Battle Of Little Big Horn

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UNITED STATES ARMY
AVIATION CENTER OF EXCELLENCE
(USAACE)
Fort Rucker, Alabama 36362-5092

January 2015

AWOAC HISTORICAL CASE STUDY

BATTLE OF LITTLE BIGHORN
CW2 JEREMIAH SUTHERLAND

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA

TITLE: Battle of Little Big Horn

WRITTEN BY:__________________________________________________________ CW2 JEREMIAH SUTHERLAND, AWOAC RC15-002

REVIEWED BY:________________________________________________________ CW3 ELIZABETH M. MARCEAUX, SGL, AWOAC, A Co. 1-145th Avn Regt

APPROVED BY:________________________________________________________ CW4 KENNIE R. KELLY, Chief, AWOAC, A Co. 1-145th Avn Regt
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History
The Little Bighorn River area is located in the eastern Montana territory. The river valley has substantial rolling terrain. Deep draws provide natural paths up the hills and tall grasses provide additional cover from all directions. The terrain offered the Native American tribes multiple escape routes. The Native American tribes also had the distinct advantage of being familiar with the terrain. The US cavalry was spearheading part of a three-pronged operation to force the tribes back to the reservation. Colonel John Gibbon, Commander of the 7th Infantry and the 2nd Cavalry moved east towards Fort Ellis on 30 March. Brigadier General George Crook, Commander of the 3rd Cavalry and companies of the 4th and 9th Infantry, moved north towards the Powder River area on 29 May. Brigadier General Alfred Terry’s column, containing the 7th Cavalry and companies from the 17th infantry, moved westward from Fort Abraham Lincoln on 17 May. In early June Terry and Gibson, link forces near Rosebud Creek. Terry made the determination that Lieutenant George Armstrong Custer, would take the 7th Cavalry and proceed south, following Rosebud Creek. The 31 officers and 566 enlisted men of the 7th Cavalry departed south on a reconnaissance mission on 22 June 1876. For some this would be their final mission in US military service.

Planning and Preparation
The army elements of the three-pronged operation were to converge on the likely
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