• in 1874, the discovery of gold in the black hills of dakota sent thousands of gold seekers through sacred sioux lands. war parties responded by raiding white settlements. after two years of warfare, a group of sioux and cheyenne warriors confronted a u.s. cavalry column at the little bighorn river in montana territory. instead of waiting for reinforcements, general george a. custer led his 264 troopers into battle. they were surrounded, and every last man, including custer, was killed.

    the battle of the little bighorn was the indians' greatest victory, but it was also their last. by 1881, all the plains tribes had been forced to move to reservations.