Visiting any battlefield can be a spiritual experience, which was the case for me the first time I visited the Little Bighorn Battlefield. So many things struck me that day, and one of them was when I was driving up from the Reno-Benteen site going to Weir’s Point. I spotted a lone soldier marker near the road that had a pull off area. Curious, I pulled in, walked to the marker and saw the words inscribed on that marker: Vincent Charles, Farrier.
By John Rice, MTSSAR, Don Reed, MTSSAR, and Kerry O’Connell, MontanaHistorian.com
One of the joys for us at MontanaHistorian.com, is the connections that we make. Connections with those who know history, appreciate history, share history, and research history. We’ve written before about the threads of stories that are woven into Montana’s rich heritage. Many Civil War veterans have stamped their legacy in our stories of vigilantes that helped form the state that we call home.
Some of the most fascinating examples of human gallantry and sacrifice are ones that we may never know about. In January of 2020, a friend of mine who happens to be an Asian American, invited me to Three Forks for a memorial dedication. My friend, David Chung, is a Vietnam Veteran and had been invited to speak at the dedication due to his involvement with the Department of Montana Military Order of the Purple Heart (find them on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/MontanaPurpleHeart/).
When most of us think of Montana connections with our nation’s Civil War I would bet that nothing much comes to mind. After all, we didn’t even become an organized territory until 1864. The Confederate Army didn’t come within a thousand miles of Montana and what Federal troops that were here were preoccupied with chasing the Lakota along the Yellowstone River and in the Powder River country. That’s not to say the Civil War didn’t touch Montana.