In September 1867, General Custer was charged and court-martialed with “absence without leave from his command,” and “conduct prejudicial to good order and military discipline.” After Custer was appointed lieutenant colonel over the 7th Cavalry, he and his men set off to assist the U.S. Army with the Indian problems in eastern Kansas. Major General Winfield S. Hancock was assigned to head a campaign against the Indians in the spring of 1867, and Custer's 7th Cavalry would be a major part of the campaign. On July 17, 1867, Custer arrived at Fort Wallace to find it under siege by Indians, low supplies of food and ammunition, and soldiers plagued with cholera. Acting entirely on his own, Custer abandoned the fort and traveled to Fort Harker, 225 miles east, to obtain supplies. He arrived at Fort Harker on July 19 and was arrested on the 21st. His court-martial was set for September. Custer was found guilty on five charges and suspended from duty and pay for one year. However, in 1868, General Philip Sheridan faced a new onslaught of Indian attacks, and he called Custer back early to help. This began the last chapter of Custer's life that ended with the Battle of Little Big Horn where he died fighting the most successful group of Indian warriors in United States history.
General George A. Custer is one of the most famous U.S. generals, but he did not gain his fame through military genius or heroic acts, he gained it primarily through his death at the Battle of Little Big Horn. He attended West Point Military Academy where he graduated last in his class. He fought well in the Civil War and was afterward put in charge of the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army. He desired success and recognition as he battled the Indians in the 1870s. Custer's ambition led him to foolishly attack a Sioux Indian camp on June 25, 1876. This camp turned out to be the stronghold of the Sioux army and his men were greatly outnumbered when the battle began. The Battle of Little Big Horn is known commonly as “Custer's Last Stand,” and was the worst military defeat in U.S. History. It was the high point for the Sioux nation which fought vigorously for its freedom. For Custer, it gave him the fame he had aspired to, although it also took his life.
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