Battle of Rosebud Creek 1876


(near Fort Davis, Montana)


courtesy of


“On 17th June 1876, 1500 Cheyenne and Lakota Sioux, under Crazy Horse, delayed for 6 hours the 1000 troops commanded by General George Crook and supported by 300 Crow and Shoshone, thereby cutting off reinforcements that might have aided Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. This was the first time that Native Americans had united together to fight in such large numbers”


Crook’s report on the battle:

When on Rosebud Creek, Montana, the scouts reported Indians in the vicinity and within a few moments we were attacked in force, the fight lasting several hours. We were near the mouth of a deep canyon, through which the creek ran. The sides were very steep, covered with pine and apparently impregnable. The village was supposed to be at the other end, about eight miles off. They displayed a strong force at all points, occupying so many and such covered places that it is impossible to correctly estimate their numbers.

During the engagement I tried to throw a strong force through the canyon, but I was obliged to use it elsewhere before it had gotten to the supposed location of the village. The command finally drove the Indians back in great confusion, following them several miles, the scouts killing a good many during the retreat.

It is impossible to correctly estimate the loss of the Indians, many being killed in the rocks and others being gotten off before we got possession of that part of the field.

We remained on the field that night, and having nothing but what each man carried himself we were obliged to retire to the train to properly care for our wounded, who were transported here on mule-litters.

I expect to find those Indians in rough places all the time and so have ordered five companies of infantry, and shall not probably make any extended movement until they arrive”