Clash of Cultures. . . . Little Big Horn, Montana

 Little Bighorn Battlefield National  Monument memorializes one of  the last armed efforts of the northern Plains Indians to preserve their ancestral way of life.  Here in the valley of the Little Bighorn River on two hot June days in 1876, more than 260 soldiers and and attached personnel of the U. S. Army met defeat and death at the hands of several thousand Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.  Among the dead were Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer and every member of his immediate command. Although the Indians won the battle, they subsequently lost the war against the military’s efforts to end their independent  nomadic way of life.        – Battlefield , National Park Service pamphlet

This was a return visit for us at my request after we visited in 2012 on our way from Arizona to New York.  For me it was a deep connection to this story, similar to how I felt at Dachau  and the slave fort in Ghana. . . . a place of suffering and palpable with  pain   I remembered being rushed the first time and the visit for me seemed unfinished.  So David planned for us to go back.  I thought I wanted to walk around Little Big Horn where there are markers  for each of the Calvary fell and died.  But it turned out that there was an amazing one hour bus tour with a Crow  native guide Next we watched the video of the story made for the rangers. After a drive through the park and some walking, it seemed to be enough.

This battlefield is the second most visited in the US after Gettysburg. From the map above  it shows how complicated and intricate this battle was.  and  the natives outnumbered the US Calvary by 10 fold.  At the end of the two day battle,Custer and his remaining men were on the top of the hill with no shelter.  He commanded his men to shoot their horses and use their bodies as a protective barrier. This was their last act before being killed.

This is Crazy Horse who was the fearless  warrior leader.

This is Sitting Bull who was the medicine man, spiritual leader wise and  eloquent leader   of the Lakota.

Both were rebels who refused to live on the reservations mandated by the US government. Both men were  champions for traditional Native way of life leading many of their people to have the courage to  resist the government.

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer

Three strong leaders with different dreams for their followers. Crazy Horse and Sitting Bull were fighting to preserve their traditional way of life as nomadic buffalo hunters.  Custer was  leading the US army in carrying out the Grant Administration’s instructions to remove the Lakota Sioux and Cheyenne peoples to the great Sioux  Reservation in Dakota Territory.

This is a  * * * * * site and highly recommended!

 

About annetbell

I am a retired elementary teacher, well seasoned world traveler,new blogger, grandmother, and a new enthusiastic discoverer of the wonderfully complex country of India. Anne
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5 Responses to Clash of Cultures. . . . Little Big Horn, Montana

  1. Angie says:

    What an interesting trip you are taking Anne. I just sounded off about my feelings about this battle, then deleted it all because they are all for Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse, trying to protect what was theirs, and promised to them by the government over and over, and against Custer, a very arrogant person who was ordered to stand down if the things I have read are true. Afraid I don’t have much sympathy for the greed we continually used in stealing this poor country from the people who might have preserved it in a way that we could still be proud of. At this moment I simply look at what is going on around me and want to shed tears at our ‘scorched earth” policy and wish the Natives had been allowed to keep this country their way, in touch with Mother Earth and the Great Father.
    I think this post of yours is just too soon after I last caught a glimpse of our concrete “trees” on the river front, and the stupid newspaper article about how the section will be open for the 8 week session beginning this weekend. No grass, no real trees, just concrete and marble, open 8 weeks each year, costing millions of taxpayer dollars, messing up a once lovely riverfront, and of no benefit to anyone at all. The white man’s legacy to our children.

    • annetbell says:

      You are a wise wan Angie. Everything we did to the First Americans was wrong, in my opinion!

      • Angie says:

        Ah, another wise one. I am also an empath at times, and have “felt and heard” so to speak, the past things that happened in this area while communing with nature during my years on the farm. My last trip in that area was so disappointing when I say how my hubs had stripped the trees from that area. And he wondered why the land was eroding.

  2. Don Ostertag says:

    Custer had another reason also. He figured that a major win would guarantee him the Democratic nomination for the Presidency.

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