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Good For Kids
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The main battlefield here is little changed from hits historic appearance. A sidewalk leads to the US Cavalry memorial.
Little Bighorn Battlefield
Closest available address
756 Battlefield Tour Road, Crow Agency, Mt 59022
Summer = Tues.-Sat., 9-5. Sun. 1-5. Closed Mondays. Other seasons vary.
Best time to visit
The Battle of Little Bighorn was fought in June 1876 between the US Cavalry and Lakota and Cheyenne Indians. It was one of the Indians’ greatest military victories in a series of conflicts with the US military. While the park is small, key portions of the battlefield are well-preserved.
This battle holds an important place in the American Psyche. It has been recounted in books, movies, and art and usually from the view of a small group of valiant US soldiers fighting to the end against an overwhelming mass of Indians. The reality is less noble as it marked the Indian’s last stand to preserve a traditional way of life that was increasingly untenable. The battle resulted from a US drive to force a group of resistant Plains Indians back to reservations. The 7th Cavalry led by Lieutenant Colonel George Custer recklessly split his regiment into several groups and attacked a sizable Indian camp. One group led by Custer was cut off and destroyed. The other units held out until additional US troops arrived and the Indians broke off the fight.
The two battlefield units are easy to drive to and walk around. The private land surrounding the battlefield is undeveloped, enhancing the historical experience. It is worthwhile to attend a ranger presentation and/or tour which are given in the summer as this will aid your understanding of events. Don’t miss the modern monument built to honor the Indians; it is a simple but fitting tribute. While the park does not quite merit an exclusive trip to Montana, if you are ever within a few hours drive and enjoy history or battlefields, a visit here is both educational and moving. From a battlefield experience perspective, it is in the top tier of US battlefields.
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Gar the Bold
11/24/2013 9:59:06 PM
The remoteness of the site enhances one's appreciation for how disoriented one might become in these rolling hills and plains. Also gives you an appreciation of how close the battlefield sites are in the east.
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