Artifacts And Archives From Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Heading South For Safekeeping





Sometime this summer a truck, or trucks, loaded with artifacts and papers at Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument in Montana, will slowly pull away from the monument and set out on a 20-or-so-hour drive south.

When the truck, or trucks, pull into the National Park Service's Western Archaeological and Conservation Center in Tucscon, Arizona, workers will unload roughly 150,000 artifacts and archives tied in some fashion to the U.S. Army's 7th Cavalry's darkest days in June 1876.

For at least a quarter-century Park Service officials have known they needed to better care and protect the items, which include hunting buckskins belonging to Gen. George Armstrong Custer, who was among the 263 soldiers who died in a two-day battle with vastly superior numbers of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.

Back in 1986, during preparation of the monument's general management plan, a need for better curatorial facilities was recognized. But a lack of land on which to build such a facility in combination with a new visitor center has prevented that aspect of the GMP from being realized....


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