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Half Yellow Face




Half Yellow Face (Ischu shi dish) was in the valley and hilltop fights [during the Battle of the Little Bighorn]. A Crow Indian scout, he was enlisted in the 7th Infantry on April 10, 1876, for six months by Lt. James Bradley. He was the leader of the Crow Scouts. On detached service from June 21 with the 7th Cavalry, he was assigned to Major Reno's column. He accompanied Lt. Charles Varnum on the trip to the Crow's Nest, arriving there about 2.30 am, June 25. He was one of ten Indian scouts who participated in the valley fight on the skirmish line with the Reno column. For more details on all the Crow Scouts, see Graham, The Custer Myth, pp. 7 - 27.

(Source: Custer & Company: Walter Camp's Notes on the Custer Fight, edited by Bruce R. Liddic and Paul Harbaugh [University of Nebraska Press, 1998] , p. 72.)

Graham (op. cit., p. 9), notes that "the official report of Col. M. V. Sheridan of 20 July 1877* [clearly indicates] that neither Curley nor Half Yellow Face, both of whom accompanied him to the battlefield in 1877, were able to furnish any information of value concerning Custer's fight. . . ."

*Sheridan's report on the expedition to better bury the dead of Custer's command, and recover the bodies of Custer and other officers.

Camp (op. cit., p. 118), writing of White Swan notes: "He [White Swan] was wounded in the Reno valley fight. He was deaf and after he was wounded twice, still wanted to stand and fight the Sioux, but Half Yellow Face prevailed upon him to get out of there and he did so and Half Yellow Face led White Swan's horse up the bluffs and White Swan thus rode his own horse up. Now Half Yellow Face made a travois and took him to the boat. He sat doubled up between the two travois poles just behind the horse and was carried very nicely and many of the soldiers commented on his ingenuity."

—“George Armstrong Custer”

The following publications contain information about Half Yellow Face:

Article: "Custer's Crow Scouts" Morgan City Review 25 October 1922.

Article: "Was It Only Custer's Folly?" by Carl W. Breihan Golden West: True Stories of the Old West Vol. 4, No. 5 July 1968.




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