Ripsy Walkabout travel blog


White Markers Indicate Where Soldiers Fell



Today I deviated from the Lewis & Clark Trail and visited the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. It was a very interesting experience.

The ranger talk on the battle was outstanding. The guy really knew his stuff and brought everything to life--just an excellent speaker. One lady commented that it was almost as if he had been there.

After the talk it's a short walk to Last Stand Hill where Custer died but if you want to take in the whole battlefield and story you have to drive the route which is well marked with signs explaining what happened where. It's probably a 8-10 mile drive round trip.

What's particularly noteworthy is that markers are placed where the soldiers and Indians fell--white markers for the cavalry and red markers for the Sioux and Cheyenne warriors. The positioning of the markers for the soldiers is accurate because originally they were buried where they fell by the recovery party (the remains have since been moved to a mass grave under a monument at the site). In the case of the Indians the markers are placed based upon testimony of surviving Indians since the casualties were removed immediately after the battle by their fellow warriors.

Notice in the one picture how soldiers tended to fall in pairs--clearly guys looking out for their buddies. The markers really make you see the cost of lives cut short in war.

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