(click pictures to enlarge)
(all pictures taken with Nokia Lumia 929 cell phone)
One of the reasons for stopping here was to visit The Little Bighorn Battlefield. It used to be called Custer's Battlefield National Monument until it was changed in 1991. The reason for the change was to honor the Indians as well as the soldiers. I don't have a problem with the name change but others do. From what I've read, Custer was arrogant and over-confident which cost the lives of a couple hundred of his men. I won't go into a lot of his history because it is long and storied. It is worth reading about but be sure to read both sides.
A brief summary of my thoughts about the Indians is that in cultural clashes, the strong will always push the weak aside, it is just a matter of how they do it. This has happened throughout the ages with the Romans, the Mongols, the Greeks, the Persians, and every other strong culture on the move. In the American case, it was the whites against the Indians. Prior to that though, strong Indian tribes pushed weaker Indian tribes around. For example, the Seminoles were pushed from Georgia to deep inside Florida and the Comanches were pushed out of the plains and into the New Mexico/Texas area where they in turn pushed the Apaches. It appears to be human nature. The outcome is usually not good, and it would have been nice had the whites treated the Indians better while still acquiring their land. On the same hand, the Indians fought a war they had no chance to win. There was one tribe and chief whose story was legendary. I'll will tell that story when I get to another battlefield.
The Sioux and Cheyenne won this battle but eventually lost the war.
|All of the soldiers are buried in|
a mass grave under the monument.
All except Custer, who was dug up
and reburied at West Point. Even
the horses which were shot and
used as breastwork are buried here.
|The Markers represent the location|
where a soldier died. The one in the middle with the black is where Custer fell.
|They all didn't die around Custer. As|
you drive or walk around the park, you
will see white markers. It makes you
wonder about these two markers.
Were they friends in life and died
|Looking up the hill to where the last stand happened.|
|Everywhere you look are markers|
|Typical terrain in the area around the battlefield|
|Another view of the National Cemetery.|