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Battle of the Little Bighorn

Battle of the Little Bighorn
ConflictBlack Hills War (Indian Wars)
DateJune 25, 1876
PlaceNear the Little Bighorn River, Montana, United States
ResultDecisive Native American victory
Lakota, Cheyenne, ArapahoUnited States
Sitting Bull, Crazy HorseLt. Col. George Armstrong Custer
??entire force killed
History -- Military History -- List of battles
Battle before: Battle of Rosebud
Battle after: Wounded Knee Massacre
The Battle of Little Big Horn, also called Custer's Last Stand, took place on June 25, 1876 as part of the Indian Wars and was a victory of a large force of Lakota and their allies including the Cheyenne over the 7th Cavalry of the United States Army which attacked their village. The part of the detachment personally commanded by General George Armstrong Custer was killed to the last man.

The American forces were sent to attack the natives based on Indian Inspector's E.C. Watkins report (issued on November 9, 1875) that stated that hundreds of Sioux and Cheyenne associated with Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse were hostile to the United States.

The widow of Custer helped popularize this defeat in memory of her husband and the event as recreated in numerous films as a heroic American general fighting valiantly against savage forces. By the end of the 20th century, the general recognition of the mistreatment of the various Native American nations in the conquest of the American west, and Custer's role in it, has changed the image of the battle to one of a bloodthirsty conqueror meeting his match against courageous warriors defending their land and way of life.

On Memorial Day 1999 the first of five red granite markers denoting where warriors fell during the battle were placed on the battlefield for Cheyenne warriors, Lame White Man and Noisy Walking. The warrior markers dot the ravines and hillsides like the white marble markers representing where soldiers fell. Since then, markers have been added for the Sans Arc warrior, Long Road and the Minniconjou, Dog?s Back Bone. On June 25, 2003 an unknown warrior marker was placed on Wooden Leg Hill, east of Last Stand Hill to honor a warrior who was killed during the battle as witnessed by the Cheyenne warrior, Wooden Leg.

On June 25, 2003 the first Indian Memorial was dedicated. The bill that changed the name of the battlefield from Custer Battlefield National Monument to Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument also called for an Indian Memorial to be built near Last Stand Hill. President George Bush signed the bill into law on December 10, 1991.

The Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument is located in southeastern Montana near Crow Agency, Montana and administered by the National Park Service. The NPS official website is

For more information about the Battle of the Little Bighorn and updates from the battlefield, including the Indian Memorial dedication and warrior markers, please visit the Friends of the Little Bighorn Battlefield, the only non-profit organization affiliated with the Little Bighorn Monument, at

Further reading