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Skeletal remains of a 7th CAVALRY HORSE killed in action by hostile fire at the Battle of Little Bighorn and excavated at the battle site, belonging to General George Custer’s blacksmith, Pvt. John Sivertsen. The sun-bleached bones were found partially exposed along Marcus Reno’s retreat route and led to an archaeological excavation which yielded a rich treasure trove of artifacts from the horse’s saddlebag identified as having been owned by Private Sivertsen.


A poignant reminder of the brutality of the battle, “THE SIVERTSEN HORSE” is among the most well-documented casualties of the legendary “Custer’s Last Stand”. Sivertsen, a private in the 7th Cavalry somehow survived the massacre, but his horse was less fortunate, suffering a bullet to the head that eventually brought the beast down while attempting to retreat. Killed in action by Indian hostile fire, the horse remained undisturbed from the day it fell until its excavation in 1999. The skull was subsequently recovered, along with the bullet still inside the head.


The Sivertsen Horse bones were discovered on the private property of Jason Pitsch,President and owner of the RENO BATTLEFIELD MUSEUM, and were a part of the museum’s extensive collection. Pitsch, owner of 30,000 acres of land in the area of Little Big Horn, started collecting and catalo