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Hairy Moccasin

Hairy Moccasin was a Crow Indian born in Montana, the son of Little Face. On April 10, 1876 Hairy Moccasin volunteered to become an US Army Indian Scout at the Crow Agency for six months with the 7th US Cavalry. He joined fellow Crow Warriors White Man Runs Him, Curley, Goes Ahead and others to assist the US Army against the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne who were traditional enemies of the Crow.

At the Battle of the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876 Hairy Moccasin was one of the US Army Indian Scouts assigned to General George Armstrong Custer. Hairy Moccasin and most of the Indian Scouts were released prior to the start of General Custer’s attack. Prior to departing, they stopped to fire their rifles into their Indian foe’s camp. Hairy Moccasin and the others eventually reached Major Reno’s command and were fearful it would soon be wiped out after Major Reno had been routed out of the valley.

The released US Army Scouts then joined with Captain Benteen. Hairy Moccasin stated he said to Captain Benteen, "Do you hear that shooting back where we came from? They're fighting Custer there now.". I think that should settle the argument whether the Reno-Benteen command knew where General Custer was and if he was being engaged by the Indian Braves.

Hairy Moccasin wanted to leave Captain Benteen and join the Ree Scouts, who were quite a way back up the creek but Captain Benteen ordered him to stay. Hairy Moccasin, and the three US Army Indian Scouts with him, stayed and helped dig entrenchments. Hairy Moccasin later stated he heard the firing seem to stop where Custer was, and the Sioux returned to attack them. Like most of Major Reno’s and Captain Benteen’s Troopers, Hairy Moccasin survived the most famous Indian Wars battle in US history.

After his US Army enlistment ended and the Black Hills War concluded, he returned to the Crow Reservation in Montana. In his later years, Hairy Moccasin became a farmer. Tuberculosis and heart disease ended Hairy Moccasin’s life on Oct 9, 1922 at Lodge Grass, Montana. Hairy Moccasin was laid to rest on October 11, 1922 in Saint Ann's Cemetery, Lodge Grass, Montana. He was survived by his wife, Strikes First. Hairy Moccasin’s remains were later moved to Custer National Cemetery at the Little Big Horn Battlefield, having earned the privilege of resting there as an US Army combat veteran.

 

 

  Hairy Moccasin

Hairy Moccasin

 

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