June 25, 1876 was an ill-fated day for five of the 7th Cavalry’s twelve companies. That was the day that companies C, E, F, I and L, led by George Armstrong Custer, were met by Lakota and Cheyenne warriors. What really happened will always be speculation because no soldiers survived. All we have is the oral history of the Native Americans and the physical history of the battlefield itself.
Three days after the attack, General Terry arrived at the battlefield. The soldiers had been mutilated and the bodies were already decomposing, so with the threat of more attacks, they were hurriedly buried where they were found. On Last Stand Hill near where Custer’s body was discovered, a memorial has been erected with the names of the casualties listed on it and markers have been placed showing where the soldiers’ remains were found. No one knows how many Native Americans were killed in the battle because the dead warriors had been removed by their families before General Terry’s troops arrived. Some say the spirits of the soldiers and warriors visit the place of their death even today.