Bíilaachia–White Swan

Crow Warrior, Custer Scout, American Artist


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About the Book

The story of the Apsáalooke (Crow) men who scouted for the Seventh United States Cavalry in 1876 has been told by historians, with details sometimes distorted or fabricated. Bíilaachia—better known as White Swan—survived the Battle of Little Bighorn despite severe wounds. One soldier recalled him standing beside his horse, firing at the Sioux: “He would not mount up and try to get away but stood and fought.” White Swan continued to scout off-and-on for the U.S. Army until 1881 and recorded his 22 combat actions in 37 paintings and drawings. Done in traditional Plains warrior biographic style, his complete body of work is presented here for the first time, along with the history behind each depiction. His life is detailed in photographs, some never before published, and four little-known interviews, as well as extensive research about the Apsáalooke people.

About the Author(s)

U.S. Army Colonel (Ret.) Rodney G. Thomas is an award-winning author and researcher about North American warfare and military history from before European arrivals to Wounded Knee and Indigenous warrior biographic art. He has been published in several history journals and references. His first book was named the CBHMA 2010 Book of the Year. He lives in DuPont, Washington.

Bibliographic Details

Rodney G. Thomas

Foreword by Baa Hinnahcé – Mardell Plainfeather
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 279
Bibliographic Info: 165 photos (53 in color), notes, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2022
pISBN: 978-1-4766-8594-6
eISBN: 978-1-4766-4439-4
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Acknowledgments ix
Preface 1
Foreword by Baa Hinnahcé–Mardell Plainfeather 5
Introduction 7
“Soldiers of the Government” 13
“It Shall Be Done as You Say” 21
“Let’s Get Off and Make a Stand” 27
“Come and Get Me, I Am Hurt” 37
Apsáalooke ­Dúxxia–Crow Warrior 45
Between pages 52 and 53 are 16 plates containing 28 color images
Perpetual Wars 53
Cousins and Camps 61
Crooks and Creations 90
American Artist 116
­Dáakshee-Deeds 152
Between pages 184 and 185 are 16 plates containing 25 color images
With Military Honors 185
Chapter Notes 195
Bibliography 217
Index 231