General George A. Custer
Peter Newark American Pictures Photo by Mathew Brady
Flamboyant in life, George Armstrong Custer has remained one of the best-known figures in American history and popular mythology long after his death at the hands of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
Countless paintings of “Custer’s Last Stand” were made, including one mass-distributed by the Anheuser-Busch brewing company. All of these paintings — as did the misnomer “the Custer massacre” — depicted Custer as a gallant victim, surrounded by bloodthirsty savages intent upon his annihilation.
Forgotten were the facts that he had started the battle by attacking the Indian village, and that most of Indians present were forced to surrender within a year of their greatest battlefield triumph.