“Custer's Last Charge (I)”

Author: unknown
Earliest date: 1930
Keywords: army battle fight violence war death corpse soldier Indians(Am.)
Found in: US

Description

Custer leads his men into battle against the Sioux; a fierce scene is described, with bullets flying and dead falling on both sides. Three hundred US soldiers are killed and scalped by the Indians, who leave Custer with his dead

Notes

This is a separate song from "The Last Fierce Charge," although [some versions of] both describe the battle of the Little Bighorn. Confusingly, some versions of "The Last Fierce Charge" share this song's title. (And Roud lumps them, perhaps for that reason.) They can be distinguished by the description of two men and a letter, which is present in "The Last Fierce Charge" but not in "Custer's Last Charge."

Warde Ford states that the words to this song were copied from the Custer Monument by his friends Robert & Charles Walker, and that the tune is generic; I do not have information to confirm this. - PJS

Historical references

Cross references

Recordings