What was Custer’s Last Stand?

Sometimes a man or a thing he does, captures the imagination of a country. His deed may not be decisive in his country’s history, but he becomes a kind of national hero. Such as man as George Armstrong Custer.

Custer graduated from the United States Military Academy in 1861, and joined the Union forces in the Civil War. He became one of the most daring cavalry leaders in the Union Army. When the war ended, Custer was made a lieutenant colonel in the regular army and went to Kansas to fight the Indians.

In 1876, Sioux Indians were attacking the Western Settlements. A large United States force was sent against them. Custer, with about 600 men, was sent on a scouting expedition. On June 24th, 1876, he was told that Indians, under the leadership of Sitting Bull, were encamped on the Little Big Horn River in Montana.

Custer’s scouts reported only a few hundred Indians, but the number turned out to be more than 2,500. Custer then made the mistake of dividing his small force in hopes of surrounding the enemy. one unit attacked the Indians. In hand-to-hand fighting all of his little band was killed.

This desparate fight they made became known as “Custer’s Last Stand”. The Tragedy stunned the country. Today, a monument and national cemetery mark the site of this battle. Custer himself is buried at West Points.

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