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Custer Battlefield Museum

Where the Battle of the Little Big Horn began . . . Garryowen, Montana

Comanche: Custer Column's Sole Battle Survivor

 keogh's horse comanche at kansas university natural history museum

Comanche Restoration Project

University of Kansas naturalist Lewis Lindsay Dyche prepared Comanche for exhibition at the World's Fair in Chicago in 1893.  Following the fair, Comanche was returned to the KU Natural History Museum.  Following a major restoration and conservation effort in 2004, the museum began exhibiting Comanche in a new exhibit, where the horse remains today as a popular attraction.  (Photo KUNHM)

Comanche (1862-1891)  was a 15 hand buckskin bay gelding, and the sole survivor of Custer's column from the Battle of the Little Big Horn.  He was purchased by the U.S. Army in 1868 in St. Louis, Missouri, and was sent to Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, where he became the personal mount of Captain Myles Keogh of the 7th Cavalry.  During his military service, Comanche was wounded several times, and was admired for his bravery and toughness.

Keogh rode Comanche into battle on June 25, 1876, and was found two days later in a ravine badly wounded, very weak and barely able to stand.  The horse suffered three severe wounds:  through his neck, through his front shoulder and to his hind quarter; and four flesh wounds.  Comanche was transported to Fort Lincoln aboard the steamer the Far West along with other casualties.  He was slowly nursed back to health, retired, and orders were given that he should never be ridden again.

Comanche was eventually sent to Fort Riley, Kansas.  He acted as a regimental mascot and occasionally lead parades until his death in 1891.  His remains were sent to the University of Kansas in Lawrence, where they were preserved and mounted.

Learn more about the Comanche Restoration Project
University of Kansas Natural History Museum

myles keogh battle of the little big horn myles keogh comanche retired battle of the little big horn


Custer Battlefield Museum  1-90 Exit 514  Town Hall, P. O. Box 200, Garryowen, MT  59031  (406) 638-1876

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