War and History Fiction posted January 22, 2014

This work has reached the exceptional level
a short story about the Indian Wars


by RodG

War Contest Winner 
They left the fort as Crazy Horse knew they would.

He and ten braves had recklessly ridden their ponies toward the fort, screaming taunts at those inside. Abruptly, an artillery shell exploded yards away from them, sending rock and shell splinters in all directions. Somehow he escaped its wrath unscathed, but several of his braves were blown off their horses. He wheeled his horse and raced toward those who'd lost their mounts. Using his horse to screen the others until they were remounted, he screamed at them to retreat. Pretending to be frightened, they raced away. Thus began the chase.

The fort's gates opened and more than 80 troopers raced out. Slapping heels against their horses' flanks, the soldiers leaned forward and sabers flashed. Hooves thundered up the trail after the retreating braves. On they raced, wolves chasing hapless hares.

Crazy Horse and his decoys led them on through the snow and along the frozen ridge. The trail narrowed, then dog-legged right. The troopers charged blindly on. Suddenly those braves were ghosts, but it was too late to halt and flee.

Yipping, Crazy Horse tore around the bend and yanked his pony's reins. The horse was still running when he leaped off and grabbed his bow. Up shot his arm and a thousand arrows flew.

Hundreds of Sioux lay concealed as Crazy Horse had directed. The ambush caught all the troopers by surprise.

The young officer leading these men screamed and tumbled off his horse. Soldiers scrambled for cover, but there was little. Some stood and fought bravely before they died. Others tried to run and were chased down and cruelly slaughtered.

Crazy Horse shot two men and ran toward each as bullets flew around him. His knife slashed one soldier's throat and he leaped upon the other's back. Soon Crazy Horse was sprinting toward his cohorts, waving both scalps.

There were screams of men dying slowly. Brutally. The Sioux showed no mercy. Eighty-one troopers died in less than fifteen minutes. Then that bloody ridge was soaked in silence.

Afterwards, Crazy Horse watched grimly as his braves ripped the clothes off their enemies and mutilated their bodies. He hoped this victory would force the Long Knives to abandon the fort and the others they had built. Although he was still young, he knew the ways of these invaders. His gut told him they would not be stopped.

But he and his people had won today! Brandishing the scalps of the men he'd killed, Crazy Horse howled at the pale sun in triumph.

Writing Prompt
Write a story where a character is in war or is about to be in war. Fiction or non-fiction.

Contest Winner


I wish to thank Luann Houser for the use of her painting "Tasunke Witko, Crazy Horse."

This is a fictionalized version of the Fetterman Massacre which took place on December 21, 1866. Months earlier, Americans in search of gold worked their way into Sioux territory along what was called the Bozeman Trail. Several forts were built to protect them. The unnamed fort in this story is Ft. Phil Kearney, commanded by Colonel Carrington. Fetterman was one of his officers who bragged the Indians could easily be beaten. When Crazy Horse duped him into chasing him and his braves, he learned quickly how wrong he was. This massacre ranks second to Custer's Last Stand which took place ten years later.
Ironically, Red Cloud and his sub-chief Crazy Horse won this war. The forts were abandoned and the soldiers left. But that victory was only temporary as Whites came storming back in a few years later.
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