Announcing a sculpture memorializing one of the most intense battles of the Indian Wars

Give Me Eighty Men depicts 145th anniversary of Wyoming Fetterman Battle of 1866.

Give Me Eighty Men been added to the permanent collection of the Tucson Museum of Art. You can see the finished bronze here: Give Me 80 Men

Give Me 80 Men

"Give Me Eighty Men" 33in X 13in X 13in $5,900

Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight-December 21, 1866

By Craig Bergsgaard

To be cast in bronze

33″h x 13″w x 13″d (base will add approximately 4″)

Edition of 18 – Price $5,900

Presenting Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight – December 21, 1866.

Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight-December 21, 1866 is the second installment in my Indian Wars series.

80 Men Detail

Give Me Eighty Men Detail

Historical Significance of Give Me Eighty Men

Give Me Eighty Men represents 145th anniversary of the unsuccessful battle of the United States against the Lakota (Sioux) Nation on December 21, 1866.

The United States troops who lost their lives were led by Army captain William Judd Fetterman.

Fetterman allegedly had boasted: “Give me 80 men and I’ll march through the entire Sioux Nation.”

On December 21, 1866, Fetterman and exactly 80 soldiers pursued a band of Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho warriors who had staged an attack on Fort Phil Kearny.

Fetterman ignored orders to not venture past sight of the fort and was lured into an ambush with over 2,000 Native Americans.Fetterman and his contingent were killed within 20 minutes.

This loss by the United States weathered at the hands of Native American warriors is second in magnitude only to the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Captain William Judd Fetterman is buried in the National Cemetery at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

Artistic Intent

Give Me Eighty Men features a victorious Lakota warrior at the end of the Fetterman encounter.

80 Men Detail - Bugle

Give Me Eighty Men Detail - Bugle

In his left hand, the warrior clutches the bent bugle taken from the regiment’s bugler, who was the last person standing before finally succumbing to the Lakota onslaught.

80 Men Detail - Rifle

Give Me Eighty Men Detail - Rifle

In his right hand, the warrior clutches a single-shot Spencer carbine rifle taken from a U.S. infantryman in the skirmish. This armament’s inadequate firepower for the task at hand represents both the spoils of war and a symbol of the mis-match between the American forces and the Native American offensive.

80 Men Detail - Shoulder

Give Me Eighty Men Detail - Shoulder

The Lakota victor’s heavenward gaze “over his shoulder” is a metaphor for the war party’s knowledge that the death of 80 soldiers will be certain to incite harsh retribution.

For a Wyoming battle in December, the warrior may appear at first glance to be insufficiently dressed with his light garb of leggings and feather hair treatment. Yet according to the biography of Minneconjou Sioux chief White Bull, leggings and a thick blanket would be typical garb for a Lakota man of the period.

This warrior would have surely shed his blanket when the battle ensued, leaving him spartanly dressed on the wind-whipped plains.

Artist’s Statement about Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight-December 21, 1866

One day in late summer, I visited the ridge at the Fetterman battle site. Surrounded by vistas of incredible beauty, my thoughts were many, but strongest was a clear understanding of why the stewards of the land would choose to defend to the death this ground so crucial to their culture.

I said to a complete stranger, “I would defend this country as well.”

The opinions of what happened on December 21, 1866 are varied and full of intrigue. I believe that my charge is not to delve into the mechanics of the battle, but to create enough interest for the viewer to explore this historic event for themselves.

This piece also speaks to the dangers caused by an excess of ego. It can be argued that an air of superiority is required by a military commander going into battle, and certainly Fetterman was not the first or only military leader to underestimate his foe – but when ego trumps judgment, as in this case, the subordinates were forced to pay the ultimate price for Captain Fetterman’s decisions.

About The Indian Wars series by Craig Bergsgaard

Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight – December 21, 1866 is the second installment in my series, The Indian Wars.

The Indian Wars series represents major conflicts in the 200-plus years of United States and Native American discord and are depicted from the Native American viewpoint.

The reason I have chosen to depict the scenes the Native American view is simple: It was their ground.

Memorare, Sand Creek 1864 was the first sculpture of The Indian Wars series.

Reserve your copy of Give Me Eighty Men today and receive a free museum-quality base.

I am now taking pre-orders on Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight – December 21, 1866.

Price is $5,900. No precast pricing will be offered, but if you reserve yours before casting begins, I will provide a complementary museum-quality jewelry box-style walnut and granite base with a drawer to place historical information on the work for your heirs.

To reserve your copy, please contact me. Please mention the number you would like, if you have a preference. Requests will be honored on a first-come, first-served basis.

To download a copy of my press kit on Give Me Eighty Men: The Fetterman Fight – December 21, 1866 please click here: Fetterman Battle Download