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Spotted Eagle

Sans Arc



There were several different men named Spotted Eagle.

The prominent Sans Arc headman Spotted Eagle shows up in the 1886 census records for Cheyenne River Agency, giving his age as 52 (born circa 1834). His age is the same in the 1891 agency census. His son is listed as Spotted Eagle Jr. According to the ration records, this Spotted Eagle shows up at the Standing Rock Agency with a band of 402 people in mid-July 1881. He however disappears from the ration list by late August, presumably he and some of his relatives left for the Cheyenne River Agency. (That is why he does not appear in the Standing Rock Agency census dated September 1881.) Regrettably, the Cheyenne River Agency records are very sketchy -- there are no census records between 1877 and 1886 to confirm that this is what happened. Spotted Eagle does appear in the 1886 census at Cheyenne River Agency.

The older Spotted Eagle that I listed earlier was actually another man, a Hunkpapa who surrendered with Sitting Bull in 1881. He was then sent to Fort Randall with Sitting Bull as a POW in September 1881 and returned with him to Standing Rock in May 1883. By 1885, he is listed in High Bear's band at Standing Rock.

Finally, there is a third Spotted Eagle who lived among the friendly Minneconjou (Little No Heart's band) at Cheyenne River Agency during 1876-77. He also shows up in the Cheyenne River Agency 1886 census.

At the time of his surrender in 1881, Spotted Eagle (Wanbli Gleska) gave his age as 58, suggesting that he was born about 1823.

— Ephriam Dickson

Spotted Eagle, a/k/a Two Eagles, was an Itazipco leader at the Little Bighorn battle. Here are some photographs of him:

Spotted Eagle
By L. A. Huffman

Spotted Eagle
By L. A. Huffman

By R. L. Kelly

Spotted Eagle

Spotted Eagle

According to a source I found in the net, the war club owned by Chief Spotted Eagle is currently in the Keppler Collection but on loan to the National Museum of the American Indian. The war club is 50.5 inches long and 9 inches wide. The sides are decorated with brass tacks and 3 government issue knives inserted at one end made it an even more formidable weapon.

Here Spotted Eagle sits beside Big Foot when both were part of a delegation to Washington in 1888:

Spotted Eagle and Big Foot

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

I'm sure this is Spotted Eagle second from the right of the back row:

Group Siouxs

This is supposed to be him in Canada though I suspect the identification is based on the presence of the war club. I've also seen this identified as a photo of a Cree camp:

Cree Camp, Canada

— Grahame Wood

Found this Huffman picture identified as Young Spotted Eagle, don't think it is actually him, my guess it is a son:

Young Spotted Eagle

— Jeroen Vogtschmidt

Yes, he is very likely Spotted Eagle´s son... or nephew. There´s another portrait of him where he is named Scorched Lightning.

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

"Spotted Eagle was born the year called when Big Crow and His Brother were Killed, Cangi Tanka ahiwiktepi. This was 1859. Spotted Eagle was head chief of the Itazipco or Sans Arc as the French called them. He was of the Wakan band or the Holy band. This band was called the Holy band because the held the sacred calf peace pipe. He was a hereditary chief. Miniconwoju and Itazipco were closely allied; they were always together and joined by marriage relationships. Part of this band were hostile and were out with Sitting Bull; part of them were Agency Indians. Spotted Eagle was made a chief when his father..." [page torn off here, no other pages found at this point]
©Josephine Waggoner [DO NOT REPRODUCE]

— Emily Levine

The famous Spotted Eagle was born about 1835 according to censuses, I wonder if Josephine Waggoner's birth date of 1859 refers to the son - the "Young Spotted Eagle" of Huffman's portrait. In the John G. Bourke diary for 1880 there is an entry about the visit of an Oglala delegation from Pine Ridge to Ft Keogh to meet the surrendered Canadian Lakotas. Bourke states that Young Man Afraid of His Horse and Spotted Eagle were brothers. That can't mean sons of the same two parents, but any other variation is possible. It could also mean adoptive hunka brothers I guess.

— Kingsley Bray

Grahame was the first who assumed that Spotted Eagle was standing in the back row in the group photo by Haynes in 1881.

Today I found at ebay some good scans of the photo. Interestingly we can see at on the back that indeed Spotted Eagle was indentified by Haynes.

Does anyone see Hump in the picture though?

Sioux Group, 1881

— Dietmar Schulte-Möhring

I was interviewing Doug War Eagle about Waglula's burial site which is located on Leo Combing's homestead site near Bear Creek. He happened to mention in the course of the conversation that Combing had taken care of Spotted Eagle during Spotted Eagle's last days at Combing's homestead cabin (which is no longer there). I asked him if that was because Spotted Eagle was family and he said not at the time. However after his death there was a marriage to a family member so technically they became in-laws in a post mortem fashion.

So I asked if they weren't family at the time why would he want to take care of him. He said Combing took care of Spotted Eagle because he was a respected elder and had looked out for the Crazy Horse family throughout his life. So he was paying him back.

— brock

Spotted Eagle was the brother of my great, great grandfather Fights Thunder who was the Pipe Carrier for our band. He is buried at Thunder Butte on the Cheyenne River Reservation. My mother and her brothers and sisters were all named for incidents either during or after the Little Bighorn. My Aunt Helen's name was "Comes Home Hard" so we would remember that our grandpa Hump's wounding and how painful it was for him to travel. My Aunt Alberta's name was "Spotted Eagle Woman" after Spotted Eagle. I have been looking at the names of the children who were born soon after my family were moved to Cheyenne River. We still have a very large family who knows that we are related and how we are.


I am also trying to find the parents of Spotted Eagle. Can anyone help me confirm my records? They show Moses Spotted Eagle CR-841,(1840-1923) m.1879 1st to Mollie Walks Rattling CR-?,(1834-1907) 2nd to Margurite Swimmer CR-2668,(1859-?). He had one child named Mollie Spotted Eagle,Gilbert, Kingman CR-2719 aka Mollie Two Tails married 1st to Henry Two Tails Gilbert CR-Unal.,(1865-1890) 2nd to Harry A. Kingman CR-838,(1870-1954). I also show ration ticket no. 186 listed as Spotted Eagle Jr., husband, age 41, Her Eagle,wife, age 40, Center Eagle, (Frank Spotted Eagle), son, age, 14. I also have a picture post card of Scorched Lightning by L.A. Huffman, ca. 1880 it reads (was a noted warrior within Spotted Eagle's band). Could this be the son of Chief Spotted Eagle CR-841, ration ticket no. 318? I wonder why he does not show up on the agency sensus or allotment rolls?

— swiftbird659


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