George Custer (Famous Figures of the American Frontier) by Hal Marcovitz

By Hal Marcovitz

The lifetime of the Civil battle normal whose debatable repute rests mainly at the catastrophe on the Little enormous Horn in 1876.

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One of those railroads was planned to cross an area of South Dakota known as the Black Hills. 39 A G OOD D AY TO D IE This painting, Call of the Bugle, depicts Custer’s Last Stand— the general and his men trying to hold off an overwhelming force of hostile Native Americans. While the Last Stand may have been brave, Custer’s decision to split his force and attack was foolish. He ignored reports by his scouts that the Indian camp on the Little Bighorn was much larger than expected. S. Army was the War for the Black Hills.

But many did not go willingly and chose to make war. When settlers, gold miners, and railroad men arrived in the Black Hills of South Dakota, the Hunkpapa Sioux under their great chief, Sitting Bull, vowed to drive them away. ” They believed the region in western South Dakota to be the most sacred of their lands, the center of their world. ” The hills form a dark, mountainous A G OOD D AY TO D IE 43 mass that rises some 4,000 feet into the sky, providing a stark contrast to the yellow prairies that surround them.

Custer led cavalry troops throughout the remainder of the Civil War and scored impressive victories. During the final six months of the war, Custer’s cavalry soldiers captured 111 cannons and other pieces of artillery equipment, 65 battle flags, and 10,000 Confederate prisoners. He found his greatest glory at the command of the First Michigan Cavalry, leading his men at the pivotal battle of Gettysburg in Pennsylvania. In this bloody three-day battle, the tide of the war was finally turned in favor of the Union army.

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