Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A Visit to Little Bighorn

Tuesday, we left Billings, Montana and head over to The Little Bighorn National Monument. As a history buff, this is a must see spot. It was the turning point of the Indian wars of the 1870s. After the inglorious defeat of Lt. Col. Custer and his men which outraged the federal government and the folks back east, the Indians of the northern plains never won another battle.


the monument commemorates those who died on both sides and the interpretive videos and talks speak of the cause for the united effort on the part of the plains Indians in their fight against the white man's incursions. (It actually sounds a lot like what may be happening today with the federal government's trampling the rights once guaranteed by our Constitution.)

Atop the hill is a monument to the soldiers, civilians and Indian scouts who died here on June 25, 1876. The remains of nearly all were interred beneath this stone. Some few have been reburied elswhere, like Lt. Col. Custer who has been laid to rest at West Point.

Standing on the north side of the monument and looking down toward the Bighorn River there are a number of white stones marking where those under Custer's command were found in the days following the battle. Most are on this flank of the little knoll.
 If you look closely, you'll see one stone has it's engraved statement of identity in black.
 This stone, seen above, marks the spot they found Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer.

Other stones are to be found in the area around the battle site. Some, like the one below mark the place Indian braves were known to have died in defense of their way of life.

And one, marks the burial site of the horses belonging to the 7th Cavalry. Many of these were shot by their riders who were in desperate need of protective shelter.

The Little Bighorn National Monument is a place for reflection and remembrance.


The Monument, surrounded by the Crow Reservation is also the start of Route 212 also called the Warrior's Road which runs east southeast through Montana and into Wyoming and South Dakota. We drove along that road today heading to the Black Hills and Rapid City.

Tomorrow we go to see Mount Rushmore and the Crazy Horse Monument.

No comments: