The Indians that had fought General Custer had actually fought a battle against an even larger American Army Force only 10 days earlier. In mid June of 1876 General George Crook and approximately 1325 American soldiers, packers, miners and Indian allies moved north1. The intent was to get contingents of the Cheyenne, Sioux and Arapaho to move to reservations.
Gold had been discovered in the Black Hills of the Dakotas, and the American military intended to take it by force after a failed treaty negotiation. Crook had moved north from Fort Fetterman camp near present day Douglas Wyoming area, along rosebud creek, north into Montana territory. Crook’s column was 1 of 3 sent out in the summer of 1876 to try and get…show more content… “4 During the move to the north it was discovered that the notorious character Calamity Jane had accidentally been employed as one of the wagon teamsters, being a female, she was not allowed in the column. However this brought a much needed division of attention from the monotone march. On June 9th 1876, an unknown amount of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians attacked General Crooks camp. The skirmish was remarkably short, Crook having sent a battalion of Cavalry to quickly dispatch the Indians that had taken high ground on them, and were firing down into the camp. Along the way the column received the Shoshone and Crow allies which only numbered approximately 170, but was regarded as having the strength of an entire regiment.5
On June 17, 1876 Crook and his column rose at 3am and set out at 6 am. “John F. Finerty gives an account of the surroundings: At about 8 o’clock, we halted in a valley, very similar in the formation to the one in which we had pitched our camp the preceding night. Rosebud stream, indicated by the thick growth of wild roses, or sweet briar, from which its name is derived, flowed sluggishly through it, dividing it from south to north into two almost equal parts. The hills seem to rise on every side, and we were within easy musket shot of those most remote.”6 General Crook then paused his command for an early lunch in the Rosebud