You can call me a traitor, despite my claims to the contrary, but I try each year to remember Custer’s Last Stand (also known as the Battle of Little Bighorn).
My mom is more of an expert on Custer than I am. She has studied him for over 30 years. Seriously, ask her anything. And my (now deceased) father used to play Custer in historical reenactments of the Battle in the 70’s, a bit before I was born, when they lived in Crow country.
According to me, who is decidedly not an expert, Custer was an idiot. And he was an idiot in many ways.
That he would take on the task of trying to kill Native people is a disgrace. After all, there were a few men around the time who refused orders to kill Native people. Custer didn’t have to do this. And that’s one reason he’s so despised.
Beyond that, Custer had Crow scouts who literally told him what they were seeing was the largest encampment they had ever seen.
Custer decided to go ahead and, on June 25th, attacked a village of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho people.
Custer was defeated.
Custer’s Last Stand is known as one of the major times Native people won.
There’s theories about why they won: Is it because Native people had rapid repeating rifles? Is it because of their guerrilla war tactics?
We many not know for certain. But what is certain is that Native people won.
And, today, this win is celebrated by the participating tribes, but also by many Native people in general and by me, who may or may not be a traitor to the United States for loving a win against it.