WHAT THE SCOUTS
Wonderful artwork by Michael Schreck, http://michaelschreckart.com
In the traditional account of the battle, one depicts Indian scouts warning Custer of a suicidal attack.
In fact, it never happened that way. It is a myth, built by Benteen and Reno to cover their own actions and to make US people believe that the battle was impossible. Nobody would ask why they didn't support Custer.
In fact, when the Indian scouts saw the village on Crows Nest, several miles away from the hostile village, they told Custer of their discovery. Custer told them to wait until the night, to begin an attack on June 26, as it was planned. But Indian scouts suddenly saw Sioux scouts on the hills and told Custer that he had been discovered.
Custer was angry. He didn't want to attack in the afternoon, and told the scouts that nobody had seen them. White Man Runs Him and the Crow scouts told him to attack at once. Red Star remembered that the Crow wanted to attack, but Custer didn't want to.
But soon afterwards, Captain Keogh told Custer that Indians had discovered a breadbox that had been forgotten by the pack mule.
Custer then decided to attack at once. He told his officers that he had wanted to attack at dawn, on June 26, 1876, but that the Indian discovery was endangering the whole mission. The attack had to be made at once.
Custer's attack wasn't impossible, as some people continue to say today. It was logical. US general-in-chief Nelson A. Miles, while studying the battle between 1877 and 1890 with White and Indian witnesses and his own experience as an Indian fighter, didn't see any problem in attacking Indians at Little Bighorn.
The lack of organization of the warriors weakened their force. 1'500 warriors wasn't big deal for 647 soldiers with training and long-range rifles (Indians loved short-range rifles, to shoot while riding).
This is the key to understand Little Bighorn. It was NOT a suicidal attack. Not at all.
But 210 soldiers with Cusetr's column fought during the whole battle (June 25, 1876). 400 others with Benteen and Reno didn't fight much, 40 minutes for 170 of them, and no more than 10 minutes for the majority with Benteen.
How could that happen ?