Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument



On the evening of June 24, 1876 Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer's Indian scouts discovered a large Indian encampment on the west side of the Little Bighorn River. Col. Custer decided to attack the camp on the following day, precipitating the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known and the Battle of the Greasy Grass or Custer's Last Stand. Custer and 700 soldiers under his command unknowingly faced a combined force of several thousand Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho Indians, and the outcome for the 7th cavalry was disastrous. Custer, along with more than 260 of his men, perished on June 25-26, 1876. It was a great victory for the Plains Indians, but was also the beginning of the end of the Sioux War of 1876. Following the Battle of the Little Bighorn, the Sioux Nation was defeated in a series of engagements and forced to cede the Black Hills region to the U.S. and retire to reservations. The Battle was a significant event in the clash of two cultures that started when white Europeans first set foot on the North American continent. The site of the battle was designated as Custer Battlefield National Monument on March 22, 1946, and renamed Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument on Dec 10, 1991.


Visitor Center and Museum



Entrance Sign


Visitor Center


Gift Shop


Custer Museum Display


7th Cavalryman 1876


Plains Indian Display


Quote on side of visitor center


Custer Battlefield - Last Stand Hill

There were actually 2 battles fought on those fateful days in June. Custer, in his infinite wisdom, split his force, sending Maj. Marcus Reno's battalion to attack the Indian encampment. Reno soon ran into big trouble and beat a hasty retreat (losing many men in the process) onto the bluffs across the Little Bighorn River. There he duked it out with the Sioux until they left after the 25th. Of course the most famous battle, and the only one most people know about, occured on Last Stand Hill, where Custer and all of the men with him were wiped out.



Last Stand Hill

Last Stand
Interpretive Sign


Last Stand Hill Panorama

Boston Custer fell here
(George Custer's brother)


Custer fell here

Memorial to the 7th Cavalry soldiers

Memorial Markers
Interpretive Sign


Memorials


Totem Bush

Indian Totems

Wooden Leg Hill
Interpretive Sign


View south? from Last Stand Hill


7th Cavalry Horse Cemetery

Limber Bones and Closed Hand
fell here


Indian Memorial

The Indian Memorial was dedicated June 25, 2003, and construction continued through 2013. It has played a significant part in the re-imaging of the National Monument. Afer all, the Indians were only trying to protect their culture and lands from the incursions of voracious white men.

The Memorial is a circular stone wall, about 20 ft in diameter (I'm guesssing). It has east and west entrances, and a bronze sculpture of 3 Spirit Warriors. Granite panels inscribed with the words and names of chiefs and warriors line the circular wall. Quite impressive and emotive.



Indian Memorial Sculpture


Indian Memorial Sculpture


"home to my people"

"generosity, compassion, and sacrifie"
"truth, justice, and wisdom"


Indian Memorial


Indian Memorial


Indian Memorial Panorama


Custer National Cemetery

A national cemetery was established in 1879 to protect the graves of Seventh Cavalrymen who died at Little Bighorn. The remains of military personnel and others buried at various military forts were also moved here. Indian scouts who served the army and veterans of other conflicts ranging from the Spanish-American War to Vietman are also interred at the Cemetery.



Fort C.F. Smith Memorial


Memorial to Troop A 7th Calvary


Verse


Verse


Custer National Cemetery


Montana Memorial

White Man Runs Him
Indian Scout with Reno Battalion


Custer National Cemetery


Cemetery Panorama


Bonus - Custer Battlefield Trading Post and Cafe

I stopped at this Trading Post on the way out of the Monument. It's located on the Crow Reservation and has been in business for over 30 years. I think all the empoyees were Crow Indians, and they all had stories to tell. There was also an Asian biker group there - Korean?, Indonesian?. I got my picture taken with them.



Custer Battlefield Trading Post and Cafe


One Teepee


Three Teepees


A little of everything


Never found out what HDCI stood for


Patio Dining


Custer Battlefield Trading Post


Buck with atypical antlers


Dining Room


Gift Shop


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