Mo-nah-se-tah or Mo-nah-see-tah (c. 1851 - 1922), aka Me-o-tzi, was the daughter of the Cheyenne chief Little Rock, who was killed on November 28, 1868 in the Battle of Washita River when the camp of Chief Black Kettle, of which Little Rock was a member, was attacked by the 7th U.S. Cavalry under the command of Lt. Colonel (brevet Major General) George Armstrong Custer. Mo-nah-se-tah was among the 53 Cheyenne women and children taken captive by the 7th Cavalry after the battle.
Allegedly, according to Captain Frederick Benteen, chief of scouts Ben Clark, and Cheyenne oral history, Custer had a sexual relationship with the 17 year old Mo-nah-se-tah during the winter and early spring of 1868-1869. Mo-nah-se-tah gave birth to a child in January 1869, two months after the Washita battle; Cheyenne oral history alleges that she later bore a second child, fathered by Custer, in late 1869.
Comments from http://www.geni.com/discussions/107995
- The notion that Custer had one Indian child, let alone two, is pure speculation and not backed up with any factual information whatsoever. First, it is documented that Custer was treated for syphilis while at West Point and believed to be sterile. Second, Monaseetah was pregnant when first encountered by Custer at the Battle of the Washita and did not deliver for several months afterward. Thus, even if Custer had fathered one child with her they were not together long enough for there to have been a second.
- see this discussion consistent with this information: http://truewest.ning.com/xn/detail/2518161:Comment:172344
Based to the first-hand accounts of George Custer and Elizabeth Custer and the second-hand account of Kate Bighead, a relative of Monasetah, Custer appears to have kept Monasetah as a sort of concubine or spare wife for several months after the Washita. None of the three closest sources mentions a mixed-blood child, and, as Jeffrey Wert pointed out and several readers have mentioned, Custer had contracted gonorrhea at West Point of 1857 and was almost certainly sterile. Mixed-blood Indian-white children generally have dark hair so the story is suspect. Monasetah married a white man after the Little Bighorn and had a full-blood Indian baby by a former husband, but the odds that she had a child with Custer are near zero. John Koster
More from Wikipedia:
In 1938, Joseph White Cow Bull, an Oglala Lakota veteran of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, went with David Humphreys Miller to the Little Bighorn battlefield and recounted to him his recollections of the battle. Among his recollections:
While we were together in this village [on the Little Bighorn River], I spent most of my time with the Shahiyela [Cheyenne] since I knew their tongue and their ways almost as well as my own. In all those years I had never taken a wife, although I had had many women. One woman I wanted was a pretty young Shahiyela named Monahseetah, or Meotxi as I called her. She was in her middle twenties but had never married any man of her tribe. Some of my Shahiyela friends said she was from the southern branch of their tribe, just visiting up north, and they said no Shahiyela could marry her because she had a seven-year-old son born out of wedlock and that tribal law forbade her getting married. They said the boy’s father had been a white soldier chief named Long Hair; he had killed her father, Chief Black Kettle [sic], in a battle in the south [Battle of the Washita] eight winters before, they said, and captured her. He had told her he wanted to make her his second wife, and so he had her. But after a while his first wife, a white woman, found her out and made him let her go.
Miller asked White Cow Bull, "Was this boy still with her here?" and White Cow Bull answered: Yes, I saw him often around the Shahiyela camp. He was named Yellow Bird and he had light streaks in his hair. He was always with his mother in the daytime, so I would have to wait until night to try to talk to her alone. She knew I wanted to walk with her under a courting blanket and make her my wife. But she would only talk with me through the tepee cover and never came outside.