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General George Custer

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Introduction

General George Custer The battle of the little big horn was fought on the 25th June 1876. General George Custer and his 7th cavalry consisting of about 225 soldiers attacked a Sioux camp housing 12,000 Indians. The result of the attack was that neither Custer nor any one of his soldiers was alive come the end of the battle. In order to find out to what extent Custer was to blame for the defeat at the little big horn, and to what extent he was the victim of circumstances outside his control, I will have to asses Custers previous battles and also Custers personal character. In the years leading up to the battle of the little big horn, Custer was involved in many military affairs, such as the civil war. When the civil war had ended Custer insisted that he be in the peace photograph although he had only played a little part in the civil war. In 1868 General's Sherman and Sheridan requested the services of Custer whom they had previously battled alongside in the civil war and knew that he was hot-headed, self confident, brave, skilful and prone to disobey orders. ...read more.

Middle

Custer was a very cunning man but also wanted to be known as a powerful man. The situation leading up to the battle of the little big horn was that the American government wanted to clear the Indians away from certain places into special designated places called 'reservations'. However, it seemed that wherever the government moved the Indians gold was discovered and the Indians were moved to a new reservation. Any Indian found outside these reservations would be captured returned or sometimes even killed. The Indians were not very happy with these circumstances as not only was there freedom taken away from them but so to were the buffalo as the reservations were away from the buffalo breeding grounds, which meant the government had to provide food for them. Not only did that cause friction between the white Americans and the Indians but also the way they both lived and respected things was so much different. The Indians didn't believe in growing food (farming) but thought they should only eat what nature gave to them such as, buffalo and plants. ...read more.

Conclusion

The only other alternative Custer had at this point was to stick to General Terry's original plan and go around the Wolf Mountains, up the Little Big Horn and use his cavalry to attack the Indians at the same time Terry and Gibbon were attacking. The best course of action would have been to keep all the troops together and either attack in numbers or send out scouts to find the exact number of Indians they were to face in battle. I think that Custer disobeyed orders and went into battle himself, as he wanted to be hailed as the best General ever to live. Many factors contributed to Custers defeat at the battle of the Little Big Horn, such as the number of soldiers that he was up against. Custer had about 225 men whereas there were 12,000 Indians. Another factor was that the Indians had revolving rifles whereas Custer had previously rejected such guns as he thought his army would demolish the Indians easily. I feel that General George Custer was a ruthless and ambitious man who risked both his men and himself in an attempt to win glory for him. Custer was also courageous, patriotic and overall an excellent military leader. ...read more.

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