Little Bighorn Battleground, Montana

On our way to the Yellowstone Park we did a wee detour through the Crow Indian Reservation in Montana. This is possibly the best place in the US to learn about the struggle of the Native American tribes during the time of the western expansion of the States. It all boiled down to the Battle at the Little Bighorn River where the U.S. Army’s 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne fought in one of the Indian’s last armed efforts to preserve their way of life and protect their land and families from the invasion of the white men. On June 25 and 26 of 1876, 263 soldiers and attached personnel of the U.S. Army died after a failed attack on an Indian village in an attempt to force the Natives into reservations: http://www.nps.gov/libi/index.htm

P1020666P1020670P1020672

There are always two sides to a story, but all things considered the Native Americans really ended up with the short end of the stick. Ultimately, it was a clash of cultures – the American greed and ever increasing need for resources and farm land vs. the holistic Native American lifestyle with nature where you cannot own the land, but the land owns you… So in a way, this was the original Homeland Security in an attempt to protect your lands from invasion. Breaking point came when the buffalo herds vanished, which were a critical resource to the tribes and they were forced to venture beyond their allocated reservations to hunt for food. This didn’t go down well with the new settlers and a violent conflict was inevitable. It all ended a few years later when the starving Natives surrendered to the US government and were put into (now much smaller) reservations..

P1020674

Walking around the battlefield really gave us the shivers. They placed white tombstones where the US soldiers fell on the top of a hill staging their last stand. It took two weeks for the news of the failed military campaign to travel back to Washington, DC. In response, Congress approved additional troops and funding and the rest is history…

 

P1020675P1020676P1020679P1020690P1020710
P1020642P1020645P1020659P1020661
Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s