The Last Stand of Custer's Battalion

14 February 2019

As Reno’s diversion was failing the Indians became aware of Custer's men, who were working their way towards the opposite end of the Indian encampment.

The Cheyenne and Hunkpapa Sioux immediately began crossing the river to attack the advancing soldiers, this released Reno's men to finish retreating towards Renos Hill.

The beginning of the end

Custer was probably outnumbered by as much as 10 to 1 at this stage. These overwhelming numbers forced Custer’s troops towards a long high ridge, Custer Hill, to the north of the Indian Camp. 

Another force mostly comprising of Oglala Sioux and being led by Crazy Horse, made their way quickly downstream only to swing back and envelop Custer and his men. Custer was now caught in a pincer movement and began to suffer a large volume of gunfire and arrow shots.

Company L is about to be overwhelmed and destroyed by the Hunkapapa Sioux, with the remnants streaming back towards Custer.

Companies C and E on the other end of Custer Hill were deployed below where the final stand took place, in sight of Custer F and I companies. However, they were quickly overwhelmed by sheer weight of numbers. With more Indians coming from the direction of the north and from Calhoun Ridge time was pressing. 

The troops of I Company were the next to fall under the irresistible attacks of the building Indian numbers. Their surviving troops began falling back, under severe pressure, on Custer and F Company 

I Company try to escape

The end is nigh! 

With companies falling back on Custer’s position, he began to organise a more prepared defence as he watched his men being beaten and running to his side.

Custer realised that things were not going to plan and very quickly ordered men to shoot their horses to form a defensive wall.

This did not provide much protection against the Indian attacks and with the Indians closing in around them, F Company and the remnants of the battalion have managed to fall back into Custer’s final stand.

It had taken less than an hour. Custer and his battalion had been beaten, Reno and Benteen's held out for another day and the Indians moved off when it was found that two more columns of US forces were coming towards them. The Battle of the Little Big Horn was over. 

The Battle of the Little Bighorn proved to be the apogee of the Indians' power. Their greatest victory proved to be their downfall as the United States as a nation needed revenge. The dispute over the Black Hills was settled by redrawing of the boundary lines and placing them outside the reservation and therefore open to white settlement. Within a year, the Indians were defeated. "Custer's Last Stand" was to be the last stand of a broken Sioux Nation as well.