Our latest trip “On the Trail of Crazy Horse” takes in the Battle of the Little Bighorn National Monument, Devil’s Tower National Monument and the Black Hills, including the Crazy Horse Monument. It starts out of Billings, Montana, and heads through the Indian Reservations. You can also tour the gold mines by Deadwood and Lead (leed), which drove the white settlers’ interest in the Black Hills and forced the US government to wage war on the Native American tribes that had used the area for centuries.
A re-enactment of the Battle of Little Bighorn takes place near the town of Hardin on June 24 – 26, 2011. The actual battle was on June 25, 1876.
Those with more time and more interest in Native American history can check out the Rosebud Battlefield near Little Bighorn and the site at Wounded Knee on the Ogalala Sioux Reservation near Hot Springs, South Dakota. Wounded Knee was home to two incidents, one in 1890 where US troops massacred over 150 Lakota Indians while trying to herd them onto a reservation, and another in 1973 when government forces surrounded the town during a stand-off with the American Indian Movement (AIM) who had taken over the town of Wounded Knee to protest the horrible living conditions.
Smithsonian Magazine featured an article in its November issue about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, also known as Custer’s Last Stand. While there have been many books, articles, and accounts previously published, this one is unique in that it is told from the Native American perspective and includes the words of those who were there on the winning side of the battlefield. Crazy Horse was present, as were other prominent Indian leaders like Gall, Black Elk, Red Feather and Iron Hawk. Custer attacked the Indian encampment at Little Bighorn to force the Indians onto reservations – the government wanted the Black Hills & its gold, but they were owned by the Sioux through an 1868 treaty.
Want more history on Crazy Horse? Read Thomas Powers’ recently published book “The Killing of Crazy Horse”.