE for author’s guidelines.

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