Comanche

The KU Natural History Museum is the home of Comanche, the horse ridden by Captain Myles Keogh at the Battle of Little Bighorn in 1876. After Comanche's death, Lewis Lindsay Dyche taxidermied the horse for the 7th Calvary, but Comanche stayed with the museum's collections. In 2005, museum staff completely restored the mount and created a new display on the fourth floor. Comanche is one of the most visited exhibits in the museum.

Adult Diamphidialocusta photo

On June 25, 1876, General George Armstrong Custer led a detachment of troops from the United States Army's 7th Cavalry at what is now known as the Battle of Little Big Horn; a U.S. National Park monument is located at the site today in Montana.

United States Army Captain Myles Keogh rode a bay horse named Comanche into the battle, and two days after the battle's conclusion the horse — severely injured — was the only living survivor left on the field. More than 200 US cavalrymen were killed that day as well as several dozen Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho men, women and children. After the battle, Comanche was nursed back to health but he was retired and orders were given that he should never be ridden again.

Historic Comanche photo

When Comanche died several years later, Professor Lewis Lindsay Dyche answered the call of 7th Calvary officers who wanted Comanche's remains to be preserved.

Comanche Taxidermy photo

Dyche waived his $400 fee in exchange for allowing KU to keep the mount, which was made of wood, wire and clay, with the skin stretched over the structure. First displayed at the 1893 world's fair, Comanche is still exhibited at the KU Natural History Museum.

Comanche at the Natural History Museum photo

In 2005, museum staff carefully dis-mantled the old Comanche exhibit on the fifth floor of the museum and restored the mount. Visitors can visit the exhibit on the fourth floor of the museum.