The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part III) Answers
1. Archaeologists suggest that, in the end, Custer's troops were not
surrounded but rather overwhelmed by a single charge. This scenario corresponds
to several Indian accounts stating Crazy Horse's charge swarmed the resistance,
with the surviving soldiers fleeing in panic. At this point, the fight became a
rout with warriors riding down the fleeing troopers and hitting them with lances
and coup sticks.
2. After the Custer force was annihilated, the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne
regrouped to attack Reno and Benteen. The fight continued until dark
(approximately 9:00 p.m.) and for much of the next day, with the outcome in
doubt. Reno credited Benteen's leadership with repulsing a severe attack on the
portion of the perimeter held by Companies H and M.
3. On June 26, the column under General Terry approached from the north, and
the Indians drew off in the opposite direction. The Crow scout White Man Runs
Him was the first to tell General Terry's officers that Custer's force had
"been wiped out."
4. The 7th Cavalry suffered 52 percent casualties: 16 officers and 242
troopers killed or died of wounds, 1 officer and 51 troopers wounded. Every
soldier in the five companies with Custer was killed, although for years rumors
persisted of survivors. The sole surviving animal reportedly discovered on the
battlefield by General Terry's troops was Captain Keogh's horse Comanche.
5. In 1878, the army awarded 24 Medals of Honor to participants in the fight
on the bluffs for bravery, most for risking their lives to carry water from the
river up the hill to the wounded.
6. The site was first preserved as a national cemetery in 1879, to protect
graves of the 7th Cavalry troopers buried there. It was redesignated Custer
Battlefield National Monument in 1946, and later renamed Little Bighorn
Battlefield National Monument in 1991.
7. On Memorial Day 1999, two red granite markers were added to the
battlefield where Native American warriors fell. As of December 2006, there are
now a total of ten warrior markers (three at the Reno-Benteen Defense Site,
seven on the Custer Battlefield).
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