On June 25, 1876, when the 12 companies of the US 7th Cavalry regiment rode into the valley of the Little Bighorn River
every enlisted man had been issued a .45 Colt single action revolver which has gained worldwide prominence as the Colt Single Action Army.
It was beautiful sitting in the open air, near the Little Bighorn River
. In the distance, the soft glow of campfires.
Kansas, and what is now Montana, including the massacres at Sand Creek and the Washita River, before culminating on a beautiful June 1876 day on the Little Bighorn River
. Custer's Little Bighorn decisions under fire in real time become understandable on these pages as death comes to historical and fictional characters, con artists, U.S.
Their subsequent adventures take them on an unexpected journey they won't soon forget, one that ends at the Little Bighorn River
in late June, 1876.
More than 260 soldiers, including members of Custer's much-vaunted 7th Cavalry, died in the battle as they faced several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors, who had been camped in the valley of the Little Bighorn River
An illustration of just how bad things got: Last June, park employees hurriedly grabbed artifacts including soldiers' uniforms and letters signed by President Lincoln, barely saving them from water pouring down the basement walls as the Little Bighorn River
crested its banks.
Anyone who has ever visited the battlefield can corroborate the impact of the complex rolling terrain on the bluffs above the Little Bighorn River
. As Philbrick notes numerous times, the aspect of terrain clearly was not immediately understood by the 7th Cavalry Regiment, yet was known and successfully utilized by the native warriors.
By May 1876, large numbers of Sioux were leaving the reservations to join Sitting Bull and his people along the Little Bighorn River
. Estimates of Sioux forces were in excess of 6,000 braves, with villages stretching for six miles along the river.
After the Civil War he turned Indian campaigner, and on June 25, 1876, without waiting for reinforcements, he led the Seventh Cavalry against a large force of Lakota and Cheyenne by the Little Bighorn River
Suspecting an Indian village was somewhere to the south, they decided that Custer would lead his 600 troops and 35 Indian scouts southward along the Rosebud River, which flows a few miles west of the Little Bighorn River
. He was to march rapidly as far as 125 miles, then turn around and move northward along the Little Bighorn.