Battle of little bighorn date
The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn by Nathaniel PhilbrickWatch a video Read discussion questions for The Last Stand.
The bestselling author of Mayflower sheds new light on one of the iconic stories of the American West
Little Bighorn and Custer are names synonymous in the American imagination with unmatched bravery and spectacular defeat. Mythologized as Custers Last Stand, the June 1876 battle has been equated with other famous last stands, from the Spartans defeat at Thermopylae to Davy Crockett at the Alamo.
In his tightly structured narrative, Nathaniel Philbrick brilliantly sketches the two larger-than-life antagonists: Sitting Bull, whose charisma and political savvy earned him the position of leader of the Plains Indians, and George Armstrong Custer, one of the Unions greatest cavalry officers and a man with a reputation for fearless and often reckless courage. Philbrick reminds readers that the Battle of the Little Bighorn was also, even in victory, the last stand for the Sioux and Cheyenne Indian nations. Increasingly outraged by the governments Indian policies, the Plains tribes allied themselves and held their ground in southern Montana. Within a few years of Little Bighorn, however, all the major tribal leaders would be confined to Indian reservations.
Throughout, Philbrick beautifully evokes the history and geography of the Great Plains with his characteristic grace and sense of drama. The Last Stand is a mesmerizing account of the archetypal story of the American West, one that continues to haunt our collective imagination.
Last Stand at Little Big Horn
At the time, the United States recognized the hills as property of the Sioux Nation, under a treaty the two parties had signed six years before. The Grant administration tried to buy the hills, but the Sioux, considering them sacred ground, refused to sell; in , federal troops were dispatched to force the Sioux onto reservations and pacify the Great Plains.
What Really Happened at the Battle of the Little Bighorn?
Tensions between the two groups had been rising since the discovery of gold on Native American lands. When a number of tribes missed a federal deadline to move to reservations, the U. Army, including Custer and his 7th Calvary, was dispatched to confront them. Custer was unaware of the number of Indians fighting under the command of Sitting Bull c. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse c. Army ignored previous treaty agreements and invaded the region.
Under skies darkened by smoke, gunfire and flying arrows, men of the U. The engagement was one in a series of battles and negotiations between Plains Indians and U. In less than an hour, the Indians had won the Battle of the Little Bighorn, massacring Custer and every one of his men. George Armstrong Custer, born in Ohio in , earned a certificate for teaching grammar school in but had much grander goals. The following year, he entered the U. Military Academy at West Point, where he was a less-than-stellar cadet: Custer graduated dead last in his class of He was promoted several times and by the time the war ended, he was a Major General in charge of a Cavalry division.
The battle, which resulted in the defeat of U. The U. Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were annihilated and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, a nephew and a brother-in-law. The total U. Public response to the Great Sioux War varied in the immediate aftermath of the battle. Libbie Custer , Custer's widow, soon worked to burnish her husband's memory, and during the following decades Custer and his troops came to be considered iconic, even heroic, figures in American history. The battle, and Custer's actions in particular, have been studied extensively by historians.
The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Date, June 25–26, Sioux and Northern Cheyenne on the Little Bighorn Battlefield, June 25, at Little Bighorn River, Montana.
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