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Bighorn River

Michael has a BA in History & American Studies and an MSc in American History from the University of Edinburgh. He comes from a proud military family and has spent most of his career as an educator in the Middle East and Asia. Please consider reading our editorial policy to understand how and why we publish the resources we do.

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Part of our in-depth series exploring the Mountain Pacific Forts

The following is from the book, Indian Wars, by Bill Yenne.

Another incident a year later would involve the man whose name is synonymous with the Indian War history of Montana. Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer was riding with ten companies of his 7th Cavalry as part of a large force under Colonel David Stanley. Custer was with Captain Myles Moylan and a small advance party on August 4, 1873, when a small group of Lakota swept into their camp near the mouth of the Tongue River planning to steal horses, decoy troops into an ambush, or both. Custer who gave chase and was abruptly surrounded by an estimated three hundred warriors. He scampered back to Moylan's encampment and they formed a defensive perimeter. After several hours and a failed attempt to start a grass fire to smoke out the troopers, the Indians broke off the attack. The regimental veterinarian and two other soldiers were killed.

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