Big Hole National Monument was on my must do list, not only because it was in my National Parks Passport Book but also because I have a tad of Indian in me.  When it came up that this Battlefield wasn’t far off our path on our way to Montana I made sure that this was something that we made time for.

Upon arrival we were both excited to get my stamp, hopefully a penny and to visit this monument.  When we entered the welcome center we briefly spoke with the ranger who informed us the next information movie had just started and strongly encouraged us to watch it as it explained more than the pamphlets or trails would.  Honestly, I didn’t want to but Jason is in to history and said we should, so I obliged.  Wow, am I glad I did, however, it made our energy level for visiting this place drastically decline and we became very somber and aware of what we were about to experience.

big hole
big hole national monument
Normally when we go places we are full of energy, ready for pictures, smiles and selfies.  This was not one of those experiences.  Selfies just didn’t seem honorable or right, however, we did get some snapshots for the experience and to share with you all.
To give you some background to this monument/battlefield this was a devastating attack on the Nez Perce tribe in 1877.  The Nez Perce were camped near Dillon, Montana when they were brutally attacked by the military.  The Nez Perce were being pushed out of their territory because of a new treaty which decreased their territory down to a tenth of the size it had once been.  On their 126 day, 1,177 mile journey through 4 different states to eventually settle in Idaho they were brutally attacked by the military in the early daylight hours.  This brutal attack not only lead to the deaths of between 60-90 men, women and children, yes, I said children, but also to the lack of trust and security this tribe had to make it to their final destination.

You can see the death and tragedy all around the trails but more importantly is the feeling of sadness and devastation throughout this battlefield while reliving this horrific, unexpected, unnecessary battle many years ago.  This battlefield is used as a memorial for those to remember their families and lost loved ones.  When you walk through the areas where they have the teepees you can see remnants of what loved ones have left behind in memory of their ancestors, which only adds to the sadness this place brings.

big hole nez perce
nez perce at big hole

Everything about this battle screams senseless and unnecessary, but in my opinion, that seems to be a lot of the chaos we hear about in the world right now and the mainstream media.  Too many lives gone, and for no real reason.

To read more about this tragedy please use the following link: