Podcast Episode 73: The Battle of Little Bighorn and Custer’s Last Stand

cowboy riding a horse on the river

If you have never been to Montana to see Little Bighorn…make sure it is on your bucket list. The history is palpable as you drive across wide open spaces and onto the Crow Indian Reservation to get to this historic location.

Video from the Battlefield


Ep 73 The Battle of Little Bighorn

Ep 73 The Battle of Little Bighorn

[00:00:00] Jenn: People don’t know exactly how Custer was killed, but they do say the Buffalo calf woman was the person who knocks Custer from his horse​ [00:00:07] Scott: welcome to talk with history. I am your host Scott here with my wife and historian, Jen. Hello. On this podcast, we give you insights into our history. Inspired will travel’s YouTube channel journey and examine history through deeper conversations. With the curious, the explorers and the history lovers out there. [00:00:35]

[00:00:38] Review request

[00:00:38] Scott: Before we talk about what I think is going to be a pretty fun topic tonight. Always appreciate a review on apple podcasts, some stars on Spotify, wherever you’re listening. It really does help us grow. And I don’t think the history channel has been over at Little Bighorn anytime recently. So you’re welcome to anyone who’s listening. Help us out, give us a review and let’s get this podcast out to more folks.

[00:01:01] Introduction

[00:01:01] Scott: I want you to picture the sun. Hanging low on the horizon, casting, a warm summer glow over the vast expanse. Of the great Plains. Tense, stillness in the air broken only by the distant echoes of hooves and the soft rustling of Prairie grass. [00:01:31] And the heart of this sprawling landscape, two worlds stood poised to collide one driven by a fierce desire to push, suppose it intruders back to lands. They didn’t desire. [00:01:44] In other bound, by a fierce determination to defend their ancestry and way of life. The battle of Little Bighorn loomed on the horizon and impending clash of warriors and cultures that would forever etch its name into the annals of history. So Jen. We got to visit Little Bighorn all the way up in Montana, where my family is from. Let’s talk about Little Bighorn and Custer’s last stand. .

[00:02:10] History of Little Bighorn

[00:02:10] Jenn: So. This area gets like three different names, so let’s make sure we’re hitting all the names. Yes. So it’s, it’s the battle of Little Bighorn. The the American Indians? No. As the battle of greasy grass. And it also has become. Kind of synonymous in American history as Custer’s last stand. Yeah. So it’s kind of these, all three of these events is the same. Event. [00:02:35] Scott: Yeah. And it’s partly because Custer became relatively well-known during the American civil war. It really, I think this battle kind of brought his fame about the most, which is why it kind of there’s those three names [00:02:48] Jenn: with it. Yeah. I mean, so. Great death. Lives in infamy. Right. And I don’t think of Custer would have. Died. He would have been as famous today. If he had lived. Yeah. So I think it’s this battle. It’s this last great victory of the American Indians. It’s this basically this face-off between. You can think of it as a. The west meets the natives, this meeting of these two. It’s these clashes [00:03:20] Scott: with clash of cultures, cultures. [00:03:21] Jenn: That’s exactly who our meeting and then. The culture that you don’t think will win. The one that hasn’t. You know, it doesn’t have the advanced technology is the one that is [00:03:31] victorious. [00:03:31] Scott: I mean, it’s kind of your classic underdog story, right? It’s. It’s the big kid on the block comes through, assuming they can just kind of do whatever they want. And all of a sudden they get punched right in the mouth. Yeah. You know, and then that’s what happens. So set the stage for where we’re at. You know, maybe how we got out there and kind of what, what was going on at that time. [00:03:51] Jenn: So this is M 1876. So let’s think about 10 years after the civil war. This is where Custer has made his name. He was integral during the surrender. And we’ve talked about him before. And so he’s been in the army now for a while, right? He’s he’s gone through the civil war. He’s seen some battle. He survived. He’s victorious on the union side. And now he’s part of this Indian campaign, basically. That’s what they call it. Moving towards The west to To basically. I get the land for people who are ready to do Western expansions for settlers, Oregon trail. This is all this time. This is the time right after the civil war, where people are homesteading moving out and with the American Indians on the land. And their idea of land is not so much property and ownership. It’s just to live off of. The Western culture is looking to put them on certain areas for them to stay because there’s just encroachments and a lot of hostility between white settlers and the American Indians. [00:04:57] Scott: And if, if you watch our video, one of the things I put in the beginning was like a timeline, right? [00:05:02] You. Kind of, to kind of give people a picture of what was going on. And, and one of the things that I tried to stress and point out was there was the treaty of Fort Laramie that had happened a few years prior. This. Was it, is that correct? Oh, yeah, [00:05:15] Jenn: that’s correct. But it happened in 18 68, 18 68. So not even 10 years. [00:05:21] Scott: Not even 10 years. And then really what, what happened? And you can kind of go into more details was in the black Hills. And if you think black Hills think Mount Rushmore. In that area. People found gold. The white sellers started coming in and pushing the Indians out. And then you just were like, Hey, this is our land. You guys just gave this to us slightly. A little while ago, what’s going on. [00:05:42] Jenn: Yeah, that’s a good cliff notes version. Yeah. So let’s, let’s just explain a little bit more. So Fort Laramie is a spot on the Oregon trail. It is a army base. It is a location where as people are coming out and settling, there’s talking about we’re coming across American Indians. They’re killing us. We are having hostilities with them. What can you do about this? Okay, let’s go out the army, the Calvary there, Fort Laramie, let’s go out and kind of get these people together in their tribes and put them in places where they will be safe. For themselves. And also the Americans, the white settlers will be safe coming out. So the treaty of Fort Laramie is these leaders of these tribes have come to Fort Laramie in 1868 and had agreed upon certain areas that they will stay. And like you mentioned, the Lakota Sioux have agreed to the black Hills area as their reservation. And then you get the Crow. Who have agreed upon the Little Bighorn area and that’s named after a river there and a river for basically Westerners is a little bighorn than the river for the American Indian. This is greasy grass. And that’s why that battle’s called that. That that has been agreed upon as Crow reservation. And so this is all decided upon and the treaty of Fort Laramie in 1868. So then like you had said, 1874 gold is discovered in the black Hills and the Lakota Sioux. Are. Living there. This is their land. Well, all these Westerners come in to make their fortunes. And we talked about wild bill Hickok coming in to do that. And Deadwood and Custer is supposed to. Be enforcing this treaty and he’s not, he’s letting the people come in. Also custom wants to make his fortune to. So the Lakota Sioux are mad, because this is our land. And now almost all of it has been taken. No one’s enforcing this treaty. They, they definitely enforce the treaty to keep us on the reservation, but they sure as heck aren’t enforcing the treaty to keep the white settlers are for our land. So we’re just going to move west. And as they move west, they move into the Crow reservation and. So I want to start like this understanding that the Lakota, Sioux and Cheyenne have kind of encroached on the Crow reservation. And so the crow. People. They kind of want to be left [00:08:12] Scott: alone. Yeah, I mean, If you think about it nowadays, right? I was trying to kind of picture this. It’d be like, you know, Taken all of New York and the new Yorkers plopping them in Chicago. There are everybody’s Americans, but all the P the Chicagoans are going to be like, what are you doing here, workers? Workers like you guys shouldn’t be here. Yes. So [00:08:32] Jenn: there’s conflict. It’s conflict. So at the beginning of 1876, America government has renegotiated the reservation area because of the gold and the black Hills. And they’ve telled sitting bull and crazy horse who are the two liters of Lakota Sioux. To come and let’s renegotiate your reservations and we’ll break up this large reservation of black Hills into six smaller reservations. But they don’t show up. They don’t come. They’re like, no, this is wrong. We’ve already agreed to the treaty of Fort Laramie and we’re just going to move with our people to where good hunting is. And that was in on long, the river of greasy grass. Yeah, that’s right. [00:09:11] Scott: Good antelope have heard, you mentioned like there is a large antelope [00:09:14] Jenn: here and so then they don’t show up in the beginning of 1876. This is the Army’s job now to go find them. And bring them back now. They broken this lodge reservation up into six smaller ones. And we’ve talked about standing rock. Is one of those. Some we know that one today, that’s one of the six that they’ve broken up into the South Dakota area. So when you think of South Dakota area, that’s the Lakota Sioux area. And then we got the Crow reservation over in Montana. [00:09:42] Scott: And just to kind of paint the picture for those listening, right. We we spent, you know, a couple of weeks. Out kind of driving that whole area where all through Colorado and South Dakota, we. I mean, it’s a Little Bighorn. So the Southern part of Montana. And there they are relatively different landscapes across all of them. Like the black Hills. It’s it’s gorgeous area. It’s wooded. It’s hilly it’s. I mean, it’s really, really nice mountainous. It’s very, it’s much more mountainous than, than I kind of initially had thought. I’m not having spent a ton of time out there. So if you’re listening. You can think about these, these native Americans who were living in the black Hills and get pushed out, think dead wood and the kind of little bit of a gold rush before the true kind of 49 gold rush. And then all of a sudden they’re moving out to a much more Plains, like great Plains type area. So Little Bighorn in the Southern Montana. It’s not these massive mountains that are looming right there. Right. You’re along a river, a little more like think great Plains. That’s kind of a little bit more what it’s, what it’s like. So just to kind of paint the picture for those listening. There were multiple different native Americans from multiple different areas, just used to different things. And they’re out there just kind of trying to find a place where, you know, the white sellers will let them live. I mean, I can imagine how incredibly frustrating and angry they could have been. [00:11:04] Jenn: Absolutely. And they’ve kind of joined. Join with the Cheyenne. And they’ve joined with the Arapaho. So you think it’s Lakota, Sioux. The Dakota Sioux, this. It’s kind of a breakdown of the Sioux. tribe broken down. It was broken into three separate. And then you got this Cheyenne, the Northern Cheyenne and the Arapaho. And they’re all kind of encroaching in the Crow territory. And so the Crow. Asks for the Army’s help. And so you get, again, these a little skirmishes it’s kind of start, you got the battle of Rosebud that happens in June 17th. Of 1876 and then you’re going to get battled. Big battle of Little Bighorn and on June 25th. So I’m not even about a week, 10 days later. Yeah. And so you get these army generals who are like, let’s go get ’em together, but they just can’t seem to get on the same page. So for Rosebud, you get a guy who comes out, cook, who is coming from the south area and he hits a bunch of Lakota Cheyenne. And they just push him back and again, that’s kind of like probably reinforces them for the big horn. Yeah. Right. [00:12:14] Scott: It gives them the confidence [00:12:15] Jenn: gives us the confidence and I talk about Buffalo calf woman. Because she is integral in both battles. Battle Rosebud for the Cheyenne is called battle where the girl saves her brother. And we get a lot of this oral. American Indian history and especially it’s important in the battle of little bighorn but battle Rosebud. She rides out and saves her brother. Her brother is called, comes in sight and comes In Sight Has his horse shot from underneath him? And she rides out and, and he runs and she grabs him and puts him on the horse and people kind of stop and watch this happening because it’s not customary in the Western culture at the time for women to fight like this. And here’s a woman who it’s just very natural for her to go out and help her brother. [00:13:01] Scott: And we talk about that in the video and it’s, and again, I always encourage folks to go watch the video. The link will be in the show notes, but to you, you watch our video and we take a lot of extra B roll shots to kind of get these wide expansive shots of the planes and kind of what we’re looking above down the river. So you can kind of get a feel for what some of these battles, the setting for [00:13:22] Jenn: them. [00:13:22] Yeah. It’s an, a different, it’s a different type of fighting to think of all these army. Personnel from the civil war. And they used to this very front on front fighting where the American Indian is very much a warrior. It’s going to write circle. They’re going to write circles around you. They’re going to hold onto their horses. Next. They’re going to be hard to aim at there. There they really like to get the dust up to kind of get it kind of, so you’re confused and it’s different type of fighting for them. They fire arrows into the sky, hoping that they just hit you. And so. Cook just backs off. So cost is kind of feeling like all these generals are coming to help me. But Cooke just left and he’s in [00:14:03] Scott: custer is, still a Lieutenant Colonel

[00:14:04] Custer’s Actions

[00:14:04] Jenn: at the Villa. The tenant Colonel at the time. So he starts to head out and. He has these Scouts, these Crow Scouts with him who are like, they’re over there. Well, the Crow Scouts tell him they saw you coming. So they’re probably going to fight you. And that’s one of the reasons why Custer. Engage us with them. So [00:14:23] Scott: that’s why he starts splitting his kind of battalions [00:14:26] Jenn: off. Or he probably would have just stayed, put and waited for more reinforcement. Interesting. But because the Scouts have told them that they’ve seen us and they’re going to come attack us, cussed us, like, well, I should get the, a offensive I should attack first. And so on the morning of June 25th 1876, he rides out with his seven Calvary it’s about 400 men. And starts to split them up. And what he doesn’t realize is this encampment. Of Dakota Sioux and Arapaho. And Cheyenne are about 7,000 strong. 2000 warrior strong. Wow. So you’ve got 5,000 women. Children elders chiefs, right. Sitting bull as a part of them, crazy horse as a part of them. They’re both there. [00:15:13] Scott: Yeah. And if any, if you. Well, yeah, we should. We try, I, I tried really, really hard to kind of really paint the picture of what it must have looked like back then, because that area, while it’s very kind of looks very kind of grassy now, there was, it was actually one of the The park Rangers told us it was a lot more bushy. Back then. Kind of bigger bushes, so more difficult to see, but also they’re up higher on these ridges. Looking kind of what further away at Little Bighorn river, which is kind of down. Almost over like a bluff. So it would be difficult and there’s like trees that are down by the river until there’s all these encampments down there. But it would still be difficult to see how and guage, how many were down there. [00:15:52] Jenn: Exactly. And if you see in our video, I’m pointing to where the green green trees are. Cause the green green trees align the river and the encampment is on the Western side of that. So it’s on the other side of the river. So as Custer comes in and he splits his men. Now I want this perfectly clear before I move any further. There nobody survives with Custer. So there is no primary source firsthand documentation about what Custer was thinking. Why he did what he did. Because there’s no survivors to tell you, all you we have is what people heard, but Reno’s group heard, which they were almost a mile away. And then you have. The oral history from the American [00:16:41] Scott: Indian and Reno. So he was with the original 400 before they split off, then they split off into three groups. Reno was kind of in the front, it kind of in the front, closer to the river in. And Custer was higher up on the Ridge. [00:16:54] Jenn: Yes. So people feel because Custer was very much a student of Sherman and Sherman’s March to the sea. That he wanted to do kind of like he was going to bombard the front and have the warriors come at the front. Which is what Reno was supposed to do. And then all the women and children would run to the rear and Custer was going to go to the rear and capture the women and children and having women and children as prisoners. I would cause the warriors to surrender and then they would be able to get them to move back to their reservations in South Dakota. That. That’s what people have historians and. Put together. It together. The plan. [00:17:39] Scott: Makes the most logical sense of what he was [00:17:41] Jenn: thinking, but it doesn’t quite work because Custer really. Paul makes himself a small group. It’s only 40 men who were killed on her since last stand. And that doesn’t quite seem like you would put yourself in that small deficit, but who knows? So Reno takes about 200. And hits the front. And again, 200 against 2000 warriors is there. They don’t make it far at all. They are pushed back and Reno. I mean, they’re fighting for their lives, the American Indians fight in a way that they really try to get your horses to run and they really try to scare you scare the horses and get the horses to stampede and get out of the way, because they know if a horse runs a lot of your supplies, go with it. [00:18:26] And so you’re only left with what you have. And custody to not bring any gambling guns. He did not bring any quick shoot shooting a revolver. Rifles. Yeah. And the Americans Indians did have quick shooting rifles. Oh, interesting. So. Reno gets pushed back right away. Unbeknownst to Custer who has already split off and gone around the. I would say the Eastern edge, the Northern edge. And as he’s coming around, he splits F another group Calhoun’s group. He splits them off, down a small ravine. Going down towards the river, going down towards, I would say hitting like the mid point of the village. So if [00:19:06] Scott: you’re kind of thinking of this in your head and you’re listening. You know, pick picture a TV screen in your head at the top of the TV screen, kind of where the Ridge would be. And the bottom of the TV screen is where the river would be. So Reno’s coming down towards the river earliest. Right. And the TV screen. And then towards that top middle that’s where Calhoun starts coming down. Yes. [00:19:25] Jenn: Because he was trying to go around the basket. [00:19:27] Scott: I was trying to go around the entire top of the TV screen and around the back. Yeah. And never gets there. He [00:19:32] Jenn: never gets there. He thinks he’s going to get all the women and children. Right. Well, Reno’s group is hit by these warriors so quick. And the warriors, see the men going across the top. And so they just go out after them. They, they keep a couple of guys still fighting Reno’s group. But they go out after Calhoun’s group and then they go right for Custer’s group. And I’m talking about. Crazy horse. Yeah. I’m talking about the leader of the leader going out. And I talk about this in the video because crazy horse rides in between Calhoun and Custer’s group, and both of them are trying to fire at this. American Indian leader warrior, and none of it, he’s not being hit. And so it’s very inspirational. Again, this is oral American Indian history, but it’s very inspirational for the warriors to see him. Not only taking the lead, but not getting hit. And he’s, he’s just in a very like Wharf war fighting. You know, Yeah stage right. And so they’re so inspired by him. So they have what they call the suicide boys, which are like these young warriors who jumped from their horses and just charge [00:20:41] Scott: Custer. Kind of follow crazy. Horse up there and like, we’re doing this. [00:20:45] Jenn: We’re doing this. And so it’s very interesting as Custer. He has really he’s paralyzed himself to 40 men. And he’s with his brother he’s with his nephew. And he has really gotten to a point where they are in circled. [00:21:03] Scott: They’re probably at the highest kind of point of, they try to get the high ground. Yeah. To get the high ground. And they were, but they were. You know, looking at, if you can, if you watch our video, I found some maps on online of people kind of recreating what it looks like, and you can see what they’re trying to do with Custer’s troops church kind of in circle. What they think is, is the. You know, the native Americans down at the river. Yeah. But there’s 7,000 native Americans down there, like you said to 2000 warriors. Th they were so far out manned and outgunned. They didn’t have a chance. They didn’t have a [00:21:36] Jenn: chance. So. Reno. I mean, this all happens in about two hours. Think about how quick this is happening. Reno says he can hear it happening. And people have speculated was we know a coward. Why didn’t he go? Why didn’t he. Send people out, people don’t know, people think, we know might’ve thought this was a suicide mission that Custer was doing anyway. When he saw all these people, why are we attacking when we should have been waiting for our reinforcements from the other Calvary’s here, we’re doing this because Custer thought he had it in the bag or Custer just who knows what Custer was thinking.

[00:22:14] Last Stand Hill

[00:22:14] Jenn: But. He gets on Last Stand Hill which is the highest, highest. Part of the land that you can get to right there. And you’ll see the monument is there today. And he shoot, they shoot all their horses. So that’s one of the things we talk about too. Is there going to shoot all of their horses because not only are the American Indians trying to scare the horses away and they’re very successful at that. They, they shoot them to use them as shields and it call it breasts works because basically think of protecting your breasts. You’re gonna, you’re gonna use your horse as a. As an aim as cover, you’re going to lay. So it’s protecting your breasts basically. Plus your horse has all your supplies has all your extra ammunition. So they shoot all of their horses. They basically build themselves like a barricade in a circle, but the American Indians just overpower them. [00:23:03] Scott: And you had even said to that, like in that, that era, that was a known kind of last ditch effort. You know, had defensive tactics. [00:23:12] Jenn: We don’t think about that today. Because, you know, we, we, we don’t fight like that today, but if you think about it, I mean, I talk about Buffalo, bill Cody, doing things like this. Custer has had 11 horses shot out from underneath him in the civil war. That’s why people thought that this is something with this guy. He’s didn’t. The horse has been killed 11 times and he hasn’t. So it’s not, I’m not saying horses are expendable. But it was something that was thought of as a last ditch effort. Right. And. People don’t know exactly how Custer was killed, but they do say the Buffalo calf woman was the person who knocks Custer from his horse. He has two bullet wounds when he has found one in the head and one in the chest. And they don’t know if they were before or after which one killed him. They don’t know if the bullet wound to the head is after [00:24:03] Scott: and last 10. Th this, this video is actually doing quite well, even better than our last couple of videos, which is surprising and pleasantly surprising. But I think part of the reason is that we show so much of the area, right? So last stand hill is the high point. There’s all sorts of grave markers around the air, including a grave marker for Custer, even though he’s not. As far as we know, buried there anymore.

[00:24:25] Evolution of the Battlefield

[00:24:25] Jenn: So those markers. We’re put there so that the there’s been an evolution of the battlefield. At first, they had little like obelisks and then people would just take them. And then they would just replace them. And then now they have the markers. Now they have a gate around the markers. When I was a kid, you could walk around the last downhill markers. Now there’s a gate around the last downhill markers. Custer’s marker has black. On it to kind of distinguish it from the other markers. There’s more markers and actual men that were on last stand hill. So they believe there was only 40 men on less than who I think there’s like 45 markers out there. So again, it’s, it’s close enough. Yeah. People really believe that they were killed on the top of the hill where the monument stands today because they wouldn’t be, they made their stand at the high ground. So where those markers are, could be where they buried them. Now. I want to just touch on it because people always want to know what happened to Custer’s body after. Was it mutilated? Yes, it was. So you have to think. [00:25:27] All of a sudden Reno here is no sound, no more gunfire. He knows that’s it. He, he stays, he stays where he’s at. Until he’s reinforced the next day. And they’re able to get away him and his chips. They’re able to fight off and stay right where they are, the American Indians. will bury their warriors and start to move because they know something’s coming. Yeah. And believe me, this, this is going to be answered. But. The American Indians, when they encounter the dead soldiers, their bodies are ransacked. Of course, they take all the gear that they can find, and they are. Scalped. And there are some mutilations done and people believe it could be because if you are bodies mutilated, your You must walk the earth. For the rest of your life. So, but no one knows for sure, but when the soldiers eventually do get to the bodies, which is about five days later, they do wrap them up in blankets. Very shallowly, bury them and cover them with rocks. And they believe that is where those markers are. Okay. And then about. Five years after that is when someone’s like, oh, Custer should be at west point. Yeah, cause he graduated there. He graduated there. And other people want their family’s bodies too. So some other army officers come out there to retrieve those bodies. And as you can think, five years animals, shallow grave, shallow graves, nothing much is things are scattered. They find. What they believe as a officer Lieutenant Colonel jacket with the bones, but they’re not sure because again, things have been, who knows what the American Indians kept or didn’t keep her through or, and so. And the officer just gets to the point, grabbed those ones. That’s Custer. Yeah. Grab these ones. Yeah. And so then they take all the bones. And bury them at the very top and put the monument above it. Yeah. So there’s no bones where those markers are today. They’re buried at the monument and in all likelihood, summer customers’ bones are still there. And who knows. It might be a little Custer and a little of some other peeps. With it in the grave at west point, but. What is interesting too, is I’d say in the last 20 years, They have put red markers for the American Indians that fell.

[00:27:51] Indian Memorial

[00:27:51] Scott: That was cool to see. And I, and I, again, as, as the, the non history nerd here, I appreciated them kind of. It evolving. You know, through that because you know, they didn’t do that when they first kind of created now under the national park. That was that that’s there. But now they have like an Indian in a native American Memorial. Yes. With all sorts of really, really well done. And I did my best to kind of show it. We had like high noon is sunlight. You know, so it was difficult with glares and cameras and stuff, but it was really neat to see how they did that. The Indian Memorial. And it, you could see, you know, just up the hill was the monument was the last stand hill. It was, it was pretty, it was [00:28:32] Jenn: very well done. There’s a lot of symbolism there it’s you can see it has a little crack, so you can see the monument of last downhill. It is a circle. So it’s very much how the American Indian fought. In a circle. It has a silhouette of the American Indians and their horses. And the way, like I said, how they kind of hang around the necks of their horses, which makes it hard for people to aim at them. And it is a very beautiful, and it talks about Custer smoking, a peace pipe promising, never to kill a Cheyenne. And then let, what is it? Less than seven years later? And it says, if you do, your body will turn to dust and he does. So it’s just very like, for, for boating. It has some great etchings of the chiefs. And like I said, I sitting bull, is there crazy horses there? Crazy horse will eventually surrender himself in Nebraska where he will eventually be killed. He would be bayoneted by an army officer and sitting bull will He’ll run away to Canada, but he will also eventually surrender himself and then he will eventually be killed by the army. So this is. The last great triumph of the American Indian. And like I said, although they will win this battle, they will ultimately lose the war and they are still on their reservations today. And I think what happens, you know, the Custer. This is a rallying point for America. This is a great. Way for people in media and newspaper to really paint the American Indian as a Savage again, and for them to, again, for the army to go out there and to really regulate. Where the American Indian can live. And again, start to break down their culture and send their children. To westernized schools. And try to erase a lot of their heritage and traditions. And they’re not. That is unsuccessful. Thank goodness. But what I do try to stress at the end of this video. And I think it’s important is. There’s no sides here, both. Both sides, fight balantly to their deaths. And a lot of ways both are fighting for something they ultimately believe in. And when you think Custer’s fighting, because it’s his job to keep the American Indians on these reservations is part is part of the treaty. He’s also helping the Crow. And he feels like this is his duty to do the job, to, to protect the, the, the Westerners, the people who are homesteading and the crazy horse and sitting bull war fighting for their way of life. And so I look at it as there’s no win. There’s no winner here. This is a very much a culture clash. Of American history. And I look at both sides fighting violently to the end. Custer. This will go on to be kind of romanticized because Custer’s wife, Elizabeth goes on this kind of campaign. That’s right to protect his image. [00:31:33] Scott: I remember you mentioning that, which was very interesting. And. I can understand in that era, why a wife might, might do that. Right. It’s kind of tied to the livelihood and. Be your place in society and. And all this stuff. So. It was very interesting learning about this and actually being there. [00:31:53] Just kind of had that feel right. It was some national parks you can kind of. Get the feel for what happened back then. And this absolutely was one of them. And actually, I think we, we had learned that like, A week after we left. They were doing, they were getting ready to shut down. Yeah, the visitor center visitors. Visitor center. Because they’re getting ready to overhaul it for you and do it like a large, [00:32:15] Jenn: large overhaul. Yes. And if you go visit, there is a national cemetery there that has nothing to do with the battle of Little Bighorn. So when you see the national cemetery, it’s just people who have fought in. Yeah. You know, Veterans it’s veterans who are buried there on the reservation, but when you drive up, you might be like, oh, are these the people from Bella? No, that has nothing to do with the Bella. Big horn, but I just want to stress that. I feel very proud of the American Indian in this regard because they did, they beat the bully, they beat the Goliath, but I also feel bad for Goliath because they are fighting for something that they. They don’t know any better either. And so for me, it was just. As an, as an American and as a historian it’s someplace that I really think is such an important part of our history. It can’t go away. We have to learn it and we have to learn all of it. I really appreciated the spirit tree that was there that had all the cloth tied on it. I know that the American Indians. Celebrate every year they do ghost dances and they’re out there, you know, still celebrating their ancestors and that moment. And I just think it’s a very important to not forget it. [00:33:26] Scott: Yeah. And in and largely too, because the national park is located on, a native American reservation, so it was, it was neat. It was so neat for me because I have family ties. History ties to Montana. We actually had a friend that lived didn’t didn’t live too far away and we felt bad. Not. Sorry, Courtney. For not reaching out. We’re, we’re very limited on time and cause we drove, 6,000 miles over the course of two weeks. But it was an absolute blast and that is absolutely one of those places. Like you just have to make the effort to get out there and go, it’s not close to anything. You have to make the effort, but it’s a hundred percent worth it because you just see these vast kind of rolling Plains Hills and way off in the distance. You can start seeing, some bigger stuff, some of the bigger mountains in Montana and. Just driving through there is. It’s a, it’s a different part of the country. It’s bigger and it feels bigger out there. [00:34:26] Jenn: It’s powerful. [00:34:27] Scott: It’s very powerful. [00:34:30] So I hope that you’ve gained a deeper understanding of the pivotal moment that forever altered the course of history. The battle of Little Bighorn stands as a poignant reminder of the clash between cultures, the complexities of human conflict and the resilience of those who fought to protect their way of life. So join us in the next episode, we’ll continue to delve into the tapestry of the past, uncovered the threads that connect us to these remarkable events and that have shaped our world that Jen and I love going out. Walking in the footsteps and sharing that with you. If you enjoy this podcast, we have a bunch of other episodes that cover Western history, and we encourage you to check those out. Follow us. so you don’t miss more episodes just like this and as always thank you for joining us and sharing the talk with history podcast because we rely on you our community to grow and we appreciate you all every day We’ll talk to you next time thank you

Published by Scott

The mountains are calling, let me grab a jacket and my kids.

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