• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent was Custer to blame for the defeat of the 7th Cavalry at The Battle of Little Bighorn?

Extracts from this document...


To what extent was Custer to blame for the defeat of the 7th Cavalry at The Battle of Little Bighorn? In 1876 the Army dispatched three columns to attack in coordinated fashion, one of which contained Lt. Colonel George Custer and the seventh cavalry. They planned to attack the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians who had defiantly left their reservations to gather in Montana with the great warrior Sitting Bull to fight for their lands. 'What happened to Custer and his men is not clear as there were no survivors from his force' Custer was born in New Rumley, Ohio, and spent much of his childhood with a half-sister in Monroe, Michigan. He enrolled in West Point immediately after high school and failed disgustingly to distinguish himself in any positive way. A few days after graduating last in his class, he failed in his duty as officer of the guard to stop a fight between to cadets. He was court-marshaled and saved from punishment only by a great need for officers with the outbreak of the Civil War. ...read more.


Mitch Boyer warned 'If we go in there we will never come out' but Custer was so heated in what he thought was a glorious triumphal moment that he ignored the plea of his tired men and ordered them forward, he also wanted to move quickly as he thought the Indians would try to escape, 'The largest Indian camp on the North continent is ahead and I am going to attack it'. Contemptuous of Indian military prowess, he split his forces into three parts to ensure fewer Indians would escape; he had used this method successfully at the Battle of Washita. He sent major Reno with 125 men to attack the southern end of the camp, and Captain Benteen, with 125 men, was sent to the south. Captain McDougall took charge of B company and the pack train. Custer himself took 260 men further north to cross the river to attack the Indian camp. 'Custer disobeyed orders because he did not want any other command... ...read more.


After the battle, the Indians came through and stripped the bodies and mutilated all the uniformed soldiers, believing that the soul of a mutilated body would be forced to walk the earth for all eternity and could not ascend to heaven. Inexplicably, they stripped Custer's body and cleaned it, but did not scalp or mutilate it. He had been wearing buckskins instead of a blue uniform, and some believe that the Indians thought he was not a soldier and so, thinking he was an innocent, left him alone. Because his hair was cut short for battle, others think that he did not have enough hair to allow for a very good scalping. Immediately after the battle, the myth emerged that they left him alone out of respect for his fighting ability, but few participating Indians knew who he was to have been so respectful. To this day, no one knows the real reason. Because Custer saw the battle as a 'personal triumph' rather than a 'cavalry's triumph' he was willing to take risks without thinking of the effects they might have on his troops, you could say he was selfish in his orders. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE History Projects section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Here's what a teacher thought of this essay

3 star(s)

Final Comment. Star rating ***
Over all this essay shows excellent knowledge and understanding of the event, but has fallen in to the trap of tellling the story of the battle rather than examining arange of factors. THe essay could have been structured around weighing up 3 key factors. For example Custer's role, the strength and skill of the Idian forces and bad luck in terms of the failure of the rest of the army.

Marked by teacher Natalya Luck 09/03/2013

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE History Projects essays

  1. To what extent can historians be objective?

    The readers' own understanding is formed by their own political, ideological or moral consciousness. Leopold Von Ranke advocated historical objectivity. His approach was to avoid applying the spirit, modes of thought, wisdom and beliefs of the present to the events of the past - this is known as historicism and

  2. Why was the Roman Army so Successful? Rome was one ...

    In addition, there was the short sword which was used for quickly piercing the enemy. It was used more often than the pugio. The pila was very closely related to the javelin. It was used for throwing and was about 2m in length.

  1. Why Did William Of Normandy Win the Battle of Hastings?

    Valery exhumed. He then paraded it in front of his men and had them implore the Saint for a favourable change in wind. His men were now ready for battle and focused on winning against Harold Godwinson. William's army used bows and arrows, horses and brave men on foot that carried swords, spears and shields.

  2. The soviet union was to blame for the Cold War.

    When Germany and Berlin were separated into 4 zone Stalin decided that his zone would be a communist area. This led to the forming of bi-zonia and eventually tri-zonia which consisted of the USA, Great Britain and France combining their zones.

  1. The Political, Economic and Social Impacts of the First World War on Canada

    By the end of the war nearly all the women over 21 were given the right to vote as long as they met the racial and property ownership requirement. However, this was not enough for equality, thus Robert Borden's conservative government passed the 1920 Dominions Elections Act, which gave women

  2. Comparison and contrast between Night by Elie Wiesel and Life is beautiful by Robert ...

    to be killed at the beginning; somehow, they got rid of it and started living in the camp. Elie survived by telling the guards that he is eighteen, so he was not killed and Joshua survived because he hid as he followed the order of his father.

  1. Elizabeth I: How successfully did she tackle the problems of her reign?

    She could have married an English nobleman. But this might upset other noblemen who would stage a rebellion. Also, she was afraid that her husband would take over the control of the country. To resolve the problem, she chose not to marry.

  2. How Did Hong Kong Fall so Quickly to the Japanese in WWII

    There were around 1000 troops from the Hong Kong Defence Forces, but most of them were inexperienced and unfit for war as well. When the Japanese arrived at Hong Kong, the British expected an invasion of 5,000 soldiers. The actual number of Japanese soldiers in the invasion was around 60,000.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work