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The American plains - now South Dakota, Wyoming and Montana - would have been as strange to them as the surface of the moon. military believed it would be a walkover, they had not reckoned on their implacable opponent, Sitting Bull, the 45-year-old sioux leader, a man whose legs were bowed from a boyhood of riding ponies and whose left foot had been maimed by a bullet in a horse-stealing raid.In June 1876, when Custer and his army met their grisly end, there were no farms, ranches, towns or even military bases in the plains. But, two years earlier, gold had been discovered in the nearby Black Hills by none other than Custer himself during a reconnaissance mission. government decided it had no option but to acquire the hills - by force if necessary - from the indigenous indians. Sitting Bull was determined that his people would never give up their revered lands without a bitter fight.The carnage of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, in the Black Hills of Montana - where 'General' George Armstrong Custer led his 750 men of the 7th U.s.Cavalry into a massacre by more than 3,000 warriors of the sioux and Cheyenne tribes - is etched into America's soul as one of the most iconic events of the romantic old West.To the thousands of indian warriors howling their murderous war cries, it was just like hunting buffalo.Before them, hundreds of American soldiers were retreating in disarray, stumbling and dying on the grassy slope above the Little Bighorn River.
Private Henry Gordon died when a bullet went through his windpipe.
Sitting Bull's strategy was not to go looking for a fight with the white man, but to be ready to fight back if they were attacked.
Fatally, and in defiance of his orders, Custer made the decision to do just that.
More than a 1,000 gleaming white tepees filled an area two miles long and a quarter-of-a-mile wide, while behind them swirled a constantly moving reddish-brown sea of 15,000 ponies.
Under his command, sitting Bull had at least 3,000 warriors, all armed with bows, but many with repeat-action rifles far superior to the single-action carbines carried by the men of the 7th.I'm at my best when I'm working with really talented people, and I'm there to gently suggest or guide or inspire or contribute whatever I can to their effort.