2008-07-17 / The Holy Road

A different view of Custer

Francis White Bird COMBAT MEDIC, VIETNAM HARVARD UNIVERSITY GRADUATE

 
Custer killed 75 women and children at the Massacre at Washita in Oklahoma in 1868. He attacked the Cheyenne chief Black Kettle's friendly camp. A massacre is when one side is armed and the other side is not armed such as Wounded Knee. Also, it can occur when one side is friendly and unprepared to fight like Washita. Since Custer claimed the victory at Washita, he also is responsible for the deaths of non combatants.

When the news of the massacre reached Lakota country, Custer was labeled as a woman and a baby killer. A person who ordered the command to kill women and children is the lowest of the low. The Cheyenne and the Lakota have been allies so the news traveled fast into Lakota country.

We as Lakota people have won the battles of Rosebud and Little Big Horn June of 1876 along with the Cheyennes. We won the battles but we lost the cavalry wars.

Our courageous, kind and gentle heroes saved the entire Lakotanation from being massacred. Custer ordered the savage, vicious and surprise attack by the cavalry with the intent of killing everyone in the encampment.

 
Some of the Lakota writers have taken the view that our world ended at Little Big Horn. This is a shorted sighted and myopic view and attitude of our survival. As long as the Lakota language and culture survives, our forefathers have saved everything that is important. The effort to exterminate Lakota continues and that one is of our language and culture. We as Lakota people have struggle against the government and the Christian churches until the 1960s.

Today we are overwhelmed by the influence of the television and the music industry. Our young people are influenced by what they see and what they hear over the airwaves. Technology has changed and is more effective in changing a culture. Also there are many people writing and spreading misinformation about our Lakota culture. Young people read articles written by English speaking Euro- Christian writers who view our culture through their own standards so they miss the point of our culture.

I am going to throw in a couple of conjectures and assumptions here. It has been reported that Custer was going to run for President of the United States after he defeated the Lakota people.

With his hatred for Lakota people, as President, he would have conducted a personal war and unleashed the entire United States Army against the Lakota people and would have exterminated us. I believe the victory at Little Big Horn saved us from extermination again at a later time.

It has been written that Sitting Bull, Tatanka Iyotanka was monitoring the chase of Chief Joseph across Montana by General Miles. Tatanka Iyotanka was a few miles across the border in Canada near the Bear Paw Mountains where Chief Joseph surrendered.

The young Lakota men with Tatanka Iyotanka wanted to go across the border and help Chief Joseph fight General Miles as they wanted to earn battle field honors. I seriously believe Tatanka Iyotanka saved the entire Native American population in America by not attacking General Miles.

If General Miles had been wiped out, America could not survive two defeats by the Lakota.

It would have enraged the entire American population where every tribe would be wiped out. It was bad enough the Lakota put the dampers on the Centennial celebration of the United States in Phildelphia in July of 1876.

This is one time where not going into battle against the United States turned out to be a victory, not only for the Lakota people but for the entire Native American population in America.

Entire forests have been decimated by white historians to write about the reason Custer was defeated by the Lakota. White historians do not know military tactics as they have not been in the military.

Also the Lakota and Cheyenne men knew Custer would kill every woman, child and elder in the village if the cavalry broke through the line of defense.

It was a good day to die on that historic day, for Custer. Two military leaders have split their forces and they both have been defeated. One was General Douglas MacArthur during the first part of the Korean War when he was in command. The other was General George Custer against the Lakota. Splitting forces in combat is not a good military tactic.

All of the battles in history have been named at the place of the battle such as Battle of the Bulge during WWII and Khe Sanh during the Vietnam War. White historians have named the battles which the cavalry officers lost against the Lakota. These are Gratten, Fetterman and Custer.

It is racism by the white historians when they name battles after the losers. You don't hear the Battle of the Bulge being named Hitler's last stand.

Anyone who says or writes about the Battle of Little Big Horn as Custer's battlefield or Custer's last stand is a racist.

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