The Battle of the Little Bighorn, fought 135-year-old battle fought on the plains of eastern Montana, was a victory for Native people.
The alliance of three tribes and its warriors took down the U.S. Seventh Cavalry and its infamous leader, Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer in a bloody battle that left just one U.S. horse alive. As the Billings Gazette reports, the re-enactment of the battle is still a popular event for history buffs from all walks of life.
The battle came to life again several times last weekend on what is now the Crow Indian Reservation.
On Friday, Custer’s Last Stand 2011 Re-enactment drew about 1,500 people to the Hardin performance. The one-hour-and-15-minute performance is sponsored by the Hardin Chamber of Commerce.
A check of the parking lot showed cars from as far away as New York and Hawaii, Manitoba, Texas and California. A show of hands before the start of the performance revealed that at least a third of the audience had come from outside of the United States.
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A series of narrators takes audience members through a brief history of that time, describing the lifestyle of the Plains Indians, the exploration of Lewis and Clark, the coming of white settlers by wagon train, the pain of broken treaties and the increasing tensions that led, finally, to the battle.
The audience hears the crash of the hooves, the war cries of the Indians, the yells of the soldiers as they engage in battle. By the end, the soldiers are dead on the ground while the Indian victors ride around on their horses.
Here is the Gazette’s photo gallery from the battle.