| Crazy Horse was killed at Fort Robinson in 1877, marked solely
by a rough carved stone set in the remaining foundation of the guardhouse
where he was killed. The marker was dedicated in 1934, but it only
recognized the death of Crazy Horse. Now, Doug Bissonette, spokesman
for the Crazy Horse family in Pine Ridge, and Marvin Goings, Lakota,
are working with Fort Robinson park officials and the Nebraska State
Historical Society to design a new memorial that will also include
the names of the 899 others who surrendered with him.
Bissonette and Monique Ziolkowsky, of Crazy Horse Mountain
Memorial, select a massive granite stone to be used in the
new Crazy Horse Memorial at Fort Robinson.
(photo by Richard Little Hawk)
stone marks the spot where Crazy Horse was killed in 1877.
(TheArmchairExplorer.com)A stone marks the spot where Crazy
Horse was killed in 1877.
(photo courtesy of TheArmchairExplorer.com)
"Currently planned is a 60-foot diameter circle with large granite
stones at the four directions, a stone in the center, and a smaller
stone for offerings. It is a traditional Lakota design, and there
will be grass and a walking path around it, probably of concrete,"
Michael Smith, director at the Nebraska State Historical Society,
said, adding that he is supportive of the memorial and that it is
long past due.
Monique Ziolkowski, family representative and part of the management
team of the Crazy Horse Memorial in South Dakota, will donate the
massive stones for the new memorial.
Four plaques, one in each quadrant of the circle, will contain
the names of those who surrendered with Crazy Horse. Still in discussion
is the material that will be used to display the names of those
listed in the surrender ledger, many of whom are not known by their
design for the new Crazy Horse memorial.The design for the
new Crazy Horse memorial.
The plan states that the location of the new memorial
"will be laid out in front of the old memorial at the old parade
grounds of the U.S. Army."
"Crazy Horse first surrendered there, and he was killed there,
and we want to make a tribute to all those who surrendered with
him. That was the last time they were together. After that they
scattered all over the place," Bissonette said.
Crazy Horse's band was the last hold out in the Indian wars.
With Sitting Bull in Canada, Crazy Horse was the Army's last obstacle
to ending the Indian Wars. During the harsh winter of 1877, General
Nelson A. Miles attacked the Hunkpatila Oyate in the Battle of Wolf
Mountain. The starving Lakota, their horses lame, fought on foot
in three feet of snow, with only bows and arrows, against the Army.
photoprint of an illustration of the Battle of Wolf Mountain
appeared in Frank Leslie's Illustrated Newspaper on May 5,
(photo courtesy of Denver Public Library)
Against all odds, Crazy Horse held out until the spring before
he led the surrender into Fort Robinson. "In a three-week period
of April-May, 1877, the major surrenders came about. These include
Crazy Horse, Hump, Dull Knife, and Lame Deer," Donovin Sprague,
historian and spokesman for the Crazy Horse family in Cheyenne River,
said. During the surrender, the band dressed up in fine regalia
and rode in proudly. "I have a quote from a soldier in my book who
said, 'My God! This is not a surrender but a triumphal and impressive
Crazy Horse and his people arrived on May 6, 1877, and were
given food and made comfortable, and a census was taken.
image shows a page of the "Crazy Horse Surrender Ledger"
census that was taken.
(photo courtesy of Nebraska State History Society)
For the first weeks at Fort Robinson, Crazy Horse was said to
have been cooperative and hopeful, but the peace was short-lived.
As time passed, there was talk around the fort about going to the
Missouri River and Crazy Horse recognized he would not be permitted
to go north. The other leaders, Red Cloud, American Horse and Spotted
Tail, reported to the head of the fort their concern that Crazy
Horse would cause trouble, and orders were given to arrest him.
Crazy Horse fled for the Spotted Tail Agency, where he was convinced
to return to Fort Robinson to discuss his grievances. When he arrived,
he was led into the guardhouse jail. Crazy Horse recognized the
scheme, pulled a knife and lashed out, slicing the arm of his friend,
Little Big Man. In the scuffle, a bayonet or a knife was plunged
into Crazy Horse's back, and he collapsed. Dying, Crazy Horse was
returned to his family, who stayed with him until he passed away
the night of September 5.
This year, on September 6, exactly 138 years and one day after
Crazy Horse was killed at Fort Robinson, there will be a planning
session for the new memorial, which will be constructed at the site
of the guardhouse, where Crazy Horse was stabbed.
Bissonette, Monique Ziolkowsky, and Richard Little Hawk at
Crazy Horse Mountain. Ziolkowsky will provide stones for the
new memorial at Fort Robinson.
(photo courtesy of Richard Little Hawk)