The Custer Trail
Site of Sacred Lands and Historic Battles
George A. Custer
Both famous and infamous for his victories during the American Civil War and the Indian Wars that followed, Custer is best known for his spectacular defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876. His name echoes throughout the Black hills for these exploits as well as for his 1874 expedition, which exposed their riches to the hungry eyes of the growing nation. Such notoriety was not expected of the bottom-ranked graduate in his class
Mapping Black Hills Treasure
The Black Hills hold religious and cultural significance for many American Indian tribes. In the treaties of 1856 and 1868, the U.S. government recognized the Black Hills as belonging to the Lakota Nation, which obligated the U.S. Army to enforce the treaties and defend the land from incursion by Euro-Americans. The economic recession of 1873, speculation of gold in the Black Hills, and powerful railroads lobbying for increased westward travel led President Ulysses Grant to order the Custer-led military exploration of the region, in violation of the treaties. The venture's stated mission was to scout locations for military outposts on the edge of the Black Hills. Instead, Custer reported on the region's agricultural and mining potential. more significantly, the scouting party's officers, miners, and newspaper correspondents sought, found and proclaimed the discovery of gold. The quest for this commodity is generally believed to have been the expedition's paramount objective--with the expectation of obtaining the land from the Lakotas for mining.
The War for Gold
"74 G Custer" is inscribed atop Inyan Kara, a mark probably left by a member of the Custer party, which climbed the peak on July 23, 1874. Located
Topics and series. This historical marker is listed in these topic lists: Exploration • Native Americans • Wars, US Indian. In addition, it is included in the Former U.S. Presidents: #18 Ulysses S. Grant series list. A significant historical month for this entry is July 1853.
Location. 44° 31.661′ N, 104° 12.346′ W. Marker is in Sundance, Wyoming, in Crook County. Marker is on Interstate 90. Marker is at the Wyoming Welcome Center. Touch for map. Marker is in this post office area: Sundance WY 82729, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 3 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. Rich Colors, Rich Lands (here, next to this marker); Bird of the Black Hills (here, next to this marker); The Vore Buffalo Jump (here, next to this marker); Petrified Trees (here, next to this marker); Paha Sapa, Black Hills (here, next to this marker); Matthew S. Driskill (within shouting distance of this marker); a different marker also named Vore Buffalo Jump (approx. 2½ miles away); Understanding Bison Behavior Brought Success (approx. 2½ miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Sundance.
Credits. This page was last revised on November 22, 2021. It was originally submitted on August 1, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. This page has been viewed 1,073 times since then and 65 times this year. Photos: 1. submitted on August 1, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland. 2. submitted on November 22, 2021, by TeamOHE of Napoleon, Ohio. 3. submitted on August 1, 2011, by Bill Pfingsten of Bel Air, Maryland.