Skip to main content
You are the owner of this article.
You have permission to edit this article.
Edit

Memory of war: The reenactment of the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Let the news come to you

Get any of our free daily email newsletters — news headlines, opinion, e-edition, obituaries and more.

Support Local Journalism

If you value these stories, please consider subscribing.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Solon Moccasin and Tanya Falls Down help Zacchaeus Dust put on his regalia for the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

A crew of four soldiers dressed in authentic uniforms fire off a live cannon. Two hundred bucking horses gallop across the stage, kicking up dust before crossing the Little Bighorn River. A grandfather helps his son put on his headdress before he joins the fray.

It was all part of a reenactment marking the 146th anniversary of the Battle of Little Big Horn, drawing thousands of spectators to land owned by the Real Bird family near the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument outside Crow Agency.


Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Quintin Birdinground III poses for a photo after participating in the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River. "You all got the full effect of the ferociousness today," Birdinground said of the reenactment. He has been participating in the reenactment for the past ten years.

The event ran for three days last weekend. The script, written by former Montana Poet Laureate Henry Real Bird, is told from the perspective of Spotted Wolf, a Northern Cheyenne warrior who fought in the 1876 battle. Spotted Wolf’s story was carefully handed down through the Real Bird family from Spotted Wolf’s son, Pat Spotted Wolf.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Henry Real Bird poses for a photo after the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River. Real Bird's family has been running the reenactment since they began it in the early 1990s.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Kids put on their regalia before participating in the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

The cavalry walks across the field before the final battle scene during the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Cavalryman Hunter Bolt pats his horse, Penelope, after participating in the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River. Bolt, who is originally from California, says he had "never been on a horse before this year."

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

The audience watches the Little Bighorn Reenactment from the stands on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Mark Wilson poses for a photo after participating in the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment, in which he played General Terry on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River. Wilson has a Ph.D. and is a retired ecologist and biogeographer. He now travels around the United States participating in reenactments. He's been participating in this reenactment for the past 21 years.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Walter Orlando poses for a photo after participating in the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment, in which he played Sitting Bull, on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

A victor walks through the battlefield scattered with corpses during the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

A cavalryman sits in the stands after the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Little Bighorn Reenactment, Photo Page

Cast members cool off in the river after the Battle of Little Bighorn Reenactment on Sunday, June 26, 2022, along the Little Bighorn River.

Let the news come to you

Get any of our free daily email newsletters — news headlines, opinion, e-edition, obituaries and more.

Rachel Leathe can be reached at rleathe@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2603

Rachel Leathe is a Chronicle staff photographer. She can be reached at rleathe@dailychronicle.com.

Recommended for you