Mercredi 30 mai
Lundi 21 mai
THE CAIRNS AT LITTLE BIGHORN BATTLEFIELD
source: Indian student of the Little Bighorn, LBHA message board,
"300 warriors were killed and 200 died from their wounds."
Sioux Warrior Red Hawk
Indians marked the spot of the fallen with a pile of stones, (and this is not a new revelation, but dates at least as far back as
Powell's investigations) and that during the excavations river stones were discovered where they could not have been unless placed there by someone
Campers or picnickers would be unlikely to carry stones from the river up to Battle Ridge or Reno Battlefield in order to make a fire ring, when you can dig a safe pit with the heel of your boot.
Many of the cairns are outside the monument boundary fences. I saw some of these in 1960, but the men I was with would tell me only that they marked places of significance to the families, not
what they actually commemorated.
I do believe that there have been comments over the years, beginning very early on, about piles of stones with what appeared to be "spirit" offerings placed near or upon them. There is nothing
new about these cairns, except that the people are finally able to recreate the spots.
I noticed you're talking about the cairns. I was with family that searched and found them. There were 215 found. This is where warriors fell. Some may have lived after they were
hit, many probably not. None of these stones had black char on them that I saw. Also they were piles, not circles. In addition, there were laws in place during the time period when the interviews
were being conducted that said when a white man killed a Lakota he was merely banished from the rez. When a Lakota killed a white he was to be hung. Thus many Lakota gave pleasing answers and
under no circumstances wanted to implicate that they or their loved ones participated in the battle.
A more realistic count could be had by looking at the applications for new ration cards by women in July 1876. These would mostly be the widows. I don't think that's ever been done.
Also the view of the battlefield from the river is much different than from the roads and paths. There are very slight rises in the ground where someone could duck down and not be seen from last
stand hill. There are numerous cairns at the top of the rises, at the spots where one becomes visible to last stand hill. Also several along deep ravine. Curiously enough the cairns stop about 75
yards from last stand hill. These cairns tell a story.
According to Doug War Eagle, one of the family that marked the stones, this is the only battle where cairns were used to mark the fallen...a testimony that even the Lakota and Cheyenne regarded
this battle as special. He believes that there should be about 35 more cairns undiscovered lying either on private land or gone forever (cemetery, visitor center, administration
buildings, etc). I usually post in Northern Plains so I'm not sure when I'll be passing this way again...but I figured it might be nice to weigh in since I was heavily involved.
Samedi 19 mai
Interpreter George Herendeen said that the Indian casualties was at least as great as Custer's casulaties.
Indian agent James McLaughlin said that the high Indian casualties were certain.
Yellow Horse said that 83 warriors died on the battlefield, but he was probably talking about his own band.
Red Horse talked about 136 dead and 160 wounded in a single assault.
White Bull related a "very hard fight".
Moving Robe remembered a "hotly contested battle".
White Bull remembered that there were already a lot of warriors killed with Reno's skirmish line.
Two Moon complained that the battle was too long and there was an ongoing bloodbath on the Indian side.
Turtle Rib stated that "many Indians had been killed" and that the warriors were too busy taking care of their own wounded and killed to mutilate the soldiers.
Gall never explained to McLaughlin why the Indians didn't attack Reno after June 25, 1876, and the explanation would be that they suffered too many casualties.
Many White witnesses remembered seeing funeral lodges full of bodies in the village (Kanipe said that 75 dead warriors were counted).
Little Buck Elk : "We tried to hide our losses, but it's useless to lie, we had more than 100 warriors killed in the battle."
Crow scout Curley, who watched the battle from a nearby hill, stated that the Indians were driven back several times, a testimony confirmed by Two Moon's, White Bull's and Low Dog's testimonies
about their own withdrawal.
Crazy Horse stated that many warriors died from their wounds.
Indian testimonies are full of stories about friendly fire, hard fighting and Indian casualties.
The National Park Service found in 2006 that 200 warriors had been killed on the battlefield alone, which confirmed the heavy battle, just like every Indian witness had stated. (see the
Jeudi 26 avril
2006 National Park Service study shows that 200 Indian warriors have been killed
RESEARCHS FROM THE LITTLE BIG HORN BATTLEFIELD ON
source: Friends of the Little Bighorn Association, 2006 summer event
"From this vantage point we had a panoramic view of the western half of the battlefield, a wide expanse of the Little Bighorn River valley, and the
foothills of the Bighorns with their snowcapped peaks beyond. It’s a magnificent view that I’ve been fortunate to look upon for the last 25 summers, as well as other seasons.
(Little Big Horn battlefield Superintendant Darrel) Cook also pointed to red pin flags in the ground. He said I’d be able to spot them throughout the
area; they represent recent research for locations of fallen warriors. He warned me to be prepared for high numbers. I’ve always believed that number to be near 100. He said there were approximately 200 pin flags. If this turns out to be true (still more research is required by Chief Historian John Doerner), then it could be evidence
that the 7th Cavalry fought hard (just as the Indian accounts have always stated). Most importantly, it would contradict recent theories that this battle was one of massive soldier
disintegration and command structure breakdown. Is it possible that there may be as many dead warriors upon this field as there were soldiers, a result that is relatively impossible if soldiers
are running and throwing their weapons away at the same time? "