Who was Crazy Horse and How did Crazy Horse get his name?

Crazy Horse (1842-1877) was considered one of the Lakota Sioux’s bravest and most intelligent warriors and raiders.

He may have earned his name because he sometimes rammed his horse into that of an enemy to make his opponent fall to the ground. Widely respected by the young warriors of his tribe, he led them to victory in many battles, including the Battle of Little Bighorn of 1876.

Following that conflict, the U.S. Army launched a vicious military campaign to punish the Lakota and their Cheyenne allies. Worn down by the attacks, Crazy Horse surrendered to U.S. troops on May 6, 1877.

Defiant even in defeat, he angrily threw his weapons at the soldier’s feet to show he was through with fighting. Fearful that the influential leader would organize an uprising, reservation police arrested and jailed Crazy Horse on September 5.

In a scuffle, the great Crazy Horse was stabbed by a guard, and he died later that night.