Believe it or not, Custer fancied himself a "friend" of the American Indians.
Yet, on the day he died he and his men were on a search and destroy mission to kill Indians - men, women and children, without mercy - and got his men killed because he wanted another such "victory" to polish up his impending run for the presidency.
I recommend a book about the Battle of Little Big Horn:
"Killing Custer: The Battle of Little Big Horn and the Fate of the Plains Indians" by James Welch - which describes the battle from the Indian's point of view and the resulting campaign of genocide that followed it.
A review on Amazon by Andrew Freborg :
"During WWII, they were called "Einsatzgruppen." Long a student of both WWII and 19th Century US history, the parallels in some respect stand-out clearly - and Custer buffs don't like it.
The authors present a compelling synposis of the "cleansing" of the native tribes from the northern plains. Especially interesting is the presentation of the subjugation of the Blackfeet nation in the years prior to the Army's (Sherman and Sheridan's War Dept.) on the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho.
Custer was an instrument - a product of his time, but a willing instrument nonetheless. The shameful actions of this period can only be healed with honest accounting - and thats what the authors accomplish with this work.
The narative is highly readable, engaging, and written with a clarity and perspective of the Native peoples. Yes, it contains commentary - sometimes scathing. On the other had, I defy anyone to find a historical work on NAZI Germany in which such editorializing is absent. "
"Einsatzgruppen" might be a stretch - Custer lead regular US Army troops, not paramilitary thugs, but their intent was the same.
The Einsatzgruppen were four paramilitary units established before the invasion of the Soviet Union for the purpose of "liquidating" (murdering) Jews, Romany, and political operatives of the Communist party. Ultimately three of these groups (Einsatzgruppen A, B. and C) were attached to army groups taking part in the invasion.http://www.holocaust-history.org/intro-einsatz/
In 1875, Custer swore by White Buffalo Calf Pipe, a pipe sacred to the Lakota, that he would not fight Native Americans again. A medicine man then told Custer that if he ever broke his promise he would die on that day. Forgetting his promise, Custer attacked the encampment of Cheyenne, Arapaho and Sioux at the Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876 and he died on that day. To the Native Americans, "the inevitable outcome -- Custer's personal annihilation ... -- was proof of the working of great spiritual power."http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Armstrong_Custer