Death in Montana: The Last Stand of George Armstrong Custer

June 11-16, 2019

A BGES Indian Wars Field University Program

The Custer Fight. C. M. Russell, 1903.
Courtesy Library of Congress.

No man embodies the 19th-century adventurer more than George A. Custer. A boy general whose bravado masked careless traits of battlefield leadership, Custer painted a dark legacy in his actions against Indian tribes after the Civil War. On the banks of the Little Big Horn, he and his men paid the ultimate price for their arrogance. Join us as former Little Big Horn National Battlefield Superintendent Neil Mangum takes us into his country. You will see the imminent convergence of the cavalry forces and walk the pristine Rosebud battlefield. You then will follow in the footsteps of troopers as they approached their rendezvous with destiny. You also will experience very private property as you visit Deer Medicine Rocks and Sitting Bull’s Vision Quest. The program culminates with a full day on the Little Big Horn battlefield that includes both Reno’s and Custer’s experiences that June 1876 day.



One of the nation’s foremost Indian Wars authorities and a life-long student of George Armstrong Custer, Neil Mangum served his career in the National Park Service where his postings included a tour as the Superintendent of the Little Big Horn National Battlefield. He was a key player in significant changes that made the site more inclusive and healing. His engaging manner has opened many doors to heritage tourists and made him one of the country’s most respected historians. He has also led tours of the Great Sioux Indian War, the Apache Wars, the Central Plains Indian War, the Buffalo Red River War, and many other Western themes. Recently he has turned to Americana tours, including the Pony Express, Route 66, and the Santa Fe Trail. He is the author of the definitive work, The Battle of the Rosebud: Prelude to the Little Big Horn. Neil retired from the NPS in 2003 and now lives in Payson, Arizona.