Death of Custer Survivor
Gabriel Guesbader, reported to be the last living survivor of the Battle of Little Bighorn, passed away on this day in 1916. Guesbader, although a member of the infantry, did not participate in the battle, but reportedly watched the brutal scene from a nearby hill. Due to illness on the day of the battle, Guesbader was stationed with the provision train. Guesbader’s role as the last living survivor of the battle was challenged until his death, as rumors of survivors pervaded the area for years following the battle. The majority of modern historians recognize only the horse Comanche as the battle’s sole survivor, as other claims of survivorship cannot be authenticated. Guesbader passed away at his home near Warwick, North Dakota, forty years after Custer’s Last Stand.
Written by Jayme Job
Fargo Forum and Daily Republican (Evening ed.). August 7, 1916: p. 2.