Standing, Uniting and Rejoicing
September 10, 2004
TEXT: Philippians 4:1-4
ILLUS: In late June of 1876, the greatest concentration of Indian power to challenge the U.S. army in the west—more than 2,500 men—was massed along the Little Bighorn River in Montana territory.
There the Sioux and northern Cheyenne tribes, led by the great medicine man, Sitting Bull, and the war chiefs Gall and Crazy Horse, had joined forces in a final attempt to halt white encroachment on their buffalo hunting lands.
On the night of June 24, Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer, who had distinguished himself as a military leader during the Civil War, led some 600 trail-worn troopers of the 7th U.S. Cavalry toward the Sioux-Cheyenne camp.
On the morning of June 25, he split his regiment into three battalions and began the battle. Custer's own battalion, consisting of 267 men, became the central unit of the three-pronged assault.
Meanwhile, the Indians, who were ready and willing to fight, swarmed all over the second unit, led by Major Marcus Reno. Leaving enough warriors behind to keep these forces pinned down, Crazy Horse now hurried north to intercept Custer himself, while another group of warriors, led by Chief Gall, attacked Custer from the rear.
Custer's trapped and doomed men were quickly beaten down. The battle continued until the arrival in late afternoon, June 26, of Terry's command. After the Indians retreated, the Terry surveyed the battlefield and sorrowfully counted up their losses: more than 200 killed, including General Custer, and at least 60 wounded.
"Custer's Last Stand" was ironically, the last successful stand by the Sioux and northern Cheyenne against the U.S. army, which immediately rushed reinforcements. A relentless campaign followed during the winter of 1876-77, until finally the power of the Indians on the northern plains was broken forever.
One thing you can say about both groups; they stood their ground. Neither the Indians, ...
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