Friends Of The Little Bighorn Battlefield

The Next Generation In The Study Of Custer's Last Stand

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Martin Pate

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"Battle of Brown's Mill"

Photo courtesy of Martin Pate

When former Superintendent Neil Mangum came to the battlefield in 1998 one of the first things he accomplished was replacement of the old wayside exhibits along the battlefield road. These exhibits were placed in the 1960s and were outdated from modern interpretations of the battle. Neil's vision can be seen along the battlefield road with up to date exhibits, which include the paintings below.

Artist Martin Pate has provided exclusive coverage of these paintings to The Friends. Martin started the project with urgency knowing there would be a lot of work required to complete the task. Martin worked closely with NPS Chief Historian, John Doerner to ensure each painting would be as historically accurate based on the information known at the time.

The result is outstanding. For the first time, the visitor will be given a visual representation of what took place during a particular moment in the battle when observing the wayside exhibits. This was not possible with the old waysides.

Below you'll find examples of some of Martin's work with the waysides. His most recent is the interpretation of what took place on Wooden Leg Hill when the unknown warrior wearing a war bonnet was killed by soldier fire from Last Stand Hill. Or, take a look at the rest of the paintings via the navigation button "LBH Wayside Paintings" at top right.

Wooden Leg Hill: Near the end of the battle warriors massed behind a low ridge NE of Last Stand Hill that gave them a good firing position. Wooden Leg tells the tale of a warrior wearing a war bonnet who kept popping his head up to fire. Finally, a soldier's shot hit this warrior square in the head scaring the young boys to quickly move down the hill away from the soldier guns. Picture on left depicts action on Wooden Leg Hill. The right photo shows the war bonnet warrior just before he's killed.

This and the next painting appear on the Wooden Leg Hill wayside exhibit dedicated June 25, 2003 near the Indian Memorial.

Wooden Leg Hill was a warrior firing position upon Last Stand Hill near where the Indian Memorial sits today.

 

The Wooden Leg wayside exhibit -- designed by John Doerner, Chief Historian LBH, click on image to enlarge

Lame White Manís Charge: Company C is being over-run on Calhoun Ridge. Lame White Man is in the foreground on the paint. Sgt Jerimiah Finley is down with his horse Carlo in the right foreground. 1st Sgt. Edwin Bobo is mounted (right center) retreating back to report to Keogh.

Visit the Keogh Memorial in his hometown in Ireland.

The Indian village

Reno's soliders retreat across the Little Bighorn River

Soldiers on Weir Point just before forced to retreat back to the Reno-Benteen Defense Site

Companies F and E retreat from Medicine Tail Coulee

The Skirmish Line of 1st Lt. James Calhoun's Company L on Calhoun Hill.

Lame White Man's charge

Attack On Keogh's Company I

Last efforts to stay alive inside Deep Ravine

 

Be sure to read more about the battle.

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