Born: March 1851 (Monroe
Died: February 14, 1881
(Sturgis, South Dakota)
Grave location: Post
Cemetery, Fort Meade, Sturgis, South Dakota
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 Fort Meade and Sturgis.
Strode was murdered in
February 1881. Could this possibly be the site of the
Judge G. C. Moody - presided over the Strode murder trials.