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!