Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is located in Crow Agency, Montana and we were able to stop there and see the battlefield site. The battle of Little Bighorn occurred in 1876 and is commonly referred to as “Custer’s Last Stand”. This battle marked the beginning of the end of the Indian Wars.
The battle took place between the U.S. Cavalry and Northern Tribe Indians, including the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho. Prior to the battle of Little Bighorn in Montana, the tribal armies, under the direction of Sitting Bull, had decided to wage war against the whites for their refusal to stay off of tribal lands in the Black Hills.
The U.S. Cavalry was attempting to force the Native Americans back to their reservations and divided into three columns to attack. One of the columns was led by Lt. General George Custer, who spotted a Sioux camp and decided to attack it. However, Native American forces outnumbered his troops three to one, and Custer and his troops were forced to reorganize. While waiting aid from the other cavalry forces, another group of Native American forces, led by Crazy Horse, effectively trapped Custer and his men. In a desperate attempt to hold off the Native American warriors, Custer ordered his men to shoot their horses and stack their bodies to form a barricade to protect them.
The estimated numbers of Native American casualties has differed widely. The 7th Cavalry suffered 52 percent casualties: 16 officers and 242 troopers killed or died of their wounds, 1 officer and 51 troopers wounded. This includes Lt. General George Custer, Custer’s brothers Boston and Thomas, his brother-in-law James Calhoun, and his nephew Henry Reed. The battle is considered a great Native American victory.
I realize that is a really lame and short explanation of what happened. This explanation is also not agreed upon by all scholars and historians. Even the explanations that I have read don’t seem to agree on all points. I am not a historian, but I do know this site has historical significance for Native Americans and Americans alike.
When we entered the monument we had a serene feeling. The monument seemed to carry the weight of the events that had occurred in the air. This was a graveyard. The tombstones of soldiers and natives were littered around the property. To the right was the primary cemetery which most of the soldiers were buried.
Just past the cemetery was the visitor center and museum. This was a great way to really soak up the history of the location.
Many monuments are around the property.
What we found most impressive was the Native American memorial that was located in the park.
After visiting the Native American memorial we then took the 4.5 mile tour road that allows you to drive through the battlefield site. Along the tour are tombstones that are located where natives, troops, and horses were found.
At the end of the road was a tombstone where we paid our respects .
While driving out we were visited by this four-legged friend. We feel that our efforts in honoring the fallen were well received and they sent him to show their appreciation.
The history of this location is amazing. I would recommend that if you have the chance you should stop and see for yourself.