For those of you that are following this, thank you. I hope that I have not bored you to tears. Please drop me a line and let me know.
After Deadwood we headed for Little Bighorn. For those that have never been there, myself included, it was somewhat strange to be riding along, and you know your "nearly" there and your starting to watch for the signs to show you were to turn. There were none. We were rolling along and all the sudden, there is the driveway heading up the gate. We almost shot past it. I love history and Native American history has always fascinated me.
History has always been written by the winners and I know that there is always some exaggeration of the facts but I have never experienced complete omissions of information. History textbooks have always talked about the Battle of Little Bighorn as the complete destruction of Custer's men and that is what it was BUT... I was not aware that there were 3 battles that day. Three battles that started as much as 5 miles away and involved different generals and troops. The troops from the first two battles lived to tell about it but Custer did something that anybody would have told you was suicidal.
Do you remember playing king of the hill when you were a kid? You remember being the guy trying to get to the top? Well that was Custer. Here he is, faced with odds that would frighten even more experienced men, he tried to take the hill. He marched his men through a valley into the hands of death. Sad to say that most of it was because of arrogance. I have been to other battlefields and there is usually a feeling that you get when you stand there and play it over in your head. I never got that feeling here. I was surprised to learn also that Little Bighorn was a National Cemetery.
Somehow that fact had eluded me. What an honor it would be to be buried there. Of course it was overrun with tourists and after Deadwood and riding all day, I was beat and ready to call it done. Fair warning though. You are just outside of the Indian reservation and you have to ride to Hardin Montana to get a decent room. I will catch up day 6 in just a bit but here are some pics to enjoy while your waiting.
This is the valley that Custer lead his men through. I am looking from the Indian point of view off of Last Stand Hill.
This is the Indian Memorial that was placed here a few years back. Better late than never I guess. This is the outer artwork. Inside the memorial is a break down of the tribes and their dead. BTW? The Indians lost approximately 60 men to Custers 242.
Another fact? He isn't even buried here with his men. He was originally but when they disinterred the men and moved them all to the mass grave at the top of Last Stand Hill, his body was sent home to buried with his family.