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AMERICAN MYTHS of the Little Bighorn through the years: "Custer's Last Fight" (top) by A.K. Waud appeared in Harper's within a few months of the battle. It is fundimentally inaccurate in that it depicts George A. Custer leading his men to the end, whereas the eye-witness record says Custer was actually killed at the beginning of the battle by White Cow Bull (see Who Killed Custer -- The Eye-witness Answer for more info).
Otto Becker's late 19th century promotional poster for Anheuser-Busch Brewing Co., also called "Custer's Last Fight" (above), amplifies the misrepresentations. Actually, (1) Custer died at the beginning not the end of the battle (2) the Seventh Cavalry was not carrying sabers, and (3) most of the Sioux and Cheyenne were not wearing eagle feather warbonnets.
Richard Mulligan's late 20th century depiction of the laughing lunatic George Armstrong Custer at the end of Little Big Man (right) is similarly in accurate. Sitting Bull did say that Custer laughed just before he died, but the eye-witness record says Custer was long gone by the end of the battle. See Mysteries of the Little Bighorn -- Did Custer Lose It At The End? for more info.
David Humphreys Miller (above) depicts the way the eye-witness record says it really happened: White Cow Bull shot the "soldier chief" on the "sorrel horse with... four white stockings" as he led the charge across the Little Bighorn at the very outset of the Custer fight, which suddenly brought the Americans' charge to a complete and sudden halt in the middle of the river where he fell in the water...
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