The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 Rain in the Face

Rain in the Face

Birth
Death 14 Sep 1905 (aged 69–70)
Little Eagle, Corson County, South Dakota, USA
Burial Bullhead, Corson County, South Dakota, USA
Memorial ID 8157311 · View Source
Suggest Edits

Native American leader. Rain in the Face (Iromagaja) was so named because at age ten, he and fellow Sioux boys had encountered a group of Cheyenne boys. Rain in the Face got into a fight with one of them, who was older than he, and his face was all spattered with blood, as if rain had struck him in the face. Rain in the Face became a warrior at a young age, having fought in a December, 1866 battle against Captain William Fetterman's troops at Fort Phil Kearny, Wyoming. This battle was one of the Sioux victories in Red Cloud's War to gain back control of the land along the Bozeman Trail in Wyoming and Montana. Two years later, Rain in the Face was injured in a raid on Fort Totten in North Dakota. He also joined several war parties and fought against the Crow, Mandan, Gros Ventre, and Pawnee, trying to gain respect as a warrior. In 1873, Rain in the Face was involved in a skirmish that led to a great controversy. That summer General George Armstrong Custer led troops from his Seventh cavalry to the Yellowstone River area to serve as military escort for surveyors of the Northern Pacific railroad. A band of Indians attacked them at the mouth of the Tongue river. The same band of Indians attacked them again near the mouth of the Big Horn. During this second skirmish, four men were killed. During the first skirmish, one soldier was wounded, but two civilians lagging behind the soldiers were killed. A year later, a scout took word to Custer at Fort Abraham Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota, that Rain in the Face was boasting that he had killed the two men. Custer sent out his brother, Captain Tom Custer, and Captain Yates, to the Standing Rock Agency to capture Rain in the Face. Accompanied by 100 men, Captain Custer arrested Rain in the Face and returned him to Fort Abraham Lincoln, where Rain in the Face confessed to the murders. He was then imprisoned until a sympathetic guard allowed his escape. Several years later Rain in the Face was arraigned in a federal court and charged with the murder of the two men. The defense attorney successfully argued that the men had been killed as an act of battle, and that it was therefore not murder. The judge agreed, and the case was dismissed. It was later indicated that Rain in the Face presumed he was in jail beause of killing a lone soldier. In 1876, Rain in the Face was a leading warrior in the defeat of Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in southern Montana. Publicity immediately following the battle accused the chief of having completed his revenge against Tom Custer by taking his heart. Reports of the condition of Tom Custer's body were consistent. Although mutilated, the chest cavity was not opened. Some supporters who did not believe Rain in the Face was guilty of such a mutilation even denied that he had been a part of the battle. As one writer would relate of Rain-in-the-Face's confession in an interview, another would write that he denied it. The historical record seems to indicate that Rain in the Face was involved in the Custer battle, but that there is no evidence supporting the accusations that he removed Tom Custer's heart. Rain in the Face was among the warriors who accompanied Sitting Bull to Canada. In the winter of 1880 to 1881, he surrendered with others at Fort Keogh, Montana and lived the remainder of his life on the Standing Rock Reservation in North Dakota. He died there on September 14, 1905, and was buried near Aberdeen, South Dakota. Rain-in-the-Face supposedly stated, shortly before his death that "I have lived peaceably ever since we came upon the reservation. No one can say that Rain in the Face has broken the rules of the Great Father. I fought for my people and my country. When we were conquered I remained silent, as a warrior should. Rain in the Face was killed when he put down his weapons before the Great Father. His spirit was gone then; only this poor body lived on, but now it is almost ready to lie down for the last time. Ho, hechetu! [It is well.]" Whether or not Rain-in-the-Face actually spoke those words, they eloquently serve to summarize his later years.

Bio by: Mongoose


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

How famous was Rain in the Face?

Current rating:

107 votes

Sign-in to cast your vote.

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Mongoose
  • Added: 5 Dec 2003
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8157311
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Rain in the Face (1835–14 Sep 1905), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8157311, citing Saint Johns Episcopal Church Cemetery, Bullhead, Corson County, South Dakota, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .