Custer Describes Tokalah?
The following is an excerpt from the book “My Life On The Planes”, written by Gen. George Custer. This incident took place during the meeting that was held between the Cheyenne men and Custer’s officers, over the negotiations to free Anna and Sarah. Here, Custer speaks of two Cheyenne chiefs he conversed with– one being elderly, and the other being in his prime. Because of the fact that Custer’s written accounts match that of Anna’s description of her chief given to journalists, many people believe that Custer is describing “Tokalah” here.
“Near me stood a tall, grey chief who, while entreating his people to be discreet, kept his cocked revolver ready in his hand for use, should the emergency demand it.
Near him, stood another, most powerful and foreboding worrier– who was without firearms, but who was armed with a bow, already strung, and a quiver full of iron-pointed arrows. His coolness during the scene of danger was often the subject of remark afterward, between the officers who’s attention had been drawn to him.
He stood, apparently unaffected by the excitement around him, but not unmindful of the surrounding danger.
Holding his bow in hone hand, with the other, he continued to draw from his quiver, arrow after arrow. Each one he would examine coolly as if he expected to engage in target practice.
First, he would cast his eye along the shaft of the arrow, to see if it was perfectly straight and true. Then he would, with thumb and finger, gently feel the point and edge of the barbed head, returning to the quiver each one whose condition did not satisfy him.
In this manner, he continued until he had selected perhaps half a dozen arrows, and which he retained in his hand, while his quick eye did not permit a single incident about him to escape unnoticed.”
During this meeting, Custer devised a plan to separate all the important chiefs, from the regular men. Custer staged a fake charge, ordering his men not to fire. The regular Cheyenne men quickly moved away, whilst the higher ranking chiefs stood their ground, just as Custer knew they would.
At this point, he took 6 of the chiefs into custody (Including Tokalah). And demanded that the women be returned, or else he would hang one chief each day until his demands were met.
As for what became of the chiefs, and the rest of the Cheyenne after Anna and Sarah were returned… We cannot be sure if the below description is the truth, or if it was simply a prideful tale being spun by Custer and his men, because they did not want to admit that the Cheyenne put up a better fight than they expected…
But when asked what became of the 6 chiefs and the rest of the tribe, Custer claimed that all of them suffered “a rather horrific death”.