Crazy Horse (Lakota: Tȟašúŋke Witkó (in Standard Lakota Orthography), literally "His-Horse-is-Crazy") (ca. 1840 – September 5, 1877) was a respected war leader of the Oglala Lakota, who fought against the U.S. federal government in an effort to preserve the traditions and values of the Lakota way of life. He is most generally known for his participation in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in June, 1876.
Sources differ on the precise year of Crazy Horse's birth, but all seem to agree that he was born between 1840 and 1845. According to a close friend, he and Crazy Horse "were both born in the same year at the same season of the year", which census records and other interviews place at about 1845. Chips, an Oglala medicine man and spiritual adviser to the Oglala war leader, reported that Crazy Horse was born "in the year in which the band to which he belonged, the Oglala, stole One Hundred Horses, and in the fall of the year", a reference to the annual Lakota calendar or winter count. Among the Oglala wintercounts, the stealing of one hundred horses is noted by Cloud Shield, and possibly by American Horse and Red Horse owner, equivalent to the year 1840-41. Oral history accounts from relatives on the Cheyenne River Reservation place his birth in the spring of 1840. Probably the most credible source, however, is Crazy Horse's own father. On the evening of his son's death, the elderly man told Lieutenant H. R. Lemly that his son "would soon have been thirty-seven, having been born on the South Cheyenne river in the fall of 1840."
Crazy Horse was named at birth 'In The Wilderness' or 'Among the Trees' (in Lakota the name is phonetically pronounced as Cha-O-Ha) meaning he was one with nature. His mother's name for him was 'Curly' or 'Light Hair'; his light, curly hair resembled that of his mother.