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Authors: Terry C. Johnston

Wolf Mountain Moon

BOOK: Wolf Mountain Moon
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Tongue River Cantonment, 1876-1877.

(Courtesy National Archives)

Artillery at Tongue River Cantonment,
December 29, 1876.

(Courtesy National Archives)

First Lt. Frank D. Baldwin.

(Courtesy Library of Congress)

As his mother began to wash the white man's head and face, the boy turned away.

She used a strip of dirty, stiffened white cloth—one of the dead soldier's stockings. If only these white men wore moccasins instead of the clumsy black boots that made their feet hot and sticky. With moccasins the white men would not need to wear these silly stockings. He smiled and began to feel better for it.

This was his seventh summer. He was too old to act like a child, the boy decided.

Finally he turned back to watch his mother scrub the last of the black grainy smudges from the edges of the bullet hole in the soldier's left temple. Little blood had oozed from the wound.

Perhaps this pale man had already been dying from that messy bullet wound in his side. The boy had seen enough deer and elk, antelope and buffalo, brought down with bullets. And he knew no man could live long after suffering a wound in the chest as terrible as this. This soldier had been dying, and he was shot in the head to assure his death.

Someone had wanted to make certain that this soldier was not taken alive. Someone had saved this pale-skinned soldier from the possibility of torture by sending a bullet through his brain.

George Armstrong Custer, in one of
the last portraits made of him in April, 1876.

(courtesy of Custer Battlefield National Monument)

John “Liver-Eating” Johnston.

(Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Section)

Luther S. “Yellowstone” Kelly.

(Courtesy Denver Public Library, Western History Section)

Colonel Nelson A. Miles and officers of the Fifth Infantry, December 29, 1876. From left: Lt. O.F. Long, Surgeon H.R. Tilton, Lt. J.W. Pope, Col. N.A. Miles, Lt. F.D. Baldwin, Lt. C.E. Hargous, and Lt. H.K. Bailey.

(Courtesy Montana Historical Society)

Wooden Leg's drawing of his rescue of Big Crow.

(Courtesy Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument)

Fifth Infantry soldiers at Tongue River Cantonment in winter dress.

(Courtesy Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument)

BOOKS BY TERRY C. JOHNSTON

Cry of the Hawk
Winter Rain
Dream Catcher

Carry the Wind
Borderlords
One-Eyed Dream

Dance on the Wind
Buffalo Palace
Crack in the Sky
Ride the Moon Down
Death Rattle
Wind Walker

S
ONS OF THE
P
LAINS
N
OVELS
Long Winter Gone
Seize the Sky
Whisper of the Wolf

T
HE
P
LAINSMEN
N
OVELS
Sioux Dawn
Red Cloud's Revenge
The Stalkers
Black Sun
Devil's Backbone
Shadow Riders
Dying Thunder
Blood Song
Reap the Whirlwind
Trumpet on the Land
A Cold Day in Hell
Wolf Mountain Moon
Ashes of Heaven
Cries from the Earth
Lay the Mountain Low

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