Category:
Freedom Ain't So Free
Difficulty Level:
Extreme

Battle in the Black Hills

In 1868, the U.S. Government signed a treaty with the Sioux Indians recognizing the Black Hills of Dakota as part of the Great Sioux Reservation. The area was set aside for the exclusive use by the Sioux people. In the 1870s, gold was discovered in the Black Hills.  Miners quickly moved into the area, demanding the U.S. Army protect them and remove the Sioux from their territory. What was the name of the fierce battle that resulted from this attempt to remove the Sioux from the Black Hills?

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Historical Notes

In 1876, Sioux, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and other tribes set aside their differences in the face of intolerable abuse by the U.S. Government.  Their warriors were amassing in the thousands when General George Custer ordered his 700 soldiers of the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army to attack the Indian war party.  His 700-troop regiment was subsequently annihilated in the ensuing battle, known as The Battle of the Little Big Horn or Custer’s Last Stand.

By some historical accounts, Custer was aspiring to run for the office of president of the United States and saw this fight as an opportunity to seize more battle-field notoriety to enhance his military reputation and presidential aspirations.

Custer is said to have disobeyed direct orders to hold up and meet with supporting troops to coordinate an attack.  Instead, in what is believed to have been an attempt to be credited with winning the battle, Custer pushed his men and horses to travel at a fast pace for two days and nights to beat supporting army regiments to the area. Then Custer's men attacked the superior Indian forces on bad intelligence.

The Indian warriors countered Custer's attack and effectively sealed his place in history by massacring him and his 700 soldiers on the battlefield.