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The Next Generation In The Study Of Custer's Last Stand
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By Gay Jones
Webmaster's Note: A big thank you to Friends' member, Ms. Gay Jones for sharing her observations of the re-enactor events.
All photos © Heather Deschane, Chief Historian John Doerner, and Gay Jones as noted.
The 130th anniversary weekend was my second trip to the battlefield. I’m thankful I attended because it will be a journey I’ll never forget. It seemed like there was some event taking place somewhere at all times. I’m sure I attended all of them, but the highlight for me was when the re-enactors arrived at the battlefield on the morning of the 25th. I felt like I stepped back in time to 1876 as Larry Gibson’s re-enactors marched up Last Stand Hill. When they passed by, I could hear the sounds of their horses, and the leather and bits while the U.S. flag snapped in the wind.
Traffic stopped to
allow the riders pass by. When Gibson’s group reached the top of the hill and
across from the 7th Cavalry Monument, they stopped, turned their
horses to face the monument, and then quietly saluted. The crowd was hushed and
stood in awe. Then the bugler began to play Taps. Before he was finished, I had
goosebumps. This event was so serene, so solemn, and so very poignant. Then,
just as they arrived, the riders turned and descended the hill. Later that day,
I had the honor to follow this same group back up the hill to
watch them place a memorial wreath at the
The soldiers dismounted a few at a
time, picketed their horses, stood in formation, and then crossed the road where
they visited with individuals in the crowd and posed for pictures. Again, I
felt like I had stepped back in time.
Copyright 1999-2013 Bob Reece
Friends Little Bighorn Battlefield, P.O. Box 636, Crow Agency, MT 59022