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Monday, June 29, 2015

Red Indian Wars: The Battle of Little Big Horn (1876), Glorious Red Indian Victory

                               The Protagonists General Custer and Sitting Bull

One battle that has caught the fascination of military historians is the battle of Little Bighorn in 1876 between the Red Indians and the US Army. Both forces were led by formidable opponents. The Red Indian by Sitting Bull, a man who had spent his entire life fighting the US army and General Custer a man who had made a name during the civil war and now aspired to be elected as the US President
On 22 June 1876 General Custer assembled his troops and decided to take the battle to Sitting Bull. His intelligence was poor and he was not aware as to the exact strength of Sitting Bull. In addition he decided to attack at once and not await reinforcements under the command of General Alfred Terry. One reason for this was that Custer wanted to corner all the glory as he wanted to stand for the next election to the US President.

The memorial                                      

The Battle
. General Custer split his force into 3 battalions. He handed command of the two battalions to Captain Fredrick Bentsen and Major Marcus Reno respectively, while he took personal command of the third and main battalion. Along with Custer his brother and nephew were also in his battalion.

The Massacre
As per the plan the battalions commanded by Marcus Reno and Fredrick Bentsen   commenced the attack. They swooped down on the supposed area where Sitting Bull was camped. But the attack achieved precious little as Sitting Bull had dispersed his braves. He now counter attacked and the 2 US Army battalions went into retreat, which soon turned into a flight.
This was the cue and Sitting Bull did not pursue the retreating battalions but collected all his braves in a final charge. Sitting Bull had nearly 4000 braves and with these he attacked the main force led by Custer.
The US soldiers and Custer were taken completely by surprise. The Red Indian braves cut a swathe through the battalion in a massive charge. The braves turned back and re-attacked the splintered battalion and it is on record that every US soldier was killed that day. General Custer, his brother and nephew were also killed. It was a total victory for Sitting bull.

Last Word
The victory of Sitting bull established his credentials as a leader of men in war, but a stung US army responded back with vengeance and much later captured Sitting Bull. For that moment however Sitting Bull proved the Red Indians in war were second to none