The Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer's Last Stand or the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek was a clash between American soldiers and combined Native American tribes, that occurred in June of 1876 in the eastern Montana Territory.
In 1876, the United States government waged a campaign to remove Native Americans that had been considered to be "hostiles" from the Dakota Territory so that resources from the land could be used for new settlements for American pioneers. The problems had escalated two years prior, when gold was discovered in the area known as the Black Hills and desperate miners and prospectors eagerly flocked to the territory, in violation of treaties with Native American tribes. The Army was initially instructed to eject all trespassers, but after repeated attempts of securing the land by the Grant Administration failed, the territory was opened up, creating the Black Hills Gold Rush in 1875. Such incidents raised the tension for both sides and it was not long before the situation resulted in military conflict.In 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George Custer was charged with leading five troops of the Seventh Cavalry to attack Native Americans camped along the Little Big Horn River in Montana. The leader had hoped to surprise the tribes but had underestimated the strength and number of the Sioux and Cheyenne that had gathered there. The Seventh was confronted by a combined army of the two tribes, numbering in the thousands, and the attack was quickly thwarted. (TZGKEY: 01: "Custer's Last Stand")
On the day following the failed mission, George Custer and over 200 men of the Seventh Cavalry were found dead on the battlefield. The only survivor was a wounded horse named "Comanche. The horse was never forced to work or ridden again out of respect. He was treated as a war veteran and was often a guest of honor in parades of the Seventh Cavalry. (TZGKEY: 01: "Custer's Last Stand")
Three United States Army National Guard soldiers (MSgt. William Connors, Pvt. Michael McCluskey and Cpl. Richard Langsford) on a routine tank exercise in 20th Century Montana found themselves moved backward in time to the day of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. The three men had not been able to take their tank into battle, but did have their modern firearms. Their names were later found listed on the Custer Battlefield National Monument, amongst the names of men killed in combat in the historic battle. (TZ1: "The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms")
This does not appear to have been an isolated incident. Mike Karras, a small-time hood from the 20th century seems to have also been present at the time of the fateful battle. (TZGKEY: 01: "Do Not Touch Exhibit")