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Little Bighorn National Monument


LITTLE BIGHORN NATIONAL MONUMENT. On 25 June 1876, in the tranquil valley of the Little Big-horn River near Crow Agency, Montana, General George A. Custer led his Seventh Cavalry in a surprise attack on an enormous village of some seven to ten thousand Sioux, Cheyenne, and Arapaho. Chiefs Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Rain in the Face, Gall, Two Moons, and Kicking Bear led warriors in a counterattack, circling Custer's forces and killing them all.

The Indians removed their dead while U.S. soldiers were buried where they had fallen and later moved to a mass grave. The battle site was designated a national cemetery on 29 January 1879 and a national monument on 22 March 1946. Originally called Custer Battlefield National Monument, it was renamed Little Bighorn National Monument on 10 December 1991. In addition, a memorial to the Indian men, women, and children who died defending their homeland and traditional way of life was planned for the site. The "Peace through Unity" Indian Memorial was dedicated in the fall of 2002 and established an integral relationship with the Seventh Cavalry oblique that guards the mass grave.


Josephy, Alvin M. Jr. 500 Nations: An Illustrated History of North American Indians. New York: Knopf, 1994.

Veda BoydJones

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