The Battle of Rosebud Creek June 17th, 1876
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George Armstrong Custer and The Little Bighorn fight have long overshadowed the Battle of the Rosebud. Preceding the Little Bighorn by a week, the outcome of this battle directly influenced what happened to Custer and the 7th US Cavalry.
General George Crook was given command of the southern column of the Bighorn Campaign. With Gibbons column coming in from the west and the Terry/Custer column from the northeast, the campaigns objective was to trap the Sioux and Northern Cheyenne and forcibly return them back to their reservation. Tactically the battle was inconclusive. Casualties on both sides were relatively low, and in the end Crook held the field. But strategically the Rosebud fight was a great victory for the Sioux and Cheyenne. Crook expended a huge amount of ammunition; most soldiers were down to 10 or fewer rounds each. Many horses were killed, injured or worn out. Because of these reasons Crook decided to withdraw his command back to his base camp, effectively taking his column out of the campaign. Had Crook been able to continue operations he could have linked up with Custers column, adding his infantry and cavalry to the 7th Cavalry. Custers last stand would have, in all probability, never have occurred