Lynn & David travelling in West Africa travel blog

Monday's Snake Warning #1, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Monday's snake warning #2, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Indian Scout Graves, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

US 7th Cavalry Soldiers' graves, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

7th Cavalry Horse Cemetery, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Graves down the hill at Custer's Last Stand area, Little Bighorn Battlefield...

Indian Memorial, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

David at Indian Memorial, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

American Flag flying on Memorial Day, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Site of Indian encampment by the Little Bighorn River, Little Bighorn Battlefield...

Crazy Horse quote, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

Sitting Bull quote, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana

David at site of Custer's Last Stand, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument,...

Place of Custer's death, Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument, Montana


Monday 27th May, 2013 (Memorial Day)

Sheridan, Wyoming to Billings, Montana (153miles/244km)

Once again as we drive, we can see snow-capped craggy peaks in the distance. It was very wet when we left this morning, but the rain gradually eased as we entered Montana and by the time we reached the Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument – a memorial of the Battle of Little Big Horn and Custer’s Last Stand, it was dry. This battle, one of the major battles of the American Indian Wars occurred on 25-26th June 1876. The landscape in this area (Southern Montana) is one of rolling green hills and winding rivers with mountains in the distance, hot in summer and very cold in winter. We watched a video explaining the circumstances of the battle and the participants – very sad – then we went on a bus tour of the site run by Native Americans – it was the first day of the new season today. The particulars of the battle and the explanations given were very detailed. We learned that the Indians (excuse the non-PC terminology but that was used in the explanations) had formed a huge village – made up of people who had left the Reservations because they were starving – and with about 18,000 – 20,000 horses. The soldiers were under instruction to ‘herd’ the Indians back to the Reservations. We heard all about the tactics used by the soldiers and were shown which ravines they rode down etc. It is a long story – and we all know the ending… After that, we walked with a ranger and about 20 other people and were given more details and narrative. Up close, the battlefield is quite hilly and it can be easily seen how difficult it would have been to fight in this terrain. It is also exactly the same as it was then – no changes have been made to the landscape as it has always been owned by the government – and there are many markers to show where each soldier and some warriors fell. The soldiers who arrived a few days after the battle were given the gruesome task of burying each body and because it was hot, and the condition of the bodies, they just buried them where they lay. Each grave was marked and this is how it is known where each soldier died. The Indians had taken their fallen and injured away with them. After we had finished both of these tours, we drove around and looked at the places again, stopping at points of interest. By this time, it was raining again and so we didn’t get out of the car. After finishing, we then drove to a nearby museum for more history about the battle and the local area – it is centred on the Native Americans and how their culture has affected this area. We then drove about an hour to Billings, largest town in Montana and checked into our motel.



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