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General Custer Essay

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To what extent was General Custer responsible for the defeat at Little Bighorn? In the late 1875, Sioux and Cheyenne Indians defiantly left their reservations outraged over white settlers coming onto their land in the Black Hills, Dakota. They gathered in Montana, with the great warrior Sitting Bull, to fight for their lands. The following spring, two victories over the US Calvary made them determined to fight in the summer of 1876 at Little Bighorn. I think that General Custer was most responsible for the US defeat because he ignored all the warnings that he was given about the strength of the Indian forces and their determination to protect their lands. He didn't wait for more troops to come and reinforce his men because he was confident that he could win on his own, even though the Indians had 2000 warriors alone and there were many more women and young children in their huge camp. General Custer had 600 men. The Indians were much better equipped for fighting with every warrior having a Winchester repeating rifle and plenty of ammunition; also the Indians had a lot more other necessary supplies. ...read more.


He was very vain and took a great deal of care over his appearance; he took many photographs of himself and made his own uniform so he could look his best. I think that Custer did what he did at the battle of Little Bighorn because he wanted to prove that he was the bravest man in the US. Also, I think that he wanted to prove to everyone in the Army that he was not a 'cold blooded, untruthful and unprincipled man' and that he was a hero and he could beat the Indians on his own by demonstrating his generalship. The US's plan was to send out the army and to try and wipe out the Indians completely. Once the Indians were located, a three - pronged attack was planned. General Custer was to travel south along Rosebud Creek and advance up the Bighorn Valley. He received strict instructions not to attack and to wait for Terry and Gibbon. Custer did not follow the exact route given to him, instead of going round the Wolf Mountains he went through them. ...read more.


The Indian camp was huge with about 1000 tipis and 7000 people. Custer was informed of this but once again he ignored the warning and still was determined to defeat the Indians with his small and poorly equipped force. Custer and his troops had just come on a long journey from Fort Abraham Lincoln and his men were very tired, Custer still made them fight as soon as they got close enough to the camp. This would definitely give the Indians the upper hand because they would be fresh because they would have slept and be well fed. Also, another one of Custer's mistakes was that he divided his forces and they attacked in different places. If they had stuck together they would have had a much better chance of survival and more importantly, victory. General Custer was a brave man but his judgement on this occasion was poor and proved to be a disaster, in some peoples eyes Custer died at the Battle Of Little Bighorn as an American hero, but other people believed he died as a stupid man who disobeyed orders and lost the battle against the Indians. I think that his mistakes and personality lead to the defeat at the Battle of Little Bighorn. ?? ?? ?? ?? Robert Foard 9E 1/3/07 ...read more.

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