25th June 2006 -- 130th Anniversary Of Custer's Last Stand At The Battle Of The Little Bighorn ...
In America, one hundred and thirty years ago today, 25th June 1876, began the Battle of the Little Big Horn.
But before the next day had ended, so too had the blood bath of a battle.
Likewise the life of General George Armstrong Custer, along with the lives of 225 of his 7th Cavalry men riding with him; massacred to the very last man, in Montana, by Chief Sitting Bull's army of Indian braves.
Since that day on, the famous fighting general with the flowing locks has been seen by almost all & sundry as some sort of 19th century super-hero.
However, as so often can be the case, it appears things may not be quite all they have seemed to be -- or at least made out to be.
EXCLUSIVE: CUSTER DISASTER
For 130 years he has been feted as a hero of the West.
Now his Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn is exposed ...
By Murray Davies - Daily Mirror
For more than a century General George Armstrong Custer has been lauded as an American hero.
With his golden locks blowing in the wind, bravely wielding a sabre and pistol to the last, for many he symbolises the indomitable spirit of the Old West.
But this weekend, the 130th anniversary of his celebrated Last Stand at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, his heroic status is seriously in doubt.
Historians now believe it was the general's vanity and arrogance that cost his life and those of the 225 officers riding with him that day, massacred by Sitting Bull's army of Indian braves in Montana.
Sounds like some singularly strong stuff, wouldn't you say?
And there are still similar surprises in store.
Such was his desperation to take the credit, he left behind his forces' rapid-firing Gatling guns knowing their transportation would hold up his attack. They also moved out without their sabres.
His troopers, many of them immigrants who spoke little English, had to rely on unreliable Springfield 1873 single shot carbines and Colt revolvers.
Custer pushed his men to the limit until they neared the Little Bighorn river.
On one side stood steep hills while on the other the Indian camp stretched for more than two miles, the largest gathering in 30 years.
It didn't matter to Custer ...
Okay, one last quick clip.
An Arapaho warrior called Waterman claimed he witnessed Custer's last moments.
"He was on his hands and knees. He had been shot through the side and there was blood coming from his mouth. Four soldiers were sitting up around him," he said.
Benteen, who inspected Custer's body, thought he had been killed by the bullet to his side. A second bullet hole in his temple had been fired after he was dead.
His body, naked apart from his socks, was found lying across three dead soldiers while unpublished letters speak of Custer's thighs being slashed to the bone, his ears slit and his groin shot full of arrows.
Out of respect for his widow Libby, the public were never told he had been mutilated.
Here's the Mirror's full featured article.