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Plate 658: Story of the Washita

Plate 658: Story of the Washita


Edward S. Curtis

(American, 1868–1952)

Glass interpositive plate

Overall: 43.2 x 35.6 cm (17 x 14 in.)

Gift of Dr. Terence and Joyce Isakov 2022.302


Did you know?

Edward S. Curtis tracked down, interviewed, and photographed many Native Americans who had fought alongside and against General Custer in the Indian Wars of the 1860s and 1870s.


Curtis described this photograph as “an Old Cheyenne warrior” recounting “the famous battle of the Washita in 1868, when the tribe was severely defeated by General Custer.” Custer led the attack on a Cheyenne encampment at the Washita River. He took credit for killing 103 warriors plus some women and children; the battle was seen as the first major victory in the government’s war on the Southern Plains Indigenous peoples. Cheyennes estimated their casualties at 11 warriors and 19 women and children.

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