Battle of the Little Bighorn, battlefield artifacts, George Armstrong Custer, shell casings, bullets, Seventh Cavalry


Archaeologists have identified over a thousand shell casings and bullets at the site of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Many theories on the nature of the battle, the effectiveness of the weapons, and the location of the fighting have been proposed by the location of these artifacts. But there are major problems in interpretation. Only about 1% of the supposed artifacts remain, and the vast majority were plundered long ago. The artifacts are suspect because there is no way to know if they actually had anything to do with the battle or if they were added later. Any analysis made on the bases of the remaining shell casings and bullets must be made with these limitations in mind.

Original Publication Citation

Winkler, A. (2017). Physical Evidence and the Battle of the Little Bighorn: The Question of Interpretation. The Brian C. Pohanka 30th Annual Symposium Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Assn., Inc., 36-51.

Document Type

Peer-Reviewed Article

Publication Date


Permanent URL


Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association, Inc.




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