By Jason Ripper
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Extra info for American Stories: Living American History, Volume II: From 1865
United States colonization of the plains did not stop during the Civil War. In 1864 alone, 150,000 people jostled west in prairie schooners, churning up the dust of Kansas and Nebraska. The completion of the transcontinental railroad in 1869 meant colonists no longer had to worry about biting freezes, six-month cholera-plagued treks, or lack of food when heading toward the West Coast. For that matter, Congress had awarded railroad companies checkerboard patterns of land on either side of their lines, which they happily gave away or sold for pennies to anyone willing to settle in the grassy plains between Sacramento and Omaha.
9 However, as industrial capitalism increasingly dominated the economy, the landscape, the politics, and the social relations of the United States, the problem of the twentieth century also came to involve the poverty line, the class line. White did continue to lord it over black in most cases, but as the twentieth century neared, a vast gulf grew between the few white families that owned most of the nation and the rest of the country who were struggling to make do. Notes 1. Amy Murrell Taylor, The Divided Family in Civil War America (Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press, 2006), 81.
When the morning sun rose over the hills surrounding the Little Bighorn, thousands of Sioux, Arapahos, and Cheyennes awoke from a good night’s sleep. Custer’s soldiers crested the hills exhausted and shocked at the number of tents stretching out below them. The Seventh Cavalry was obviously outnumbered. Guided perhaps by the same unseen voice that had offered visions to Sitting Bull, Custer’s cavalry charged headlong into a prophecy. At ﬁrst, as a surviving participant named Red Horse recounted, cavalry under Major Marcus Reno’s command attacked one side of the Sioux camp.
American Stories: Living American History, Volume II: From 1865 by Jason Ripper