25 June 2009


on 25 june 1876, the year of the nation's centennial, general george armstrong custer led a column of the u.s. 7th cavalry to their doom at the battle of the little bighorn. the encounter is erroneously referred to as "custer's last stand", implying there were previous "stands". untrue. custer was the master of the stealth massacre of entire indian villages, e.g. at washita river. further, custer's command was wiped out by a single swarming charge by indian warriors, not by the slow encirclement depicted in popular paintings of the day. (please click on map below to enlarge.)

custer was a vainglorious and ambitious man, some might say psychotic. in any event, the combination of poor intelligence, and rash decisions to split his vastly outnumbered forces and attack a combined arapaho, northern cheyenne and lakota sioux encampment of thousands of warriors and their families on the little bighorn river (a.k.a. greasy grass creek in lakota), all acting against explicit orders from his superiors, resulted in the most spectacular victory by native american warriors in the history of the u.s. invasion of the west. victorious indian leaders that day included sitting bull, crazy horse, gall, and black elk.

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