General George Armstrong Custer died as a result of his participation in the Battle of Little Big Horn. In this battle, thousands of Lakota, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho forces overwhelmed the 647 soldiers of Custer's 7th Cavalry Regiment.
Tensions between the U.S. government and the Native Americans in the American West had been rising for years, but they came to a head when gold was discovered in South Dakota. Angry at repeated encroachments on their land, several Native Americans joined together. They refused War Department demands that they return to their reservations, so the U.S. Army moved against them. Custer was one of the leaders of that campaign, and he and his men stumbled upon a large enemy encampment on June 25, 1876. No one knows how Custer died, but he had bullet wounds in his heart and temple. One tradition holds that Buffalo Calf Trail Woman, a Cheyenne heroine, delivered the final blow.