Lot 204

Red Bull Horn's Starr 1863 Revolver Little Bighorn

Estimate: $50,000 - $85,000

Bid Increments

Price Bid Increment
$0 $5
$50 $10
$100 $25
$500 $50
$1,000 $100
$2,000 $250
$5,000 $500
$10,000 $1,000
$25,000 $2,500
$100,000 $5,000
The lot features an 1863 Starr Single Action .44 caliber revolver, serial number 28413, owned by Oglala Sioux Chief Red Horn Bull / Buffalo who rode with Crazy Horse at the Battle of the Little Bighorn and the Battle of Rosebud as well as performing with the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The revolver is inlaid on the grip with a heart of river clam shell for the Strong Heart Warrior Society Band and is signed in Togia. Red Horn Bull / Red Born Buffalo was born in 1851 and was present when scouts brought word that soldiers would be coming in two days to camp on the Rosebud. It is said that Red Horn Bull at with Crazy horse in preparation for battle the night before the fighting at the Rosebud Battle. Noted as wearing his Buffalo Horn Headdress of the Strong Heart Warrior Society and carrying his lance in the tradition of the society, as well as being noted to carrying this revolver (testimony of this in “Black Elk Speaks” by Iron Hawk to Neihart as well as by Benjamin Black Elk and by family members of Red Bull’s). After a nights ride to find the soldiers they fought in the Battle of Rosebud on June 17, 1876 in Montana Territory only days before the Battle of the Little Bighorn. At the end of the day they headed for Little Sheep Creek, which is the Cheyenne name for Little Bighorn or Greasy Grass. It is well documented that Red Horn Bull fought at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, along side Kicking Bear, who lead numerous charges against Major Reno’s U.S. Cavalry forces and was noted as capturing the U.S. Cavalry flag, a true trophy of war that was later recaptured at the Battle of Slim Buttes. Red Horn Bull went swimming in the Little Big Horn River with Crazy Horse and Yellow Nose. Later he was in chase toward soldiers into the river who turned and shot him in the jaw falling into the river. He was pulled unconscious from the river by Painted Brown and survived the battle, wearing a rawhide brace on his jaw for many months and bearing the scars of battle for the rest of his life. It is noted by family testimony that when he fell into the river, once he had come to consciousness and to be loaded on a travois by Hard to Hit and Low Dog and his wounds being attended to by his brother Solider Hawk ad Red Hawk he found that his headdress, Winchester rifle and lance had gone missing in the river, but his revolver was still tucked into his belt. He was taken to medicine man Horn Chips and his fighting days were now over. He traveled for the Red Cloud Indian Agency and was married to Common Gun in 1877, they were both members of the Black Twin Hokayuta Badger Eater Band. They had three sons; Red Boy (1878), Red Bull (1878) and Shot in Mouth (1890). Red Horn Bull joined the Buffalo Bill Cody Wild West Show, a copy of a photograph of him with the show taken by Gertrude Kasebier is enclosed taken in 1898 with his wounds from the Little Bighorn clearly visible. He lived out his days at the White Clay District on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation until his death in 1920. The gun has been examined by Wendell Grangaard from The Guns of History and is noted as being marked in togia as such; on the bottom of the wooden grip, “Red Horn Buffalo rode with Crazy Horse Chase Kill Soldier – Struck Saved” (illustration 1), inlaid into the left grip a heart carved from river clam shell the mark of the Strong Heart Warrior Scoeity and marked on the left grip, “Rosebud kill many dead – little Sheep Creek (Cheyenne for Little Bighorn / Greasy Grass) Red Horn Bull see” (illustration 2). The revolver is accompanied by the signed letter of history from The Guns of History as well as the illustrations, photographs of the gun, the Indian Warriors in The Batle of the Little Bighorn & Wild West Shows ledger which noted Red Horn Bull (Oglala Lakota) with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show (Delaney, “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Warriors” on page 82-83), a copy of the Michelle Delany Smithsonian book and a copy of the Chief Red Horn Bull 1898 photograph. Also included is a brief history of The Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show. The revolver is a Civil War U.S. Union Army Starr Model 1863 Army percussion cap single action army chambered in .44 caliber. The frame is marked across the right side, reading "Starrs Patent Jan. 15. 1856", with the left side marked "Starr Arms Co. New. York.” Also marked “28413” on the side of the cylinder, “28413” on the front of the frame under the ram loader rod, “C” on the right side of the barrel, “C” on the bottom of the trigger guard, “L” on the left side of the frame next to the trigger, “3” on the frame hinge, “C” on the back of the frame and “C” on the side of the cylinder. Antique firearm.