The Battle of the Little Bighorn, known to the Lakota and other Plains Natives as the Battle of the Greasy Grass (and more commonly referred to as Custer’s Last Stand) occurred in Jue of 1876. The armed engagement brought the Lakota, Northern Cheyenne, and Arapaho tribes against the 7th Cavalry Regiment of the U.S. Army. This battle resulted in the defeat of U.S. forces and is considered to be the most significant action of the Great Sioux War of 1876. It took place along the Little Bighorn River in the Crow Indian Reservation in southeastern Montana.
The fight was an overwhelming victory to the Natives, who were led by Crazy Horse and Chief Gall. The U.S. forces, let by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, suffered a major defeat. Five of the Cavalry’s twelve companies were annihilated, and Custer himself was killed. The total U.S. casualty count included 268 dead and 55 severely wounded.
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument
Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is just around 15 miles southeast of Hardin, Montana, standing as the memorial for one of the most famous battles in American history. Originally designated a cemetery, it was re-named as a National Monument in 1946. The site is also home to Custer National Cemetery, where the killed soldiers are buried, as well as a Native Memorial, themed “Peace Through Unity,” which stands as a circular structure around 75 yards away from the Cavalry obelisk.
There is a visitor center and museum, which host exhibits relating to the battle, Custer, Plains Indian life, weapons, and archaeology. The battlefield itself is stunning, stretching out for miles in all directions. Rolling hills and a footpath make this an excellent easy hike for those who want to experience American history while enjoying the outdoors. Several commemorative sculptures dot the path, reminding visitors of the battle.