Garryowen

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Garryowen

Garryowen 59031,Billings Area

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Located at I-90 exit 514

Garryowen, the old Irish tune, was the regimental marching song of the 7th Cavalry, General Custer’s command.

The Battle of the Little Big Horn commenced in the valley just east of here June 25, 1876, after Custer had ordered Major Marcus A. Reno to move his battalion into action against the hostile Sioux and Cheyennes, led by Gall, Crazy Horse, Two Moons and Sitting Bull.

Reno, with 112 men, came out of the hills about 2 1/2 miles southeast of here and rode within 1/4 mile of the Indian camp where he was met by the hostiles who outnumbered the soldiers ten to one. Dismounting his men, Reno formed a thin skirmish line west across the valley from the timber along the river. After severe losses he was forced to retreat to high ground east of the Little Big Horn where he was joined by Major Benteen’s Command. The combined force stood off the Indians until the approach of Gibbon’s column from the north on the following day caused the hostiles to pull out. Reno and Benteen were not aware of Custer’s fate until the morning of the 27th.

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