Sunday, May 07, 2023

The Most Accurate Representation: “Custer’s Last Stand”


In 1877 a twenty-five year old Edgar S. Paxson arrived in Montana.  Nearly twenty-five years later the frontier artist completed what many regard as “the best pictoral representation of the battle,” a 6 by 9 foot painting he called “Custer’s Last Stand”.

The artist spent twenty years researching, and eight years painting the monumental work, interviewing nearly one hundred men on both sides including the Sioux chief Gall and the Cheyenne warrior Two Moon.

From these interviews Paxson, in his effort to achieve historical accuracy, made detailed journals about the equipment, attire, and physical location of each man on the battlefield.

Upon completion the painting went on a tour around America, with an admission price of twenty-five cents.

The painting now resides at the Buffalo Bill Center of the West.

Custer’s Last Stand Re-examined