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Battle Of The Little Big Horn
by [?]

This was Terry’s plan of battle, only Custer was going to make the capture without Terry’s help.

When Terry came up the following day, he would find the work all done and neatly, too. Results are the only things that count, and victory justifies itself.

The battle would go down on the records as Custer’s triumph!

Reno took a two-mile detour, and just at peep of day, ere the sun had gilded the tops of the cottonwoods, charged, with yells and rapid firing, into the Indian village. Custer stood on the ridge, his men mounted and impatient just below on the other side.

He could distinguish Reno’s soldiers as they charged into the underbrush. Their shouts and the sound of firing filled his fighter’s heart.

The Indians were in confusion–he could see them by the dim light, stampeding. They were running in brownish masses right around the front of the hill where he stood. He ordered the bugles to blow the charge.

The soldiers greeted the order with a yell–tired muscles, the sleepless night, its seventy-five miles of hard riding, were forgotten. The battle would be fought and won in less time than a man takes to eat his breakfast.

Down the slope swept Custer’s men to meet the fleeing foe.

But now the savages had ceased to flee. They lay in the grass and fired.

Several of Custer’s horses fell.

Three of his men threw up their hands, and dropped from their saddles, limp like bags of oats, and their horses ran on alone.

The gully below was full of Indians, and these sent a murderous fire at Custer as he came. His horses swerved, but several ran right on and disappeared, horse and rider in the sunken ditch, as did Napoleon’s men at Waterloo.

The mad, headlong charge hesitated. The cottonwoods, the water and the teepees were a hundred yards away.

Custer glanced back, and a mile distant saw Reno’s soldiers galloping wildly up the steep slope of the hill.

Reno’s charge had failed–instead of riding straight down through the length of the village and meeting Custer, he had gotten only fifty rods, and then had been met by a steady fire from Indians who held their ground. He wedged them back, but his horses, already overridden, refused to go on, and the charging troops were simply carried out of the woods into the open, and once there they took to the hills for safety, leaving behind, dead, one-third of their force.

Custer quickly realized the hopelessness of charging alone into a mass of Indians, who were exultant and savage in the thought of victory. Panic was not for them.


They were armed with Springfield rifles, while the soldiers had only short-range carbines.

The bugles now ordered a retreat, and Custer’s men rode back to the top of the hill–with intent to join forces with Reno.


Reno was hopelessly cut off. Determined Sioux filled the gully that separated the two little bands of brave men.

Custer, evidently, thought that Reno had simply withdrawn to re-form his troop, and that any moment Reno would ride to his rescue.

Custer decided to hold the hill.

The Indians were shooting at him from long range, occasionally killing a horse.

He told off his fours and ordered the horses sent to the rear.

The fours led their horses back toward where they had left their packmules when they had stopped for coffee at three o’clock.

But the fours had not gone half a mile when they were surrounded by a mob of Indians that just closed in on them. Every man was killed–the horses were galloped off by the women and children.

Custer now realized that he was caught in a trap. The ridge where his men lay face down was half a mile long, and not more than twenty feet across at the top. The Indians were everywhere–in the gullies, in the grass, in little scooped-out holes. The bullets whizzed above the heads of Custer’s men as they lay there, flattening their bodies in the dust.