|Last Stand Hill|
Most folks have heard about Little Bighorn, the site of Lt. Col. George Custer's "last stand" against Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho warriors on June 25-26, 1876. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were among the Indians encamped at the Little Bighorn. When it was over, the 7th Cavalry lost 263 men, including Custer, while Indian losses were estimated at less than 100.
Our visit began with a 45-minute informative and animated presentation by a park ranger, providing both sides of the celebrated clash between the U.S. military and Native Americans. We then viewed the artifacts in the visitor center before going outside to walk the trails to the two monuments and battle sites.
|7th Cavalry Monument|
|Artwork at the Indian Monument|
Custer's remains were reinterred at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, New York. Also among the dead were Custer's brothers, Thomas and Boston, nephew, Autie, and brother-in-law, 1st Lt. James Calhoun. Thomas, a captain, was twice awarded the Medal of Honor during the Civil War.
We learned from our visit that it was probably the last stand for the Indians as they dispersed after the battle and returned to their reservations. The Great Sioux War was nearly over.
It reminded me of a visit several years ago to Gettysburg National Military Park in Pennsylvania, site of the bloodiest Civil War battle in 1863, one that many historians consider the turning point in the War Between the States.
|Custer National Cemetery|
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Next stop: Theodore Roosevelt National Park in North Dakota.
Until the next time....