Was it suicide? The truth behind Custer’s last stand
In June 1876, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer led his men to the banks of Little Bighorn River in between the states of Montana and Wyoming. It was to be the most crushing defeat and controversial battle in American history as a total of 268 federal troops perished by the end of what was to be ‘Custer’s Last Stand’. The outcome of the war has been muddled with a lot of controversies from witnesses who claim the cavalry troops committed suicide.
History says they started shooting each other upon knowing they were outnumbered. Although literally accepted by history, authorities raise a lot of questions about its legitimacy and how the historic bloodbath actually went.
The account of the war that fateful day
The United States was pushing its territories to the South during those times. Commander Custer, one of the commanding officers of the Garryowen regiment, traveled all the way to Southern Montana to suppress a town of defiant Indians.
But unknown to the regiment, they were pillaging not just a town but a combination of American Indians who united against the Federal troops. Composed of belligerent Lakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians, their number was a total of 5,000 compared to Commander Custer’s troop of 300 men.
Custer’s regiment was quickly annihilated in what was to be known as one of the bloodiest defeat America has ever seen.
The truth about the authenticity of the accounts
Native Americans witnesses said that Custer’s men started shooting at each other upon seeing that they were outnumbered. Researchers are quick to contradict the authenticity of this story as skeletal analysis dictates only a few numbers showed signs.
It might not have been impossible that several suicides happened. But it is not as extensive as history claims it to be. The account witness of Federal soldiers turning on to each other may not altogether be true in several aspects.
Of 31 skeletal remains examined, only three showed signs of suicide under battle by shooting themselves in the head. Most of them were either scalped or mutilated which means they died from the battle and not of suicide.