General George Armstrong Custer, commanding troops A, D, E, H, K and M of the Seventh Cavalry, camped near here June 22 to 30, 1867, after a march from Fort McPherson, Nebraska. They were campaigning against the elusive Sioux and Cheyenne Indians.
On June 24 Pawnee Killer led a dawn attack on Custer's camp, wounding a sentry. There followed a parley between Custer and his officers and Pawnee Killer, Pole Cat, Fire Lightning and Walks Underground. Neither side was able to learn the plans of the other, and an Indian effort to separate the officers from their command was thwarted. Later Captain Hamilton and forty troopers, pursuing a decoy war party, rode into an ambush seven miles northwest of the camp but fought their way out, killing two warriors.
Custer's supply train of sixteen wagons, returning from Fort Wallace, Kansas, was attacked near Black Butte Creek, Kansas, and killed several Indians. Lt. Kidder, ten troopers and scout Red Bead, carrying orders from Fort Sedgwick, Colorado, missed Custer's camp and were killed near Beaver Creek. Their mutilated bodies were found and buried by Custer on July 12.
The flamboyant career of General Custer ended on the Little Big Horn, Montana, June 25, 1876.
Dundy County Historical Society
Historical Land Mark Council
US 34, Benkelman