Colt SAA inscribed to Mitch Bouyer

Mitch Bouyer

US Scout, killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn June 25, 1876










June 25, 1876, Little Big Horn


With Custer's column - killed



Aka Chopper, Hammering Out, Man Wearing Calfskin Vest (Ca Pay, Kar-paysh, Kape), Michael or Mitchel Bouyer or Bouer, Minton Bouyer.

His mother was a full Santee Sioux and John Baptiste Boyer Boyer, his father, was a French Canadian blacksmith at Fort Laramie (in 1862-63).

His father was killed by Indians in 1863 while trapping.

In 1849 he moved to the Fort Laramie vicinity and was a guide for the Sir George Gore hunting expedition (1854-57).

Later he moved to the Yellowstone region, operated a ferry on the Big Horn crossing of the Bozeman trail and became post guide and interpreter at Fort C. F. Smith in Feb. 1867.

Post interpreter at Fort Phil Kearny from April to June 1868.

Employed by the agent for the Mountain Crows from July to September 1868.

Married Magpie Outside (Mary Boyer) in the fall of 1869. Their children were Mary and Thomas.

Employed by the trader among the Mountain Crows from July 1870 to 1872.

Employed by Maj. Eugene Baker, 2nd Cavalry, from August I to September 30, 1872, as a guide for the military escort of the Northern Pacific railroad survey in Dakota and Montana Territories.

Post guide at Fort Ellis in Oct. 1872

Interpreter at Crow Agency from April to June 1873 and later.

Agency laborer from Nov. 1873 to February 1874. Employed as messenger at Crow Agency from March 1874 to August 1874.

Employed as a guide for the Montana column by Lieutenant Joshua Jacobs on April 8, 1876, with pay of $150 per month.

 Interpreter for the Crow Indians attached to the 7th Cavalry on June 22.

Accompanied Lieutenant Charles Varnum on the trip to the Crow's Nest, arriving there about 2:30 on the morning of June 25.

Listed as Mitch Bouyer on the battle monument.

Survived by his brothers, John (hanged for murder) and Antoine, and his widow and son (James LeForge of Crow Agency, MT).

His widow married Big Wind (Wind), lived on the Big Horn River, and died there in 1916.

"I had ... sent ... a courier to the [Crow] agency, calling a council with the Crows with a view to obtaining some of them to accompany the troops as scouts, and had requested Mitch Bowyer (sic), a noted guide and interpreter, to meet me that night at my camp. This man I had never seen, but he had served troops before, and bore a reputation of being, next to the celebrated Jim Bridger, the best guide in the country. While seated in my tent the next morning, a man with the face of an Indian and the dress of a white man approached the door, and almost without saying anything seated himself on the ground, and it was some moments before I understood that my visitor was the expected guide. He was a diffident, low-spoken man who uttered his words in a hesitating way, as if uncertain what he was going to say. He brought news that the Crows were waiting to see me ..." (Colonel John Gibbon, "Last Summer's Expedition Against the Sioux," The American Catholic Quarterly Review, April 1877, pp. 271-304.

(See also letter from W. B. Logan, Fort Belknap Agency, May 17, 1909, to Walter Camp, Walter Camp Collection, Lee Library, BYU; Thomas Marquis, Memoirs of a White Crow Indian; R. G. Hickox, "Mitch Bouyer ... A Scout For Custer," Gun Report, March 1980; Battlefield Dispatch, Fall 1986, CBHMA; "Nameless Faces of Custer Battlefield," Greasy Grass, 1988, CBHMA; and Gray, Custer's Last Campaign; Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed, (Lincoln: University of Nebraska Press, 1991).)