Custer's End: The Battle of the Little Bighorn Remembered
On June 25, 1876, an alliance of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Northern Arapaho defeated the 7th Cavalry, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, at Greasy Grass -- better known in American history books as the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
At Last Real Indians, Dana Lone Hill writes that "As much as the American education we received wanted us to forget that day, as much as they taught us it was a massacre, yet no women and children were killed like later in the Wounded Knee Massacre, our people did not let us forget. Not one of my family members ever let me forget about June 25th, 1876. It was forever told to me in many stories. This was the day we kicked ass."
About half of the 700 Cavalry soldiers were killed or wounded, and every soldier in the five companies with Custer died, as did their leader. The American Indians suffered statistically much fewer casualties, between 36 and 300 of their number, which was between 1,000 and 2,500.
Today, using tools neither Custer nor Sitting Bull could have imagined, Natives have shared words and images that express their feelings about the day of victory that occurred before any of them were born -- on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook and blogs they have posted century-old ledger art, contemporary paintings, homemade tributes, photographs taken by strangers. Little Bighorn would be the Natives' one triumph of significance in the Great Sioux War of 1876, or the Black Hills War, in which the U.S. forces ultimately prevailed.
But Dana Lone Hill is right: This was the day American Indians kicked ass.
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