Custer's last stand . . .
Many admired his courage; many despised his vainglory. His admirers said he had no choice at Little Big Horn. His detractors said he needlessly risked the lives of his men, which President Grant said was "wholly unnecessary- wholly unnecessary." The split opinion does little to help understand what really happened at Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876. Custer expected only a few Indians and another quick victory, but Chief Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse had other plans in one of their last-ditched efforts to protect their sacred Black Hills. A well-planned, surprise attack of 2,500 Sioux and Cheyenne warriors outnumbered Custer and his men by about 10 to 1. Not one of Custer's men survived. Nor did the "golden-haired warrior in buckskin." But it is said that the soldiers fought with a bravery, that even Sitting Bull himself later admired.
Name Origin: Latin. ("Mountainous")
Area: 147,047 square miles
Statehood: November 8, 1889 (41st)
Nickname: The Treasure State
Motto: "Gold and silver"
Famous For: Little Bighorn, Bighorn Canyon, Glacier National Park, Great Plains, "Purple Mountains," Gold, Silver, Copper, Coal.