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Little Bighorn Battlefield
- Little Bighorn Battlefield
- THE AMERICAS
- Alt Name:
- United States
- American-Indian Wars era
- 1800AD - 1899AD
- Crow Agency
- Ulysses S. Grant
- Washita Battlefield,
about Little Bighorn Battlefield
Little Bighorn Battlefield in Montana played an important role in the Great Sioux War, a conflict between the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne Native Americans and the US government and which was part of an era known as the American-Indian Wars.
The Lakota-Northern Cheyenne people had previously been ordered to sign the 1868 Treaty of Fort Laramie, a document which stated that they had to cease their nomadic traditions and be confined to an area known as the Great Sioux Reservation. A significant minority refused to sign this treaty and lived in an area called the Black Hills, in contravention of its terms.
President Ulysses S. Grant then declared that anybody living in the Black Hills was to be considered hostile to the government unless they returned to the reservation and troops were ordered to engage the dissenters. Lieutenant Colonel Custer and his 7th Cavalry were part of one of the three forces sent to confront the Native Americans.
On 25 June 1876, Custer and around a quarter of his men - for he had divided them into four units - converged on Little Bighorn. The entire unit, including Custer, were killed in the clash, leading to the battle being known as ’Custer’s Last Stand’.
In fact, the Battle of Little Bighorn, also known as the Battle of Greasy Grass Creek, was a victory for the Native Americans and yet in the period that followed, they lost much of their traditional way of life.
Little Bighorn Battlefield is now a National Park, dedicated to commemorating the events of the battle and the conflict of which it formed part. It includes an Indian Memorial, the Custer National Cemetery and offers guided talks exploring the conflict.
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Address: Little Bighorn Battlefield, Highway 212, 59022 Montana
Phone: (406) 638-3224
Little Bighorn Battlefield is located off Highway 212 (at exit 510 off I-90). It is between the towns of Crow Agency and Garryowen, around 61 miles east of Billings, Montana and 70 miles north of Sheridan, Wyoming. The nearest airports are Billing Logan Airport and Sheridan, Wyoming. Buses from Billings and Sheridan travel to Crow Agency, 1.5 miles north of the site. Further directions available at the official NPS site.
Little Bighorn Battlefield is open daily from 8am. From Memorial Day-31 July it closes at 9pm, 1 August-Labor Day closes at 8pm, September-October closes at 6pm, November to March closes at 4:30pm and April-May closes at 6pm. Closed Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Days. Entry costs $10 per private vehicle or $5 for pedestrians and motorcycles. Entrance to the National Cemetery is free.
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