American Horse

American Horse

Death 16 Dec 1908 (aged 67–68)
Kyle, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA
Burial Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 70598526 · View Source
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A chief of the Oglala Lakota during the Sioux Wars of the 1870's; nephew of the elder American Horse and son-in-law of Red Cloud. His Native American name was "Wasicu Tasunke".


American Horse, one of the last of the chiefs of the Oglala Sioux, died at his home in Medicine Root District, December 15th. He was without doubt the greatest politician among the Sioux and, as a warrior, was second only to Red Cloud. It was Red Cloud and American Horse who led the Sioux that killed the entire company of soldiers at the Fetterman Massacre near Fort Phil Karney in 1866 and the greatest glory, from an Indian standpoint, accrued to American Horse, for it was he who reached Captain Fetterman first after he was killed.

After 1869, American Horse enlisted as an Indian Scout. While he was at Fort Robinson in 1876, he was sent by General McKenzie, who was then in command, with orders to bring Sioux Jim, a "bad" Indian, into the post "dead or alive". He was back in a few hours driving a team, which he stopped in front of the commanding officer's quarters, and proceeded to unload Sioux Jim, or what was left of him, dead and shot full of holes. He then reported to General McKenzie that his dead Indian was outside.

During the troublesome times at Pine Ridge Agency in 1882, at the time Red Cloud was unruly and trying to show his authority and independence, and when Dr. McGuillicuddy was Agent, American Horse sided with the Agent and since that time he and Red Cloud have not been friends. Red Cloud attempted to depose him as chief in favor of Red Shirt, but the following of American Horse was too strong and influential for that.

He was 68 years old at the time of his death and was living with two wives. For political sagacity and forethought, he was perhaps farther advanced than any of his contemporary leaders. His council and good sense will be missed by the Oglalas. (Contributed by: B. Helmer, 48246017)


Oglala Light, Dec. 1, 1908, US Oglala Indian Training School, Pine Ridge, South Dakota.

  • Created by: Cindy K. Coffin
  • Added: 30 May 2011
  • Find a Grave Memorial 70598526
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  • Find a Grave, database and images ( : accessed ), memorial page for American Horse (1840–16 Dec 1908), Find a Grave Memorial no. 70598526, citing Holy Cross Cemetery, Pine Ridge, Oglala Lakota County, South Dakota, USA ; Maintained by Cindy K. Coffin (contributor 47084179) .