Custer's Last Stand - Battle of Little Bighorn

On June 25, 1876, George Armstrong Custer and the 265 men under his command lost their lives in the Battle of Little Big Horn, often referred to as Custer's Last Stand.

Educated at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, Custer proved his brilliance and daring as a cavalry officer of the Union Army in the Civil War. Major General George McClellan appointed the twenty-three-year-old Custer as brigadier general in charge of a Michigan cavalry brigade. By 1864, Custer was leading the Third Cavalry Division in General Philip Sheridan's Shenandoah Valley campaign. Throughout the fall, the Union Army moved across the valley—burning homes, mills, and fields of crops.

The Battle of the Little Bighorn —also known as Custer's Last Stand and, in the parlance of the Native Americans involved, the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek—was an armed engagement between a Lakota–Northern Cheyenne combined force and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. It occurred on June 25 and June 26, 1876, near the Little Bighorn River in the eastern Montana Territory, near what is now Crow Agency, Montana.

The battle was the most famous action of the Great Sioux War of 1876-77 and was a remarkable victory for the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne, led by Sitting Bull. The U.S. Seventh Cavalry, including a column of 700 men led by George Armstrong Custer, was defeated. Five of the Seventh's companies were annihilated and Custer himself was killed as were two of his brothers, a nephew, and a brother-in-law. This battle did not inflict the highest number of casualties by Native Americans against U.S. forces, however. That happened in 1791 at the Battle of the Wabash when the U.S army command suffered over 600 casualties.