Our Free Sample Essay On The Battle of Little Big Horn

The Battle of the Little Big Horn is one of the battles that has interested historians across generations. This was a war fought between Americans Cavalry and Indians from northern tribal groups of Sioux and Lakota in Little Big Horn valley. This battle took place in 25th June of 1876. It is sometimes referred to as “Custer’s Last Stand” named after Colonel George Armstrong Cluster who was the leader of the United States 7th Cavalry involved in the battle (Wagner, 9). The Indian tribal armies were led by Sitting Bull and before this battle, Bull had led the armies to wars against white men who had refused to stay off the land that belonged to the tribes in the Black Hills . Black Hills were part of the 1868 Treaty which settled Lakotas and Cheyennes to be controlled there. Upon discovery of oil, the whites abrogated the treaty and invaded the land, this forced Sitting Bull to successfully lead the tribal armies to defeat the United States Cavalry two times.

During the spring of 1876, the US launched a 3-pronged operation against the armies of the Indian tribes of Lakota and Cheyenne. The first prong which was led by General John Gibbon trooped eastern side from Fort Ellis of Montana. The second one which was led by General Alfred Terry, as well as Colonel Custer, marched to the western side from Abraham Lincoln which is almost near Dakota. The third and last prong which was led by General George Crook moved to the northern side from Wyoming and into Montana. The 3 prongs had intended to meet together almost during the culmination of the month of June within the locale of Little Big Horn valleys. What General Terry and General Gibbon did not know was that General Crook’s prong had encountered the Indian armies within the locality of Rosebud Creek which was located south of Montana. General Crook’s prong was defeated almost a week prior to Custer’s battle. After the defeat, General Crook retracted his forces to Wyoming which meant that the triangle had been broken from his side (Wagner, 104-105).

In the meantime, General Terry was leading his prong up towards the west of Yellowstone River and into the Little Big Horn valley. The US soldiers in the 7th Cavalry which Colonel Custer was leading spied 3 days into the battle (Wagner, 105). Early morning in the day of the battle, Colonel Custer’s army arrived at the section dividing Rosebud and the rivers of Little Big Horn. They saw a big Indian encampment from a location called Crow’s Nest (Brininstool, 67). Custer worrying that the Indians could escape, he attacked Little Big Horn expecting his 600 men to meet a maximum of 800 Indian warriors. He was met by surprise as his prong faced 2000 warriors (Wagner, 117). Colonel Custer separated the 7th Cavalry into 3 as the battle commenced, and further separated the group he commanded into wings (Denzin, 185).

Even though the Lakota and Cheyenne warriors were shocked by the kind of attack, they were able to swiftly rally and put every component of the 7th Cavalry’s attack on the defending side. The Indians were fighting in little-unaffiliated factions. Taking advantage of their larger number, they took cover and shot Custer’s men from afar. Custer’s men positioned themselves in exposed skirmish arrangement as per their training, and this led to them being broadly dispersed and thus they were easy targets for the guns of the Indian warriors. Crazy Horse and Gall led the gargantuan Indian forces which surrounded Custer’s men. This forced Colonel Custer to order his men to kill their horses and heap those bodies together in order to form a barrier to safeguard them from Indian warriors. Colonel Custer and his soldiers were wiped out within a period of one hour by the Indian warriors who used arrows and bullets (Denzin, 219). The Indians in spite of winning that battle were not victorious. Owing to Custer’s popularity, there was a great outrage which led the US government to re-draw the Black Hills borders which made it not part of the reservations, making it open for settlement by the white men.