On this day in 1876, Gen. George Custer led his 7th Calvary regiment into their destruction at the Little Big Horn. Custer had a long history of committing atrocities against Indians and southerners. He played a key role in the burning of the Shenandoah Valley – a policy explicitly aimed at starving the South into submission. And he was involved in the hanging of captured Confederate soldiers in my old hometown, Front Royal, Va. – an atrocity that should have gotten Custer branded as a war criminal.
It is often forgotten that Custer’s loss at Little Bighorn was just the latest defeat for the US Army at that time. The US Army usually lost to the Sioux and Cheyenne in military engagements. Indeed, the Sioux Wars lasted decades, and during that time, the United States Army rarely won on the battlefield. Sioux and Cheyenne warriors, though constantly hunted, starved, and persecuted by the US government, were consistently superior to American soldiers.
It was only after the US government wiped out the Buffalo herds and repeatedly destroyed the Sioux food supply that the tribes finally surrendered, after more than 20 years of fighting.
Indeed, starvation campaigns seem to a favorite past time of the US Military.12:54 pm on June 25, 2014