I will be at the Battle site this month on the 25th, and was wondering if anyone could give me some recommendations on what is the best reenactment to go see?
Neither one can really be described as a reenactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn---both would more accurately be called 'Historical Pageants', but the Custer name still draws a crowd, which is why both events still use it. I long for the day when a real historical reenactment of the Battle of the Little Big Horn can be organized. We came very close to it back in the late 90's - early 2000's, but both events are little more than 'farbfests' now. Of the two events to choose from, I would recommend the Real Bird Pageant, as it is performed on the actual battlefield and uses the best group of mounted Crow warriors. You also get a handful of authentic 7th Cav Reenactors---like my good buddies Gerry (alias Pvt. Peter Thompson), Gary (alias Tom Custer), Mark (alias Fred Girard), and Greg (alias Lt. Smith), Tosh & Gee Gee among others. The potential is there should the event organizers decide to place historical accuracy over professional profiteering. At the moment, the latter is name of the game.
Thank you Keogh. I've read what you and some others have said about the reenactments being something that could be done better. It would be nice if someone or group could step in and fill that void. I will still probably be going anyway, I really think my two boys will get a kick out of seeing the actors in their outfits.
If you want the full experience, see both--the Hardin script is more historically accurate, but you will get a good laugh out of the costumes. The Real Birds look better, but their script is a trifle weird, to put it mildly. For one thing, last year they described the Sand Creek Massacre and ascribed it to Custer at Washita.
Better yet, either before or after these entertainments, come down to the Keogh sector on the battlefield on the 25th or 26th, and say hi. I will be working as a volunteer trail guide there on those days.
And by the way, the first "trail" you come to will say, "Trail Closed." That's not it. Go on to the second one, a few dozen feet further--if you're in the right place, you'll see us at the bottom. We'll try to post somebody at the top.
Hey, Texas... RCH is correct about the Seventh, but you may be interested to know that on 11Jun76, a former CSA captain (32nd TX Cavalry) named Tom Cosgrove-- now a scout-- rode into Crook's camp with 86 Snake (Shoshone) Indians. With him were two other Texans, a fellow named Yarnell and another named Eckles.