Colonel George Armstrong Custer
The West's most famous battle pitted glory seeking Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry against 3,000 warriors under the leadership of Chief Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull had been told to report to the Sioux reservation by the end of January 1876. when he chose to stay on his land that had earlier been promised to him and his people in a treaty, the government, or mostly the War Department declared Sitting Bull and his people hostile and planned a large scale military advance.
Sitting Bull sent messengers to the Sioux, the Cheyenne, and the Arapaho, including the tribes that were on reservations, trying to get the tribes to ...view middle of the document...
Custer with his five troops of men, totaling 215, and Major Marcus Reno, who was in charge of 112 men did just that. army scouts found the Indian camp on the west bank of the Little Bighorn, and Custer made his second big mistake. Instead of waiting for the other reinforcements to arrive, Custer decided to attack both ends of the Indian camp. While Major Reno crossed the Little Bighorn and attacked the camp from the south. Remember now that this was an Indian camp with over 3,000 warriors.
When major Reno's troops lined up in front of the Indian village the warriors mounted their horses and rode out to defend their women and children. Before the battle even started Reno's men were already retreating toward the river, after realizing the enormous odds they faced.
At this point, Custer took his troops toward a place at the bottom of Medicine Tail Coulee. But ten warriors opened fire in order to keep Custer and his troops at bay. Indian accounts say that Custer, who was riding in the lead, took a bullet on the left side of his chest. Indians had stopped fighting Major Reno's forces in order to help the ten that were fighting against Custer, this allowed Reno's troops to recross the river and get to the high ground.
Arriving at the Medicine Tail Coulee by the hundreds, the better armed Indians found protected positions to fire at Custer from. Custer had lost total control of his troops. The panicking soldiers ran around trying to find safety at a higher position. About 40 soldiers, including Custer, made the famous "last stand" behind the cover of fallen horses, but after a final flurry of hand-to-hand fighting, all 216 men lay dead, this was after no more than an hour of combat. The dead troops were then stripped for trophies and loot, scalped, and then mutilated.
While this was happening Major Reno, and the other two squadrons got together and established a defensive line against the powerful Indian war party. Late in the afternoon the Indians...