The big day has finally come and gone- the Real Bird Battle of the Little Big Horn Re-enactment was last weekend. For weeks, we have all been busy answering phones and giving directions to people in the museum about the Re-enactment. I was getting pretty excited for the day when we would finally get a chance to see it. After our busy weekend here in the museum, we got a chance to see the show on Sunday. All morning we had our eyes tuned to the weather forecast: there were supposed to be afternoon thunderstorms, but the Real Birds said the show would go on rain or shine. We have definitely had our share of interesting weather here in Montana (including 90 mph winds in Hardin while Kiley and I looked for some ice cream, but that’s a whole different story!) so I was less than optimistic about the storms holding out.
With our rain coats and hoods, we headed about a mile down the road to site of the show. We climbed up the wooden bleachers and found a nice spot to sit so we could see everything. I was getting pretty anxious as dark clouds kept looming over us. It is
Also included in the opening ceremonies was an introduction of the men playing the parts of the soldiers and the Indians. Each group marched in separately and were given their own time in the spotlight. I have to say, I got more excited when I watched the 7th Cavalry march in to the tune of Garryowen- that’s definitely the closest I’ll ever get to watching the real 7th Cavalry, led by George Custer, march to the famous tune. It was cool to see the men who had stopped in our museum so many times during the week and who we shared many conversations with sitting on their horses in character. I kept saying “There’s our friend (insert name here)!” whenever I recognized someone we had met previously.
Although I was there mainly to see the battle, I was delighted to find out that part of the show was a short overview of important events in Western History depicted by re-enactors. I obviously have a soft spot for Custer, Sitting Bull and the
As the show moved on, the clouds got darker and darker and the rain finally started to trickle down. We whipped out our rain coats and hoods and sat through the first drops. I was just hoping it would hold off long enough for the battle scene. Finally, the stage was set and the battle began. The rain got harder and harder and the emcee started yelling “This is the
We started to walk down the bleachers, already soaked as the rain poured down harder. I looked across the river one last time only to see Custer and his men charging down into the fray: the re-enactors had decided to have a Last Stand regardless of the weather! Instead of running towards the car, we ran closer to the river trying to make out the battle through the pouring rain. I never did see Custer die because of the chaos (but I guess that’s how it would have really been that day!), but the excitement of it was enough to satisfy me. Once we got to the car, we were soaked from head to foot and the parking lot (a field) had already turned to mud. I know that I would have enjoyed it either way, but I actually think the rain made for a better story and certainly a funny afternoon. I’ll never forget the moment I watched the men charge down to complete the re-enactment even though everyone was told to leave. After meeting them in the museum this past week, I would not have expected anything less from these men. They love what they do and are dedicated to sharing the story of the