The Little Big Horn Battlefield
In late July 2008 I was finally able to visit The Little Big Horn Battlefield. There is so much to see, I did it in two days. There is something in the air, even after all these years have elapsed, that sent a slight chill up my spine as I walked the the miles of terrain where so many brave men met their fates. I have often felt this battlefield had a supernatural aura about it and after being there I am convinced it does. I hope that doesn't make you think I'm a bit wacky. My rational mind rejects such thoughts but I indeed did feel it. Perhaps it's because of my unusual mix of superstitious heritages. My father was Serbian and my mother is Irish and Shawnee Indian.
In addition to the glee I was feeling about finally being here, there was a feeling of great sadness that the United States government and Indians had come to this. That Indian Warriors had to fight for freedom and die, and US Army Troopers had to perish for really nothing is still a hard pill to swallow. There is still so much open country in the United States of America that the Indians could still have their way of life if all the land hadn't been grabbed up.
As far the Battlefield itself, you must stay on approved paths or the paved roadway. You cannot go down to the Indian and Trooper markers or onto the actual battlefield. This made a real negative impact on my study of the terrain as I could not see what the Indian Warriors or the US 7th Cavalry Troopers saw, only where they saw it from. I guess I waited too long to get here because in the past you could walk the grounds. The terrain provides lots of cover and concealment for fighting. The tall grass, rounded hills, gullys, and deep gouges in the terrain would make excellent ambush or defensive positions. The temperature while I was here was in the low 90's both days. The temperature on June 25, 1876 was supposed to have been 95 degrees. Fighting in that heat, in heavy uniforms, carrying heavy equipment, and realizing you are doomed must have been hell on earth for the Troopers.
Obviously the heat was bad on the Indians also, but I can imagine they were buoyed at the prospect of handing the US Army it's second defeat in a little over a week. Little did they know they were sealing their own fate as a nation, as they slowly killed off the Troopers. This was the last major victory Indians had over the US Army. From this point on, the Indians would never be free again.