Motorhead Quote

"The battlefields are silent now. The graves all look the same." -- Motorhead,Voices from the War

Strode, Elijah


Company A

Born: March 1851 (Monroe County, Kentucky)

Died: February 14, 1881 (Sturgis, South Dakota)

Grave location: Post Cemetery, Fort Meade, Sturgis, South Dakota

Grave GPS Coordinates: N44 24.146 W103 28.600

He enlisted on October 15, 1872, in Elizabethtown, Kentucky by Lt. Algernon Smith. He listed his previous occupation as farmer. He was assigned to Company A; transferred to Company H. He was discharged on June 24, 1877, at camp on Tongue River, Montana Territory, as a private of good character. He re-enlisted and was promoted to sergeant, Company D, in 1877. He had brown hair, brown eyes, a fair complexion, and was 5’ 9 ¾”in height. He is listed as Elija T. Strode in the Register of Enlistments, U.S. Army, and elsewhere as Strond, Elijah Stroude, and Elijah T. Stroud.  He was serving as orderly for Lt. Charles Varnum at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was wounded in the right ankle during the scramble to the bluffs from the valley fight.  He was transported to Fort Lincoln on board the steamer Far West.  He was murdered on February 14, 1881.

Notes – Some reports list that he was shot at Fort Yates and was transported to Fort Meade, where he died. This seemed strange to me as anyone who has been to the Dakotas knows the distance between Fort Yates and Fort Meade. This was well before the helicopter transport days. A trip from Fort Yates to Fort Meade would have taken many days, if not weeks. I just couldn’t believe that it happened that way.  A trip to the State Archives in Pierre, South Dakota confirmed my suspicions. Looking through the microfiche of newspapers from around the time of Strode’s murder, I found reference to it and the trial in the BLACK HILLS DAILY TIMES. By reading the newspaper accounts it became clear that Strode was shot and died in Sturgis.

Headstone for Elijah Strode at the Post Cemetery - Fort Meade - Sturgis, South Dakota

Saloon, circa 1882, located between Sturgis and Fort Meade. Strode was murdered in February 1881. Could this possibly be the scene of the crime?

Judge G. C. Moody - presided over the Strode murder trials.

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