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The Battle of Little Bighorn - Research Paper Example

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This historic paper primarily explores the background of the Battle of Little Bighorn. This battle is the only significant battle where the Native Americans managed to achieve a decisive victory over the White Americans, or more precisely, the US Army…
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The Battle of Little Bighorn
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The Battle of Little Bighorn

Download file to see previous pages... This historic paper primarily explores the background of the Battle of Little Bighorn. This battle is the only significant battle where the Native Americans managed to achieve a decisive victory over the White Americans, or more precisely, the US Army. Parties involved in the battle: The battle was fought between the alliance of some major Native American tribes and the US Army. At one side, there were the warriors from Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes. They numbered around 2000. The other side consisted of US troops, numbering around 650. They were in alliance with the Arikara and Crow tribes. The Native American side was led by Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, etc. The US side was led by G.A. Custer, Marcus Reno, Bloody Knife, etc. 1 Short description: The battle took place on 25th to 26th June, 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in Montana. Custer, who led the army from the forefront, made certain mistakes, which ultimately caused the US defeat. He divided his troops into 3 battalions by the time the battle began. This disunited the column, while the Native Americans surrounded them very swiftly. Custer’s move was actually a tactical error.2 In the battle that followed, over 250 US troops died while less than 150 Native Americans were killed.3 This paper will examine the background of this battle with reference to the Great Sioux War. Next, the supporting evidence will be put forward almost in the form of a literature review. In the conclusion part, the aftermath and consequences of the battle will be discussed. A summary of the paper will also be provided. Background The Great Sioux War: This war was waged by USA against the Native Americans who spoke languages mainly from the Sioux linguistic group. It was not strictly European style warfare. It consisted of a series of skirmishes, battles, and massacres. In the High Plains, warfare in various ways continued almost from 1865 to 1879.4 5 US defeat in the Battle of Little Bighorn heightened the tensions of this war and lingered it. About these developments, the New York Times reported, “The news of the fatal charge of Gen. Custer and his command against the Sioux Indians has caused great excitement in Washington, particularly among Army people and about the Capitol. The first impulse was to doubt the report, or set it down as some heartless hoax or at least a greatly exaggerated story by some frightened fugitive.”6 Situation before the battle: Prior to this battle, USA had demarcated the Great Sioux Reservation for the Native Americans and Indians around the Missouri area, Montana Territory, Dakota Territory, etc. The Cheyenne tribe had moved west side to the Powder River Country and Black Hills and they had adopted horse culture near about 1730. The Cheyenne remained a major force in the region and developed a centralized tribal authority, which later embarked on unifying the other tribes as well. The Lakota tribe had migrated to this region after Cheyenne. They began expanding their territory westward from the Missouri River as their number continued to increase. They used the Great Plains region to gather plant resources, lodge poles, animal rearing, buffalo hunting, etc. The Arapaho tribe was also a significant power in the area, which adopted common customs like Sun Dance along with Cheyenne and Lakota. Their social system was also centered on buffalo hunting and that was the main tribal occupation in the region.7 The alliance between Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho became a significant power in the Great Plains that was opposing the US socio-political expansion during the mid 1870s. Arikara and Crow tribes were allied with USA. Arikara speak the distinct Arikara language. They were a people of semi-nomadic creed who were afraid of the increasing power of the Cheyenne. However, it is interesting to note that USA had fought their first battle with the Western Indians (i.e. Native Americans of the Great Plains) against this Arikara ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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