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Isaiah Dorman
Birth: unknown
Death: Jun. 25, 1876
Little Big Horn Battle Site
Big Horn County
Montana, USA

US Army Scout and Interpreter, Dorman was the only African-American to die at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In the 1850s Dorman appeared in the Dakota Territory and became a trader and trapper. About the same time he appeared in the Dakotas, a family from Louisiana named D'Orman sent out wanted posters for an escaped slave named Dorman. Through his trading and trapping trips, Dorman became friends with the Lakota Sioux and quickly learned their language. They called him Black Hawk, Azimpi or Teat. Dorman's friendship with the Santee tribe of the Lakotas led to his marriage to a Lakota woman named Visible; they would have two sons, Baptiste and Pierre Black Hawk. Dorman's knowledge of the land and Lakota language was brought to the attention of the army in 1865. He was offered a job as a scout and mail carrier for $50 a month. Dorman carried mail without incident between Ft Rice and Ft Wadsworth, a journey of 360 miles round trip. He served as an interpreter on the Yellowstone expeditions in 1871 and 1873. In 1876, Lt Col George A. Custer specifically requested Dorman to be attached to his 7th Cavalry for their upcoming campaign against the Lakota. Dorman reportedly willingly accepted the position of scout and interpreter. He reportedly saw the assignment as an opportunity to see his old Lakota friends, one of which was Sitting Bull. Sadly Dorman hopes of seeing his old friends were fulfilled, but the Lakota were not as happy to see him. During the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Dorman accompanied Reno's Battalion into the Little Bighorn Valley. During the Reno phase of the fight, Dorman was wounded in the legs with what many believe was buckshot. As he lay on the ground wounded, retreating troopers saw him attacked by Lakota women with stone axes. A Cheyenne warrior named Wooden Leg claimed in later years he saw Dorman wounded on the battlefield and briefly spoke with him before he was killed. He was killed about 30 feet from scout Charles Reynolds during the Valley fight, and his body was found with many arrows shot into his body and head. Initially after the battle Dorman's mutilated body was buried where he had fallen. His body was later interred into the mass grave with the other 7th Cavalry dead on top of Last Stand Hill, and he is listed on the battle monument there. There is another marker on the Reno Battlefield showing where Dorman had fallen, near a gully on the line of retreat by Reno's troopers. This site is on private property and is not open to the general public. (bio by: Randy) 
 
Burial:
Little Big Horn Battlefield
Crow Agency
Big Horn County
Montana, USA
Plot: Memorial Mass Grave Monument
 
Maintained by: Find A Grave
Originally Created by: Randy
Record added: Oct 14, 2006
Find A Grave Memorial# 16174686
Isaiah Dorman
Added by: Randy
 
Isaiah Dorman
Added by: Randy
 
Isaiah Dorman
Added by: Randy
 
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- Mara
 Added: Jun. 25, 2014
Your story is very interesting. Rest in eternal peace, Mr. Dorman.
- sjm
 Added: Jun. 25, 2014
You will never be forgotten. You werea trailblazer in so many ways. As a scout, interpreter and a friend to theLakota. We don't know the entire story of what happened that day, only you could tell us. We know you were brave and a fine Scout. 9th and 10th ...(Read more)
- Maree Rogers
 Added: Nov. 24, 2013
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