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2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 13; Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument

Following reaching I-90/US 87/US 212 at from Montana State Route 47 I headed east towards Crow Agency where I turned onto US 212 at I-90 Exit 510 eastbound to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.


This blog serves as Part 13 in the 2016 Summer Trip Series; Part 12 can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Series Part 12; Theodore Roosevelt National Park, I-94, and Old US 10 

Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is located above the Little Bighorn River in Big Horn County Montana.  The National Monument preserves the site of the Battle of Little Bighorn which took place on June 25th/26th of 1876.  Little Bighorn is one of the best known battles of the American Frontier and Great Sioux War of 1876.  The Battle of Little Bighorn pitted the U.S. Calvary of Lt. Col. George S. Custer against the combined tribal forces of the; Lakota, Cheyanne, and Northern Cheyanne.

Military battles nor questionable ethics in history are not my forte so I'll paraphrase the Battle of Little Bighorn as best I can.  The U.S. Calvary under command of Custer was about 700 strong facing a combined tribal battalion of 2,500.  The U.S. Calvary was routed during the Battle of Little Bighorn resulting in the death of Custer and 268 members of it's force.  The combined tribal forces of Little Bighorn conversely only lost 31 fighters.  The Battle of Little Bighorn became known as Custer's Last Stand which ultimately led to increased U.S. Army presence in Montana Territory.  While initially glorified modern view of Custer and the actions of the U.S. Army during the Great Sioux War have heavily been reexamined in modern times.

Administrative history at Little Bighorn began in 1879 when the Battlefield was declared a National Cemetery.  By 1940 custody of the Little Bighorn Battlefield was transferred to the National Park Service and by 1946 it was renamed Custer Battlefield National Monument.  In 1991 the site was renamed Little Bighorn National Monument.

The National Monument site still houses a cemetery for the fallen U.S. Calvary.





There are markers showing where both members of the U.S. Calvary and tribal forces died.



The National Park access road explores the entire Little Bighorn Battlefield site is largely in open range which is obvious from large amount of wild horses.





After leaving Little Bighorn I backtracked west on I-90/US 87/US 212 to Hardin where I stayed the night.  The following morning I would follow US 212 over the Beartooth Highway to Yellowstone National Park.

Part 14 of this blog series can be found here:

2016 Summer Mountain Trip Part 14; US 212 on the Beartooth Highway

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