Battle of Little Big Horn
According to Russell, the Battle of Little Big Horn is among the most written about event in the history of America. This battle between Native Amerindians and the Seventh Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army took place from June 25 to 26, 1876. The famous and historic battle at the Little Big Horn on the River in Montana was won by the Indians. The battle, previously known as Custer’s Last Stand was a lesson for the US Army.
The basis of the battle was the discovery of minerals and specifically gold in the Black Hills of Dakota. The Amerindian Tribe, the Lakota Sioux, were the owners of the area. The discovery of this gold took place in 1874 when a US Cavalry expedition led by Custer went into the area.
In order to get the land that was owned by the Sioux, signed over to the Government a 75% majority had to be in agreement. The solution the Government sought to the problem was to use force. The Amerindians were given an ultimatum to give themselves up. However, this ultimatum was ignored for a variety of reasons, including the fact that it breached the Sioux Treaty of 1868. The Government sought to resolve the issue by handing it over to the war department.
After the attack on the Indian village of North Cheyenne in March 1876, the Indians saw it as a clear signal that their way of life was threatened. In order to prevent their demise, various bands of Indians came together on River Little Big Horn. Although the Sun Dance festivities were in effect, the other reason was to come together as one to fight the enemy.
Intelligence information received by Custer, the leader of the Seventh Cavalry of the US Army indicated that June 25 was the right time to strike. However, the Indians were prepared and waiting for the event. Various miscommunications led to a total wipe out of Custer, the Lieutenant Colonel and five troops of the 7th US Cavalry.
The Indians outnumbered the US Cavalry. They included not only the Lakota Sioux but other groups of Indians. The US Army had to withdraw the rest of their forces as they suffered heavy losses to the Indians.
The Battle of Little Big Horn became a lesson to the US Army on preparedness. Inadequate preparation by the 7th Cavalry as well as the unreliable information they received were two contributing factors. Additionally, a large number of the men who made up the Cavalry were civilians. In fact, 379 of them were immigrant soldiers (Harper 2014). They were well beaten by the Indians who were obviously better prepared.