Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Little Big Horn Battlefield

Today we left camp a bit earlier than usual and made good time on I-90. As we got further west, we saw some snow capped mountains in the distance. We think these are the Big Horn Mountains. Custer's Last Stand, now known as the Battle of Little Big Horn National Monument, was our destination. It is someplace that Terry and I have always wanted to see, but we have never been to Montana.

The Battlefield is right on the road, so it is an easy stop. We got there about noon, so after we parked, we ate lunch. Then we went into the Visitor's Center and read through a lot of the displays. The timelines were quite interesting and there were other artifacts from the battle that have been have been handed down by both Indians and whites.

We then went out and walked the short distance to Last Stand Hill which is where General Custer and his officers staged their last battle. There are dozens of headstones and they represent where the soldiers fell on the battlefield. Their remains have since been removed from where they were originally buried and interred under the large monument on the hill. It is a moving scene to imagine the terror that the soldiers felt when they knew their demise was imminent.

Across the road was a monument to the Native Americans who were lost in the battle. Part of the renaming of the historic site had to do with honoring the Indians who also participated. The various tribes have stories that tell their involvement and list the warriors who died. There are a few headstones depicting where specific warriors fell and they are different from the soldier's headstones.

We drove throughout the hills to other areas where there were skirmishes and headstones littered the hillsides. The entire area is quite large and very hilly. It would have been difficult with their resources to fight such a battle.

We spent a couple hours at the Monument and at the National Cemetery which is on the grounds. It was a somber end to the Memorial Day holiday for us.

We drove on to Columbus, Montana, and are staying at the Mountain Range RV Park. Tomorrow we head to Great Falls, Montana.

Till next time. . .


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