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Friday, 3 December 2010


The Archive thanks John Sinclair for this news item.

An iconic relic from one of the most ferocious battles in U.S. military history, it has spent the last 115 years carefully preserved in a museum.
Bloodstained and bullet-ridden, it was found neatly folded up inside the shirt of a dead cavalryman.
Now a flag that was with General Custer when his troops were massacred by Native Americans at the Battle Of The Little Bighorn is to be sold at auction.
The military standard - known as Custer's Last Flag - was discovered three days after the battle of June 25, 1876 lying under the body of one of the 7th Cavalry.

 Nineteen years after the massacre, the flag - which has 13 red and white stripes and 35 gold stars in a circular pattern - was taken to the Detroit Institute of Arts, where it has resided ever since.
Now it is going under the hammer with an estimate of $5million (£3.2million), but is expected fetch much more.
The battle - Custer's Last Stand - was between the U.S. Army and the combined forces of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians.
It took place in June 1876 near the Little Bighorn River in Montana and was the most famous action of the Great Sioux War.
Led by Crazy Horse and inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull, the natives won a famous victory against the 700 men under serving under General George Armstrong Custer.
Five of the 7th Cavalry's companies were annihilated and 268 U.S. Army soldiers were killed and 55 wounded after they were outnumbered at least four to one.

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