Sunday, June 3, 2012

Plains Indian Wars Battlefield Visits

Just back from a long weekend visit to the Little Bighorn battlefield (aka "Custer's Last Stand"), the Fetterman fight (massacre?), Wagon Box Fight, and Ft. Phil Kearney, along with my trusty sidekick and wife - Lisa.

All I can say is "wow".  I regret that I haven't made it to these sites before.  Even with a lifelong interest in the Batle of the Little Bighorn, and fully aware in my mind of the distances involved, it was stunning to see the vast distances and space of the LBH battlefield.   I'll expand on my opinion of the battle in a future post, but all I can say is - if you haven't gone, you really need to go.

The Fetterman fight battlefield was similar.   Vast spaces, windswept hills.

In both cases, the slope of the hills and rugged nature of the ground was eye opening.

My wife and I decided we needed Native American ("Indian") names in honor of our visit, so we decided on:

Brent:    No Talk

Lisa:   Runs-Her-Man

Here are a couple of photos of No Talk and Runs-Her-Man at the Fetterman fight battlefield.

No Talk posing on the ridge at the Fetterman battlefield.  Monument in the right distance.

Runs-Her-Man on the ridge, with the valley and hills behind where the Lakota lay in wait for the Fetterman detail.


  1. I love the LBH battlefield...and the battle!

  2. Those photographs are not what I expected!

    How different and less wooded are the battlefields now than they were then? It looks rather difficult to get covered approaches on those hills, whether one's opponents had muzzle-loading or trapdoor Springfields.

  3. The battlefields are virtually identical to "back in the day". The great plains (in my experience, from Colorado northwards) are very sparsely populated with trees. If you see trees, there is water nearby. That means creeks, rivers, lakes. You really don't see wodded areas except in those areas on the plains. The covered approaches are all over the place - there are folds and undulations everywhere you turn and look. While in theory you could fire a thousand yards, there innumerable folds in the ground between there and you. I'll post more photos of the sites.

  4. My ancestor, PVT Thomas Meador, died at LBH fighting with Reno. I need to get up there to check out the site.

  5. Amazing how the land can swallow up Buffalo (and enemies). There one second, gone the next, reappearing elsewhere. It just looks so open but looks are deceiving.

    Nice photos!

  6. Interesting looking country. You know, it looks very like cattle farmland in New Zealand's King Country...

  7. Got there a couple of years ago. Very much worth the trip. Almost impossible to understand the battle without seeing the terrain and the sight lines.

    Greatly improved interpretation from the Indian side since I was there as a boy, but they could use a new visitors center and film.

  8. Yes one can easily see why Custer had NO idea what was sitting in wait for him but one of the biggest encampments of Sioux Indians ever assembled.