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Battle of Little Big Horn Anniversary, June 25 - 26, 1876

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Weedygarden

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https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battle_of_the_Little_Bighorn

The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Indians as the Battle of the Greasy Grass,[1][2] and commonly referred to as Custer's Last Stand, was an armed engagement between combined forces of the Lakota Sioux, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes and the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the United States Army. It took place on June 25–26, 1876, along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana Territory. The battle, which resulted in the defeat of U.S. forces, was the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876.[3]

Most battles in the Great Sioux War, including the Battle of the Little Bighorn, were on lands those natives had taken from other tribes since 1851.[4][5][6][7] The Lakotas were there without consent from the local Crow tribe, which had a treaty on the area. Already in 1873, Crow chief Blackfoot had called for U.S. military actions against the native intruders.[8][9] The steady Lakota invasion (a reaction to white encroachment into the Black Hills) into treaty areas belonging to the smaller tribes[10] ensured the United States a firm Indian alliance with the Arikaras[11] and the Crows during the Lakota Wars.[12][13][14]

The fight was an overwhelming victory for the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho, who were led by several major war leaders, including Crazy Horse and Chief Gall, and had been inspired by the visions of Sitting Bull (Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake). The U.S. 7th Cavalry, a force of 700 men, commanded by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (a brevetted major general during the American Civil War), suffered a major defeat. Five of the 7th Cavalry's twelve companies were wiped out, and Custer was killed, as were two of his brothers, his nephew, and his brother-in-law. The total U.S. casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded (6 died later from their wounds),[15]: 244  including 4 Crow Indian scouts and at least 2 Arikara Indian scouts.

Public response to the Great Sioux War varied in the immediate aftermath of the battle. Custer's widow Libbie Custer soon worked to burnish her husband's memory and during the following decades, Custer and his troops came to be considered heroic figures in American history. The battle and Custer's actions in particular have been studied extensively by historians.[16] Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument honors those who fought on both sides.

Background​

Battlefield and surrounding areas​

In 1805, fur trader François Antoine Larocque reported joining a Crow camp in the Yellowstone area. On the way he noted that the Crow hunted buffalo on the "Small Horn River".[17] St. Louis-based fur trader Manuel Lisa built Fort Raymond in 1807 for trade with the Crow. It was located near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Bighorn rivers, about 40 miles (64 km) north of the future battlefield.[18] The area is first noted in the 1851 Treaty of Fort Laramie.[19]

In the latter half of the 19th century, tensions increased between the Native inhabitants of the Great Plains of the US and encroaching settlers. This resulted in a series of conflicts known as the Sioux Wars, which took place from 1854 to 1890. While some of the indigenous people eventually agreed to relocate to ever-shrinking reservations, a number of them resisted, sometimes fiercely.[20]

On May 7, 1868, the valley of the Little Bighorn became a tract in the eastern part of the new Crow Indian Reservation in the center of the old Crow country.[21] There were numerous skirmishes between the Sioux and Crow tribes,[22] so when the Sioux were in the valley in 1876 without the consent of the Crow tribe,[23] the Crow supported the US Army to expel the Sioux (e.g., Crows enlisted as Army scouts[24] and Crow warriors would fight in the nearby Battle of the Rosebud[25]).

The geography of the battlefield is very complex, consisting of dissected uplands, rugged bluffs, the Little Bighorn River, and adjacent plains, all areas close to one another. Vegetation varies widely from one area to the next.[26]

The battlefield is known as "Greasy Grass" to the Lakota Sioux, Dakota Sioux, Cheyenne, and most other Plains Indians; however, in contemporary accounts by participants, it was referred to as the "Valley of Chieftains".[27]
 
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Once I went there, saw the battle site and the writings of Custer, I soon realized what a big ego he had, and deserved to get his butt handed to him.

I appreciate this thread. I'm wondering if you all think I am correct, or have it all wrong?
But what about all the enlisted men? Did they deserve death too?

What I find fascinating is that using modern technology, researchers were able to track the ebb and flow of the battle using the locations of all the spent brass found belonging to the 7th Cavalry troopers. And that often they were able to tie individual casings to specific soldiers.
 
Have you been there, @Weedygarden ?
Learning about this always made me feel sad for the Tribes.
Especially to consider it wasn't that long ago and the reservations are not the greatest places to live.
No, I haven't. I've been in Montana and on reservations and have Lakota friends, just never been to that battlefield.
 
Once I went there, saw the battle site and the writings of Custer, I soon realized what a big ego he had, and deserved to get his butt handed to him.

I appreciate this thread. I'm wondering if you all think I am correct, or have it all wrong?
I think he graduated at the bottom of his class at West Point. There are a couple people from my home town who are West Point graduates. I have great respect for what it takes to get in and to graduate, but Custer was probably narcissistic and thought he could win that battle.

Growing up near reservations, and around Lakota Native Americans, I am interested in this kind of history.

Back to the West Point graduates that I know: one of them is the first cousin to the man who was hit and killed on the highway by the South Dakota attorney general a few years ago. He is no dummy. He is a farmer now on his parents former land.
 
What the United States did to the American Indian constituted war crimes.

For the record, I have American Indian blood, I have Indian friends, I have served alongside Indian Brothers.
 
What the United States did to the American Indian constituted war crimes.

For the record, I have American Indian blood, I have Indian friends, I have served alongside Indian Brothers.

War is hell. Always has been. Always will be. The indians who found at the battle of little big horn claimed rights to the area after going to war with another tribe of indigenous people and committed atrocities in the process, they in turn claimed the area after going to war with another tribe of indigenous people and committed atrocities in the process, and so on, and so on for centuries. The Europeans and eventually the Americans have just held onto the land longer. But someday someone else will claim it and the cycle will continue. No nation and no people are eternal.
 
Little Big Man is one of my favorite movies, Love General Custer or hate the Pompous Arrogant SOB, he Always led his men from the front in victory and disaster and died with them. Something our generals today need to aspire to. Instead of their political correctness, physical and moral cowardice on display for All to see on TV.
 
My dream has always been to see the American West.
At my age and stage of life it will never happen.
My friend, you must. To leave this existance without seeing the majesty of Glacier Park, with the mountains touching the sky, or the massive flow of the Yellowstone river over the upper falls and the spire of the Grand Teton pointing into the heavens, would be a shame.

You should have lunch at the Tovar Lodge, overlooking the Grand Canyon. And take a 4wd journey over the Black Bear pass into Telluride. Have dinner at the Strater Hotel in Durango, where we stayed when I was a kid and Louis L'Amour was there writing his novels. Drive the "Million Dollar Highway" to Silverton. And up Pike's Peak. The endless views across the plains to the east. The red rocks of Moab and Zion in Utah, and Sedona in AZ. Enjoy the undiscovered beauty of the Wind River range, soak in the hot springs at Thermopolis, and feel the wind of the Beartooths in Wyoming. Fish the Snake, and Salmon and so many other amazing places. Catch the rodeo in Cody, or the oldest one in Prescott. See the turquoise and silver Indian art in Gallup, and the ruins at Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly.

I am so grateful to have spent much of my life in the company of the wind, water, rock and sky of the magnificent West. When the time comes I will sing my death song at the Medicine Wheel in the Big Horns, and rest in peace. A life well lived.
448990940_2289712361374577_2100691566999876306_n.jpg
 
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My friend, you must. To leave this existance without seeing the majesty of Glacier Park, with the mountains touching the sky, or the massive flow of the Yellowstone river over the upper falls and the spire of the Grand Teton pointing into the heavens, would be a shame.

You should have lunch at the Tovar Lodge, overlooking the Grand Canyon. And take a 4wd journey over the Black Bear pass into Telluride. Have dinner at the Strater Hotel in Durango, where we stayed when I was a kid and Louis L'Amour was there writing his novels. Drive the "Million Dollar Highway" to Silverton. And up Pike's Peak. The endless views across the plains to the east. The red rocks of Moab and Zion in Utah, and Sedona in AZ. Enjoy the undiscovered beauty of the Wind River range, soak in the hot springs at Thermopolis, and feel the wind of the Beartooths in Wyoming. Fish the Snake, and Salmon and so many other amazing places. Catch the rodeo in Cody, or the oldest one in Prescott. See the turquoise and silver Indian art in Gallup, and the ruins at Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly.

I am so grateful to have spent much of my life in the company of the wind, water, rock and sky of the magnificent West. When the time comes I will sing my death song at the Medicine Wheel in the Big Horns, and rest in peace. A life well lived.
View attachment 156056
I hope to hit many of those places when I retire
 
My friend, you must. To leave this existance without seeing the majesty of Glacier Park, with the mountains touching the sky, or the massive flow of the Yellowstone river over the upper falls and the spire of the Grand Teton pointing into the heavens, would be a shame.

You should have lunch at the Tovar Lodge, overlooking the Grand Canyon. And take a 4wd journey over the Black Bear pass into Telluride. Have dinner at the Strater Hotel in Durango, where we stayed when I was a kid and Louis L'Amour was there writing his novels. Drive the "Million Dollar Highway" to Silverton. And up Pike's Peak. The endless views across the plains to the east. The red rocks of Moab and Zion in Utah, and Sedona in AZ. Enjoy the undiscovered beauty of the Wind River range, soak in the hot springs at Thermopolis, and feel the wind of the Beartooths in Wyoming. Fish the Snake, and Salmon and so many other amazing places. Catch the rodeo in Cody, or the oldest one in Prescott. See the turquoise and silver Indian art in Gallup, and the ruins at Mesa Verde and Canyon de Chelly.

I am so grateful to have spent much of my life in the company of the wind, water, rock and sky of the magnificent West. When the time comes I will sing my death song at the Medicine Wheel in the Big Horns, and rest in peace. A life well lived.
View attachment 156056
I did spend a year in Colorado, !968 - 69.
At fort Carson in Colorado Springs. I rode my motorcycle all over Southern Colorado. Pikes Peak was right in the neighborhood, i've been up it on 4 wheels and two wheels.
I would like to see the Grand Canyon, and also the open expanses of Wyoming and Montana.
 
My last assignment before I retired was at Fort Riley and I had the great privilege to live on "colonels row." Our house was about 5 or so houses down from "Custer House" which had been turned into a museum. Fort Riley is where he and his ill fated unit was based out of. If anyone is into history, Fort Riley and the area have some really interesting museums worth exploring. Custer House is just one of them.
 
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