These SVG/GSAP animations relate to the battle of the Little Big Horn (Custer's Last Stand or Little Bighorn). Timing of events are often disputed; various theories exist; archaeological digs and analysis of Indian accounts have increased understanding. Leading up to the battle:
- The USA was in the middle of a depression after the Civil War. Gold, discovered in the Dakota Black Hills, would aid recovery but the Sioux did not want to sell them.
- US Government. believing the Sioux/Cheyenne nomadic existence should cease; ordered them to return to the Reservation by February 1, 1876. Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gaul and other leaders declined.
- General Sheridan sent 3 columns of US Cavalry to force them from the Big Horn area onto the reservations.
- General George Crook went north
- Colonel Gibbon moved east from Montana.
- General Terry moved west from Dakota.
- A gathering of clans organised by Sitting Bull was situated along the Little Big Horn river. It had grown to 1200 lodges of Hunkpapa, Oglala, Miniconjou, Sans Arc, Blackfoot and Northern Cheyenne. Between 1500 and 5000 braves.
- Terry and Gibbon sent the Seventh Cavalry under General George Custer to find Sitting Bull and block his retreat. Custer's Crow scouts soon found the Sioux and Cheyenne gathering.
- After a forced overnight march, Custer divided his troops into three columns and decided to make a surprise attack on the
village (size unknown) on the morning of June 25th:
- Major Reno to attack from the south
- Captain Benteen to sweep left cutting off any retreat by the Indians
- Custer would support Reno by an unexpected charge on the village from the east or north