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Change the name of Custer County in Oklahoma

This petition had 1,082 supporters

Custer County is named in "honor" of General George A. Custer.  It is the home of the Cheyenne Arapaho Tribes of Oklahoma. 

Without bothering to identify the village or do any reconnaissance, Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer leads an early morning attack on a band of peaceful Cheyenne living with Chief Black Kettle in Cheyenne, Oklahoma.

 Convicted of desertion and mistreatment of soldiers earlier that year in a military court, the government had suspended Custer from rank and command for one year. Ten months into his punishment, in September 1868, General Philip Sheridan reinstated Custer to lead a campaign against Cheyenne Indians who had been making raids in Kansas and Oklahoma that summer.

On November 26, Custer located a large village of Cheyenne encamped near the Washita River, just outside of present-day Cheyenne, Oklahoma. Custer did not attempt to identify which group of Cheyenne was in the village, or to make even a cursory reconnaissance of the situation. Had he done so, Custer would have discovered that they were peaceful people and the village was on reservation soil, where the commander of Fort Cobb had guaranteed them safety. There was even a white flag flying from one of the main dwellings, indicating that the tribe was actively avoiding conflict.

Outnumbered and caught unaware, scores of Cheyenne were killed in the first 15 minutes of the "battle," though a small number of the warriors managed to escape to the trees and return fire. Within a few hours, the village was destroyed--the soldiers had killed 103 Cheyenne, including the peaceful Black Kettle and many women and children.

The psychological and mental damage to Cheyenne people of living with the constant memory of the "Battle of Washita" coupled with the "honor" to General Custer must be rectified.  This travesty of human justice must not be allowed to stand. 

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