Tuesday, July 03, 2012

Battle of the Rosebud, Prelude to the Little Bighorn

About a week ago I drove down to the Rosebud Battlefield State Park from Hardin, Montana—headquarters from my Little Bighorn sojourn—and spent a little time poking around. I had read Neil Mangum's battle study only a few weeks before, and I was glad I had the book with me, as the maps were indispensable to getting oriented. Read a short summary of the battle by Neil Mangum here.

Neil did a site study of the Rosebud field back when he was historian or superintendent at Little Bighorn. We're all very fortunate that the land owner wished to see this battlefield preserved, even as mining concerns were taking a very active interest. Now it's about the most pristine field imaginable—very remote, and quiet. There are no trails to speak of, but one overgrown access road allows you to climb Crook's Hill, from which most notable sites on the field can be discerned.

Mining still remains a threat, however, as Montana only owns the surface rights to the property.

Direction from which the Sioux and Cheyenne attacked. Behind the camera is the broad valley of the Rosebud.

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Van Vliet's Ridge

The only monument on the battlefield, as far as I could tell.

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