Medicine Tail Coulee - Little Bighorn National Battlefield - Crow Agency, MT
Posted by: Groundspeak Regular Member gparkes
N 45° 32.684 W 107° 24.310
13T E 312241 N 5046280
Quick Description: This is a Historical Marker located in Little Bighorn National Battlefield . A series of markers are located throughout the park to give a good understanding of battle movements and history.
Location: Montana, United States
Date Posted: 7/16/2009 7:21:53 PM
Waymark Code: WM6T62
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member muddawber
Views: 4

Long Description:

Medicine Tail Coulee

After leaving Cedar Coulee, Custer descends toward the Little Bighorn River in the ravine ahead known as Medicine Tail Coulee. Custer probably again divides his command, three companies likely ascend to the higher ridges beyond.

Two companies approach the river along Medicine Tail Coulee. Near here Custer sends back a message for Captain Benteen to “be quick.” Most warriors are still engaged with Reno in the valley, yet some are aware of Custer’s advance.


“On reaching Medicine Tail Creek, (Custer) halted his command and here the men rearranged their saddles... he rode to an officer who seemed to be in command of one of the troops and gave him an order. Immediately the troop turned its direction toward the Little Bighorn. Custer with the remainder of his command continued going northward, his trail about 1 ½ miles from the river.”

Curley, Crow Scout


“From across the river I could hear the music of the bugle and could see the column of soldiers turn to the left to march down to the river where the attack was to be made. All I could see was the warriors of my people. They rushed like the wind through the village…”

Mrs. Spotted Horn Bull, Hunkpapa Lakota

Describe the area and history:
The Battle of the Little Bighorn occurred on June 25 and June 26, 1876, starting with the troops of the 7th Cavalry entering on horseback in to the region. Plans were for the Cavalry to split into three groups to surround the Indian village, and force a surrender.

What took place was a series of delays and tactical errors, poor luck on the behalf of the Army, and superior numbers of warriors.

The conclusion of two days of battle was 263 dead troopers.

Protection of the area began almost immediately. In 1879, Congress designated the area a National Cemetery. In 1946, President Truman designated the area as Custer Battlefield National Monument. In 1991, in keeping with the modern philosophy of historical accuracy, the area was re-designated as Little Big Horn National Battlefield.

Original stone markers are scattered throughout the park, indicated the location of fallen troops. Indian tribes took away and buried their own dead. Over the past couple decades, an intertwining of the Indian history has occurred, allowing a more respectful remembrance of where significant warrior deaths occurred.

"The Memorial" located at Last Stand Hill, is where the soldiers were buried in a mass grave. The officers were taken east to be buried in National Cemeteries, such as Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, as Captain Thomas Custer, George Custer's younger brother. Lt. Col. George A. Custer was buried at West Point.


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