When the smoke cleared on June 25, 1876, neither Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (1839–76) nor the 200 soldiers, scouts, and civilians were alive to tell the story of their part of the battle against several thousand Lakota-Sioux and Northern Cheyenne warriors inspired by Sitting Bull (circa 1831–90) and Crazy Horse (1842–77). It was a Pyrrhic victory for the tribes; the loss pushed the U.S. government to redouble its efforts to remove them to the Great Sioux Reservation in Dakota Territory. Now the Little Bighorn Battlefield, on the Crow Indian Reservation, memorializes the warriors and the men of the Seventh Cavalry who took part in the conflict, with monuments and an interpretive center. The site, made up of broken river bluffs and river bottoms along the Little Bighorn River, remains largely undeveloped. Note that there are rattlesnakes around the area. During the summer visiting season, daytime temperatures hover in the 80–90°F range. Bring clothing that is comfortable in hot weather, as well as sunscreen and water, both of which will make your outdoor experience here safer and more enjoyable.
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