At the ripe old age of five, the first book I read was “The Autobiography of George Armstrong Custer”. I’ve been a student of Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn ever since.
Ernie Lapointe, the great-great grandson of Sitting Bull has kept the oral history of the Lakota version of the battle. “The battle lasted as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a lunch.” As Custer tried to cross the Rosebud river he has leading the charge. This was Custer’s custom during and since the Civil War.
According to LaPointe’s story, Custer was shot in the chest before he crossed the river. Many Sioux saw this and commented that he was not wearing buckskin and his hair was cut short. A trooper was seen taking Custer on horseback and then retreating to where his body was found. This makes the position of the body, laying on its back makes sense if Custer was wounded. The warriors did not mutilate Custer’s body because he was seen shooting himself in the head. This marked him as a coward in their eyes and mutilating or stealing from the body would impart the coward’s spirit into their own, corrupting theirs.