JUNE 25, 1876


In what is now Eastern Montana, near the Little Bighorn River, occurred the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Native Americans involved as the Battle of the Greasy Grass.  With the 1875 discovery of gold in the Black Hills, tribes were ordered to move to reservations.  When several tribes missed the deadline, the 7th Cavalry was sent to confront them.  Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer’s hubris led him to throw his 7th Cavalry into the center of an enormous encampment of combined Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho without waiting for reinforcements. The fight was an overwhelming victory for Native Americans led by Crazy Horse, Sitting Bull, and Gall. The result: Five of the 7th Cavalry’s twelve companies were annihilated; Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (six died later from their injuries), including four Crow and two Pawnee Indian scouts.

Source:  “Battle of the Little Bighorn, History, 12/2/2009.  Retrieved 7/4/2019, https://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/battle-of-the-little-bighorn
Painting:   Kicking Bear (1846-1904), 1898.  Public Domain in U.S.:  Pre 1/1/1925.  Public Domain elsewhere where copyright term is author’s life plus 100 years or less.

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