And a hell of a lot more of them too.
From what I have read about Custer even from the Civil War until the Little Big Horn he displayed very little tactical subtlety. I’ve read his men hated him and that his unit had the highest desertion rate in the Army. There was an Army leader of that period (Name escapes now!) who by far was the premier Indian fighter of the era. Primarily because he was capable of learning from his mistakes. Developed effective counter-guerilla tactics from encounters with Indian guerilla tactics. This guy brought the Quanah Parker and the Comanches to heel. Custer at least to me always seem to be applying the same tactics over & over again from Civil War to Little Big Horn. Eventually getting disastrous results.
That’s right. It was an impossible situation.
Bourke, in his book ON THE BORDER WITH CROOK does mention that before LBH, the traders were selling guns to the Indians and when they got “tube fed repeating rifles, they became ‘surly.’”
When Gen Crook attacked one of the villages, there was so much ammo stored there that, when he burned the village, it actually exploded, sending tee-pee poles into the air like rockets.