Dakota Datebook

Comanche, Bighorn Survivor

Saturday, November 27, 2004

The 7th Cavalry’s lone survivor at the Battle of the Little Bighorn was a horse named Comanche. During the battle, many soldiers slaughtered and hid behind their horses for cover, but it’s reported that Lt. Col. Myles Keough kept his horse alive and crouched between Comanche’s legs as he fought. Keough was killed, but victorious warriors left Comanche alone out of respect, because even in death, the Lt. Col. held his horse’s reins in his hands.

Comanche suffered three severe wounds to his neck, groin and lungs, along with four other injuries. He recovered and lived for another 17 years as a revered symbol of survival. He was rotated between cavalry posts and became a pampered pet. Comanche died on this day in 1891, was then stuffed, and is on display at the University of Kansas.

Dakota Datebook written by Merry Helm

This text and audio may not be copied without securing prior permission from Prairie Public.

Dakota Datebook is a project of Prairie Public, in partnership with the State Historical Society of North Dakota, with funding from the North Dakota Humanities Council.

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