day 140
custer's last stand

"Must be neat to be able to fly
and poo at the same time." -a.
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Sitting Ducks for Sitting Bull:
U.S. Troops: 839
Regiments: Companies C,E,F,I and L
Led By: General Custer, Major Reno
U.S. Reasoning: Rid the prairies of the hostile Indians.

Indians: 7000
Warriors: 1500
Tribes: Cheyenne and Lakota
Lead By: Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Lame White Man
Indian Reasoning: Upholding the land treaty that allowed the Indians full use of the prairie land, which was promptly broken by the white man once they found there was gold here.

Self Help Book of the Day
Let's Point Fingers!
In 1868, believing it "cheaper to feed than to fight the Indians," representatives of the U.S. Government signed a treaty with the Lakota, Cheyenne and other tribes of the Great Plains, by which a large area in Eastern Wyoming & Montana was designated a permanent Indian reservation.

In 1874 gold was discovered in the Black Hills, the heart of the new Indian reservation. As news spread, thousands of Americans swarmed into the region, ignoring the treaty. The government tried to buy the Black Hills from the Indians, but this proved unsuccessful. The Indians began to raid travellers within the reservation.

In December 1875, the Commission of Indian Affairs ordered the tribes to desist or be treated as hostiles by military force.

The rest is history.

What Do You Mean 'We,' White Man?
Jan 13 - A war is recorded by those who win it.

The tribes of Lakota and Cheyenne did win the battle of Bighorn on June 25th, 1876. In fact, it was such a stunning victory for the Indians that not a single American soldier survived. General Custer and the 7th Calvalry under his command all fell to the Indians after vicious ground fighting.

A One-Sided Tale
But despite this victory, the tribes did not win the war. Perhaps this is why when we visit a location such as the Battle of Bighorn, we are presented with a plaque honouring the heroics of "the men who gave their lives to free the Yellowstone area of the hostile Indians."

Reno Battlefield
Now, we may not be entirely up on our American history, but from an outsider's point of view, it appears that the Indians were protecting their land and people from the invading American forces. They were trying to preserve their culture and nomadic lifestyle. We were surprised that a monument with such wording would still be allowed to remain. It may not remain standing for long.

While it's unfortunate that most visitors to the Battlefield only receive a one-sided view of the battle and the honouring of its victims, this will not always be the case.

Recently, Native Americans have begun to honour their own heroes and recognize their victories in a manner similiar to the white man. When we visited Last Stand Hill, there was a small sign saying that across the road will be the future site of the Indian Memorial.

We look forward to returning to learn about both sides of this historic battle.

the road ahead...

more photos in the archive...

Current Location
(get out your push pins)

Little Bighorn

Next Stop: Yellowstone!

see the full map...

Today's Weather:

Daily Stats

National Parks Pass...
Today's Savings:$10.00
Prev. Savings:$44.00
Total Savings:$54.00
Cost of Pass:$50.00

Worth the Price?Yeah!
It's all profit from here!

Sleeping Quarters
Missouri Headwaters State Park

Three free nights in a row, how 'bout that? It's kinda cool to be at the Missouri Headwaters only 3 months after our first visit to the Mississippi Headwaters. Well, maybe not that cool, but worth mentioning.

Cost: Nothing!

Under I-94
Bighorn, MT
Kevin:Raisin Oatmeal
Aimee:Cinnamon Oatmeal
Cracker Barrel
Billings, MT
K's Order:Spicy Catfish on Grilled Sourdough, Chili
A's Order:Chicken 'n Dumplins, Corn, Mac 'n Cheese
Split:Apple Dumplin
Three Forks, MT
Kevin:Pasta from Day 138
Aimee:Rice from Day 137

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© 2002. Kevin Beimers and Aimee Lingman. Nah, cold never bothers me... (shudder).