Friday, September 07, 2007

12:35 pm Friday September 7, 2007

On the way to Buffalo, WY from White Sulphur Springs, we spent two nights in the historic area of Garryowen, Montana so we could visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield. We also attempted to visit the museum but it was closed so the carpets could be shampooed. Just our luck that the toilets backed up the day before we arrived!

We have read about it; we have seen it portrayed in movies; we have heard the Army’s side of the story and the Native American’s gave their account; but nothing—nothing tells the tale like seeing the battlefield in person! I was not prepared for the feelings of sorrow I experienced as we drove the five-miles of road listening to the audio tape explaining each stop along the way. What a terrible waste of human life and animals. As the brochure so profoundly states: “The Indians won the battle but ultimately lost the war.”

In the final count, the 7th Cavalry lost five companies (C, E, F, I, and L) under Custer, about 210 men. Of the other companies of the regiment under Reno and Banteen, 53 men were killed. It is believed the Indians lost no more than 100 killed. The entire episode lasted no more than a day and a half (it is believed that the fighting on Last Stand Hill lasted about an hour and a half total) before the Indians withdrew upon learning of the approach of the columns under Terry and Gibbon.

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