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 (1866-1899) Other 19th Century Battles    
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morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
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E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/25/2016 10:01:44 AM
Reno is deserving of condemnation. Benteen I give a bit of a break. Custer had four different forces at work. His own battalion of two wings, Reno`s battalion, the pack mules under McDougal. Benteen`s battalion that was sent off to the southwest in a CYA move to try and conform to the requirements, if not the spirit of Terry`s orders, "once you begin to cross towards the Little Bighorn, constantly feeling to the south and the west to insure the hostiles do not escape in that direction" the reason Terry wanted this exploration was a timing issue...to allow Terry`s own column more time to get to the Bighorn and Little Bighorn on the 26th and be in position before Custer initiated any action against the hostiles.( Custer was also supposed to "explore the upper reaches of Tullock`s Creek..which he did not do, and Herrendeen was supposed to go by way of Tullocks pass to report to Terry of the situation...Custer did not consent to Herendeen when he told Custer "this is where I am to take my leave." By sending out Benteen, Custer could say he conformed to his orders, but by doing so at the same time he began his attack, he removed Benteen and his men from the action...at least for some long period of time.
Benteen had no idea of the exact plan of the attack. he had no idea what Custer was up to. Only when Martini arrives with the message, "Big village. Come quick. Bring packs. PS bring packs." did he have any knowledge of the situation, and his questioning of Martini in an attempt to get more information was a wasted effort. It appeared, from what Martini said, that Custer had caught the village by surprise, Reno was attacking the village "and killing everybody" and that the Indians were on the run....all of which was not the case. "Does Custer need me, or the supply packs?"
One wonders why Custer did not send one message to Benteen to come quick...and a separate message to McDougal to hurry up the pack-train as fast as possible. Instead, he saddled his only reserve support with the added burden of bringing up the pack mules, which was not something that could be done "quick." Benteen had no way of knowing that Custer was distancing himself from his support with every minute, or that Reno had halted his attack and lost control of the situation that faced him.
While Benteen hated Custer, and he did not perform his duties in the most accepted military manner, Benteen did save most of the rest of Custer`s command from the same fate that Custer`s battalion suffered. These Indians were not going to "skedadle." Even Benteen did not realize the determination of the Sioux and Cheyenne at little Bighorn. During the night of the 25th, Benteen instructed his men to rest rather than dig rifle pits like Reno`s men were doing. Benteen felt the hostiles would be leaving the next morning. He had no idea they were so determined to try to finish off Reno`s command the next day...right up to the point that Terry`s column was detected.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 5939
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/25/2016 10:38:10 AM
Such a fitting and inglorious end to a most vile venture.

I appreciate that man's inhumanity to his fellow man was at a very low ebb in the USA at this time; but it is echoed over the centuries by other countries of the world.The Crusades,the War of the Roses,The Massacre of the Heugenots in France,The Byzantine Massacre of the Latins and Turkey's many massacres.

Killing almost became a Field Sport and I exclude modern wars here because they are political and quite apart from bloodthirsty killing.

Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/25/2016 6:26:55 PM
War is hell!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 342

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/26/2016 1:22:26 AM

Quote:
War is hell!
--Michigan Dave

Except if your an Industrialist or a politician............TIC

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 342

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/26/2016 3:26:14 PM
Of note, while we kick Custer for being and arrogant ambitious dick, some of the company officers managed to keep a handle on their men, form skirmish lines (can' remember which two company's... (L and K?)while under fire, with poorly trained men and a very aggressive and frightening enemy descending on them. Remarkable.

A few years ago now, I read a brilliant novel about the battle which went into quite a lot of detail of the battle itself and those final moments on Last Stand Hill. Can't remember the damn name for the life of me but it was a great read!
I'm always open to suggestions for historical works on this battle if anyone can recommend some......
Cheers

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/26/2016 4:55:45 PM
I recommend three books.

1...."A Terrible Glory" by James Donovan. A good read with insights of the battle written years after the forensic battlefield study.
2...." Son of the Morning Star" by Evan S. Connell. highly recommended, but just a warning, it is not written in chronological order. Connell has a way of drifting off the main story into very informative side stories that are really quite interesting.
3.... "Where Custer Fell" by the late Brian Pohanka, James S Brust and Sandy Barnard. This is a study of the photographs of the battlefield with the basic story of the battle and comparisons of old photos and new photographs which show how some grave sites were not properly positioned. Interesting here and now exact photo comparisons.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Jim Brinton
Harper's Ferry, WV, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 74

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/26/2016 5:33:31 PM
To those I would add:

"The Last Stand" by Nathaniel Philbrick, and "Custer's Luck" by Edgar Stewart.

JB

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 8:42:51 AM
When it comes to this battle, The Native American take on it,

is really the only 1st hand account of what actually happened to Custer!?

Love to go there 1 day!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 10:26:01 AM
I would also add, to those who hold Custer in high contempt because of the manner of war he made upon the Plains Indians...he was carrying out the orders of Grant, Sherman, and Sheridan. Sheridan decided to attack winter encampments because of the increased vulnerability of the Indian during that time. The battle along the Little Bighorn was the result of a policy to provoke the Indians into a confrontation that would lead to their destruction. And, ultimately, because of Custer`s blunders, that was the result.
But, lets also remember that "others" were also as bad or worse. "Field Marshall, His Most Honorable" Jeffery Amherst-1st Baron of Amherst was one of the early proponents of germ warfare when he devised a plan to transmit smallpox from his hospitals to the Native tribes during "Pontiac`s War." Blankets, taken from the hospital beds of stricken British soldiers, were given as gifts to Indians who showed up to parley as a deliberate method of transmission to the Indian populations. (Wonder if he got the idea from the Mongols in the Crimea.)The effects of smallpox, as well as measles, upon the North American tribes was far more genocidal in numbers than the battle tactics of men like Custer.
As for Custer, there is much to admire in the man...and much to despise. He was brave to a fault, a trait that was used very much by his superiors. The man was utterly tireless on campaign. He also became a man who felt that the Indians were being cheated by the US government through the galling corruption of the Grant administration.
That said, he was also a tremendous hypocrite. He would have men punished for being somewhat out of regulation dress...while he designed his own uniform dress. He had men flogged and brutally punished for being absent without permission...while he himself absented his command to visit his wife during a typhoid outbreak. He was constantly ahead of his column of march, not for scouting purpose, but because he was hunting game. So much so that even Terry was getting angry about it. He chided Major Reno for not obeying orders, while he was a pro at skirting orders.
Benteen understood Custer.
When the substance of a letter written to a friend by Benteen, critical of Custer`s conduct on the Washita, was made public in a newspaper article...Custer called an officer`s meeting and demanded to know who had been the original author, with the threat that "I will thrash the man who did it." Benteen, stepped briefly outside the tent, checked the chamber of his pistol, then went back inside and asked to see the newspaper article. He handed it back to Custer and said, "I am the source of the letter...and am ready for that thrashing now."
Custer had the good judgement to let it go.

Respects, Morris

---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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Posts: 5939
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 11:21:32 AM
Thanks Morris- for the very frank and illuminating report on Custer and those he served under-Grant,Sheridan and Sherman; who presumably were acting on the orders of the Government of the day. One wonders what would Lincoln's attitude have been about this treatment of the Plains Indians.??

Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 11:24:54 AM
Excellent take Morris. Thank you.
I think you're right to point out that Custer was following orders from Grant, Sherman and Sheridan and that they bare much of the responsibility.

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 2:06:02 PM
Morris, I'm not sure what the reference to Amherst has to do with Custer and Little Big Horn.


Unless you are trying to point out that Europeans have been shooting First Nations almost since their arrival here.

Look up the Beothuks on Newfoundland. The Europeans shot them on sight because they were in the habit of taking things if someone wasn't using it. That tribe was wiped out.


So the British colonists in the 13 colonies managed to push the Indians to the west or to pacify them.

But the events on the plains were part of a US plan to eliminate the Indians as a factor limiting their expansion. That was on their watch.


RE: Amherst and biological warfare. There is a debate about whether he just discussed it or actually carried it out.

Certainly there is a collection of Amherst's letters in which the scheme was discussed.

Remembering of course that Jeffrey Amherst was in charge when the French were defeated in North America, we acknowledge that he didn't do a well against the Indians.

He was accused of telling subordinates that it would be OK to distribute small pox infected blankets among the Indians during Pontiac's Rebellion.

If it happened, it probably happened at Fort Pitt.

The introduction of disease to the enemy camp seems to have had a long history in Europe.


The pursuit and destruction of the Indians on the plains seems to be a similar goal to extirpate the Indians with different methodology.


Cheers,

George


morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 4:17:31 PM
Jim, we always spend so much time trying to divine what Lincoln would have done had he led the reconstruction...yet I never really engaged in thought about how the Indian wars might have proceeded under Lincoln. Very interesting "what if."
All I can say is that, in 1862, Lincoln had to deal with the "Sioux Uprising" in Minnesota. Over 300 captured Indian prisoners were put on trial by military tribunal. They were not given counsel, or any opportunity to defend themselves. There were as many as 40 trials a day,(if one can call them trials.) They were convicted and given sentence of death, but the executions had to be approved by the Commander and Chief. Lincoln, did a review of the trials, (this in the midst of civil war) and determined that 39 would indeed be hung. So Lincoln seems to deem the Indians worthy of some form of judicial oversight and fairness. But, those 39 who were executed had also been denied rights to a defense and rammed through quickly. So, was Lincoln merely moderating the degree of injustice?
While Lincoln would most likely not have been in office by the time of Custer`s defeat, much of the westward expansion, and the legislation creating the railroads was done by Lincoln. It is interesting to wonder how he might have reacted to the pressures of "manifest destiny."

George, while it is hard to make the absolute connection between Amherst and the smallpox inoculation of the Natives, we have the Journal of William Trent that clearly states that blankets and a handerkerchef from the hospital was given to Indians who came to parley at the fort. He presented a statement to the crown that billed for 2 blankets, and one silk and one linen handkerchef and clearly mentions it was to replace those items from hospital that were handed over to the Indians for the purpose of transmitting the smallpox. It was certified by the commanding officer of Ft. Pitt, and was signed and allowed by General Gage. Because of the letters that survive from Amherst, it cannot be denied that, even had he not known of the plan...his statements in the letters...as well as past statements about the need to eradicate the savages by any means, inform us that the plan would have met with his approval....if it did not indeed have such approval.
And the Indian lore is that the mass deaths in the Ohio valley was the direct result of the passing of the pox through blankets given them as tokens.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 6:58:05 PM
Thanks Morris, the letters are certainly damning.

Not to spread rumours but there are some sites, usually First Nations sites that suggest that George Washington was a proponent of germ warfare when he fought against Indian tribes as a member of the Virginia militia.

Have you ever heard that accusation?


I do know that he was quite concerned that the British would attempt to infect his army with smallpox during the Revolutionary War.


George

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 8:59:55 PM
George, I have read some of that on Native-American,( and how I hate that term, being that I am a native-American...I wish we would adopt the phrase "First Nation" it just is more sense), sites. But my reading of some such sites are akin to what one might expect from a fringe type site, so one must be careful. It can`t be entirely rejected...but I am not aware of anything that is what one could call reasonable evidence that Washington did such a thing. I do know that Washington, and others, felt very strongly that the British were sending inoculated carriers of "the bloody pox" out of Boston to infect his soldiers. His battalions were severely thinned by the illness...but, again, I am not sure there is any evidence that it was done by the British at Boston.
There is a much stronger case to be made for the Ft Pitt actions...and that Amherst at least had knowledge of, and encouraged such planning.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/27/2016 10:09:30 PM
Hi Morris, our First Nations people prefer that term so many of us use it. I actually like the sound of it.

They have been trying to teach us for so long that they aren't just one homogeneous group so FN lets us know that they come from many groups with different cultural practices.

I have also heard them say, "indigenous people". They don't use "aboriginal" very often.

And in Canada, they detest the term, "Indian" and that is probably because the administration of the reserve system and many other policies is under the flawed federal legislation called, the Indian Act.

Does the US have legislation that refers to "native Americans"?

I was reading something just last week and in the article, "native Americans" from your country were asked whether they were put off by the term, "Indian". They looked perplexed and said no, wondering why it should bother them.

It is the same thing with the term "Eskimo", which is a no-no in Canada but quite acceptable in Alaska. In Canada, it is Inuit and one person is Inuk.

I guess that all we can do is listen to them. I certainly accept no blame for what has befallen these people after the white man came but I do accept responsibility for the reconciliation process now underway in Canada.


RE: Washington. Is it true that he banned visits to his camps of family members from the Boston area when there was evidence of the pox there?

He also tried to get his men inoculated did he not?

I read that he was a smallpox survivor himself and so perhaps sensitive to the possible consequences of an outbreak among his forces.


Re: Use of name Amherst on national site is protested.

The name Amherst is found quite prominently in our country to honour the man. i understand that there are several places in your country that do the same.

Well on the island of Prince Edward Island is a Parks Canada historic site called, "Port-la-Joye–Fort Amherst "

One of the First Nations whose traditional lands this fort sits upon are the Mi'kmaq.

Note another change in practice. It has been awhile since I have seen the name of the FN group written as Mic-Mac (and pronounced Mick-Mack by some Canadians.

Anyway, they have asked for the name to be changed to something that reflects the people who actually lived there.

One representative of the Mi'kmaq, John Joe Sark has formally requested that the name be changed. He had this to say:


Quote:
"Gen. Amherst didn't even live here. He didn't even come here. He never visited here, he never came to P.E.I., so why would they bother giving Parks Canada site his name? To me, he was a tyrant and a barbarian,"

"He may be a hero to the colonial government or the Settlers' Society or whatever, but he's no hero to the Mi'kmaq people."

"His name is a grave insult to the Mi'kmaq people of Prince Edward Island, the Atlantic region and to the rest of the aboriginal people in Canada,"

"General Jeffery Amherst's ultimate goal was to exterminate the Mi'kmaq and other aboriginal peoples of North America."



So he isn't a very popular guy with the First Nations cultures.

But he is the top British military man when the French were defeated and kicked out of North America.

He was also Governor-General of British North America.

Historically, he was a pretty important man in the history of British North America and that includes the 13 colonies.


Now back to George Custer.


Cheers,


George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/28/2016 7:56:41 AM
And just who had Custer's back at the Little Bighorn????
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

anemone
DONCASTER S. YORKS, UK
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E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 5939
http:// 82.44.47.99
Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/28/2016 8:08:24 AM
Come Dave- you have misread the post-read it again-you will see that it is an invitation to go back to custer for another look.

Regards
Jim
---------------
Pro Patria Saepe Pro Rege Semper

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/28/2016 8:35:54 AM
Jim,

No I knew what you meant, I was just making light of "Having your back" an American saying meaning that you'll cover for the guy. Who ever had Custer's back, failed because we all know what happened to him! I think now knowing the whole story, Custer really was the "bad guy, or "stupid guy", in all of this? He certainly wasn't respectful or fair to Native Americans, even having relations with Indian Women, even though he was married, unfairly killing Braves, & unsuspecting Native Americans, in other so called battles! He was arrogant, brash, reckless, & even his subordinate officers disliked him!? What say Y'all is the bottom line for Custer???

BTW good thread!
MD
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/29/2016 4:35:46 PM

Quote:
And just who had Custer's back at the Little Bighorn????
--Michigan Dave


Dave, I guess you could say the men who had Custer`s back were the men who lay naked and horribly mutilated around him..including two brothers, a nephew, and a brother in-law. Captain Weir was a member of the "Custer cabal" who wanted to have Custer`s back. Weir was a broken man after he saw the bodies of so many of his friends, and a problem with alcohol became even more acute. He died back east a few months after the battle while on recruiting assignment...the cause was "soldiers heart" but was more likely due to his excessive drinking and deep depression. In many ways, though Wier did not fight on "last stand hill," it can be said that he died there as well.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/29/2016 4:46:11 PM

Quote:
To those I would add:

"The Last Stand" by Nathaniel Philbrick, and "Custer's Luck" by Edgar Stewart.

JB
--Jim Brinton



Jim, I was holed up at home, my leg in a soft cast having torn a calf in a tennis match the day before...and reading "Custer`s Luck"...when I watched the Challenger explosion on CNN live. One of those moments in time when you just don`t forget where you were or what you were doing!
I have not as yet read "The Last Stand" but will have to change that.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Jim Brinton
Harper's Ferry, WV, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 74

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 2/29/2016 9:12:34 PM

Quote:

Quote:
To those I would add:

"The Last Stand" by Nathaniel Philbrick, and "Custer's Luck" by Edgar Stewart.

JB
--Jim Brinton



Jim, I was holed up at home, my leg in a soft cast having torn a calf in a tennis match the day before...and reading "Custer`s Luck"...when I watched the Challenger explosion on CNN live. One of those moments in time when you just don`t forget where you were or what you were doing!
I have not as yet read "The Last Stand" but will have to change that.

Respects, Morris
--morris crumley


Hi Morris,
Another book that I should have mentioned is "Archaeology, History, and Custer's Last Battle" by Richard Allen Fox, Jr. It first appeared in 1988 as his Ph.D dissertation ("Discerning History through Archaeology: The Custer Battle" University of Calgary). The book details the two year (1984-85) project at LBH after the 1983 range fire. I thought is was quite good. He breaks the battle into "episodes"
An excerpt:
The Keogh Episode.
"We have seen in the archaeological record of the Keogh sector compelling reasons to believe that the action here was devoid of tactical unity. Plumbing the historical documents accordingly, we find contrary to to patronizing accounts of this episode, a stunning picture of mayhem - full disintergration within the right wing. But unlike Calhoun's force and C Company, both of which gave way under pressure, the right wing in this sector moved from stability to chaos primarily from the infectious nature of panic. Fear and disorder emerging from the Calhoun episodes spread to the Keogh portion of the field. About this time, emboldened warriors finding soldiers in the Keogh sector confused and vulnerable, pressed the attack." This episode goes on for several more pages of maps, photos and commentary.

JB


morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/2/2016 5:30:04 PM
Jim, I just wonder what you think about Dr. Fox`s conclusions. While his forensic study of the battlefield was important and enlightening, I don`t follow along with some conclusions. He seems to imply strongly that the "last stand" was myth. That, because they found fewer bullet casings in the area of Last Stand Hill...this indicates that it was more of a rout than many think. It is common knowledge that for nearly one hundred years relic hunters did a good bit of "collecting" on the Little Bighorn battlefield, especially in the rich environs of last stand hill. I have read where even in the late sixties park rangers lamented how much was being dug up and how there was little could be done.
It was hardly a well preserved site.
Just wondering what your thoughts are.
Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/2/2016 6:39:21 PM

Quote:
Jim, I just wonder what you think about Dr. Fox`s conclusions. While his forensic study of the battlefield was important and enlightening, I don`t follow along with some conclusions. He seems to imply strongly that the "last stand" was myth. That, because they found fewer bullet casings in the area of Last Stand Hill...this indicates that it was more of a rout than many think. It is common knowledge that for nearly one hundred years relic hunters did a good bit of "collecting" on the Little Bighorn battlefield, especially in the rich environs of last stand hill. I have read where even in the late sixties park rangers lamented how much was being dug up and how there was little could be done.
It was hardly a well preserved site.
Just wondering what your thoughts are.
Respects, Morris
--morris crumley


Good point Morris.

One of the big problems here in Europe, and you can imagine how many battlefields there are here, is the amateur " metal detector brigade" illegally digging up important archeological evidence for the "black market". Not to mention the occasional idiot blowing himself up. Hey ! I found a Russian Katushya rocket. Pass me the spade - Boom !

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

Jim Brinton
Harper's Ferry, WV, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 74

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/2/2016 8:29:07 PM

Quote:
Jim, I just wonder what you think about Dr. Fox`s conclusions. While his forensic study of the battlefield was important and enlightening, I don`t follow along with some conclusions. He seems to imply strongly that the "last stand" was myth. That, because they found fewer bullet casings in the area of Last Stand Hill...this indicates that it was more of a rout than many think. It is common knowledge that for nearly one hundred years relic hunters did a good bit of "collecting" on the Little Bighorn battlefield, especially in the rich environs of last stand hill. I have read where even in the late sixties park rangers lamented how much was being dug up and how there was little could be done.
It was hardly a well preserved site.
Just wondering what your thoughts are.
Respects, Morris
--morris crumley

Morris, I certainly agree that Dr. Fox's study was both important and enlightening, but, given the circumstances, I don't have the same difficulty accepting some of his conclusions concerning a lack of tactical unity in some units during the later phases of the battle. According to Donovan's "Terrible Glory," four of the regiment's companies had had no combat experience in the past seven years, and the other eight companies could only boast five skirmishes with an Indian foe over same period. Only 172 of Custer's men could claim to have fought Indians. Additionally, between October and May the 7th had recieved more than 200 recruits. I think that a lack of tactical unity was, in some cases, inevitable.

I don't believe the "Last Stand" is a myth. But I don't think that Dr. Fox's conclusions were shaped solely by the amount of expended cartridges found, and certainly I agree that, over many years, tons of forensic evidence has been hauled off of the field.

Important and enlightening, but certainly not the final wrap-up.

Respects,
JB

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 342

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 1:25:59 AM
So as far as the movies and tv productions go, where do we rate 'Son of the morning star' for accuracy compared to say 'Little Big Man' or 'They die with their boots on'(which is pretty woeful)?

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 7:23:59 AM
Little Big Man was an indictment of the way that First Nations were treated by the whites. It was an indictment of the American military and the penchant for the slaughter of Indians.
''
It was a comedic film with some serious social commentary. I may have to see it again.

A wonderful piece of acting by Chief Dan George of the Salish First Nation in Canada. He was nominated to receive an Academy Award for best supporting actor and won the best supporting actor in a number of other awards systems.

Chief Dan George was a real chief, an author, and an activist for his people.


I know that we are discussing the details of this battle and it is riveting stuff, seriously. But I have had a recent awakening regarding my country's relationship with the First Nations.

We have just finished a gut wrenching investigation of the residential schools to which FN kids were forced to attend. They were seized from their reservations. Many died in school. Many were abused. All of this to "kill the Indian in the Indian."

The Truth and Reconciliation Committee has told us the truth and now we must make it better.

We are also dealing with the huge number of FN's in our prisons, and with the deaths of indigenous women due to violence and at an appalling rate.


So as kids when we played cowboys and Indians, we gave no thought to how much these people were subjugated and how much they suffer still. Our television and movies portrayed them as caricatures and savages.

We need to remember that Custer was attacking a village full of women and children.

The husbands and sons rose up to defend them.

I am reading a great deal of empathy for the soldiers but this was an act of genocide.


Quotes from Chief Dan George


Quote:
“When the white man came, we had the land and they had the bibles. Now they have the land and we have the bibles.”



Quote:
“When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed this way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority. “



I am turning this into a social commentary rather than a discussion of things military and so I will back out.

But I want to leave you with the words of a speech given by Chief Dan George in Vancouver on July 1, 1967, the year of our centennial. He silenced the crowd in a stadium with this one.

It's hard not to cheer for the Indians at the Battle of Little Big Horn.


Chief Dan George, July 1, 1967


Quote:

Lament for Confederation

How long have I known you, Oh Canada? A hundred years? Yes, a hundred years. And many, many seelanum more. And today, when you celebrate your hundred years, Oh Canada, I am sad for all the Indian people throughout the land.

For I have known you when your forests were mine; when they gave me my meat and my clothing. I have known you in your streams and rivers where your fish flashed and danced in the sun, where the waters said 'come, come and eat of my abundance.' I have known you in the freedom of the winds. And my spirit, like the winds, once roamed your good lands.

But in the long hundred years since the white man came, I have seen my freedom disappear like the salmon going mysteriously out to sea. The white man's strange customs, which I could not understand, pressed down upon me until I could no longer breathe.

When I fought to protect my land and my home, I was called a savage. When I neither understood nor welcomed his way of life, I was called lazy. When I tried to rule my people, I was stripped of my authority.

My nation was ignored in your history textbooks - they were little more important in the history of Canada than the buffalo that ranged the plains. I was ridiculed in your plays and motion pictures, and when I drank your fire-water, I got drunk - very, very drunk. And I forgot.

Oh Canada, how can I celebrate with you this Centenary, this hundred years? Shall I thank you for the reserves that are left to me of my beautiful forests? For the canned fish of my rivers? For the loss of my pride and authority, even among my own people? For the lack of my will to fight back? No! I must forget what's past and gone.

Oh God in heaven! Give me back the courage of the olden chiefs. Let me wrestle with my surroundings. Let me again, as in the days of old, dominate my environment. Let me humbly accept this new culture and through it rise up and go on.

Oh God! Like the thunderbird of old I shall rise again out of the sea; I shall grab the instruments of the white man's success-his education, his skills- and with these new tools I shall build my race into the proudest segment of your society.

Before I follow the great chiefs who have gone before us, Oh Canada, I shall see these things come to pass. I shall see our young braves and our chiefs sitting in the houses of law and government, ruling and being ruled by the knowledge and freedoms of our great land.

So shall we shatter the barriers of our isolation. So shall the next hundred years be the greatest in the proud history of our tribes and nations.



morris crumley
Lawrenceville, GA, USA
top 10
E-9 Sergeant Major
Posts: 1187

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 10:21:58 AM

Quote:
So as far as the movies and tv productions go, where do we rate 'Son of the morning star' for accuracy compared to say 'Little Big Man' or 'They die with their boots on'(which is pretty woeful)?
--wazza


I would say that , of all movies about Custer and Little Bighorn, the best and most accurate is, by far Son Of The Morning Star. It is about as accurate as a film version of real events can get...and not be ten hours long. Some details are condensed and simplified. The best example involves the Reno-Benteen fight. The film depicts Capt. Wier leading his troop forward in an attempt to "go to the sound of the fighting." He and his troop are then confronted by overwhelming numbers of Indians and must flee back to the swale of Reno`s hill. Close to reality...but not quite. While Wier did advance to try and juncture with Custer, he was joined in that movement by Benteen and his H K and M troops as well. They advanced to what is now called Wier point, and threw out skirmish lines around the hills and observed some kind of action on a hill far off to the north. Then, Indians started moving in greater numbers towards their position, and as the point was not a satisfactory defensive position they all withdrew towards the limited protection of the swale on Reno Hill. The action was condensed...which is what most movies have to do.
"They Died With Their Boots On" is a work of fiction. "Custer Of the West" is another film that is fiction...and not good fiction either.
" Little Big Man" is a good work of fiction, but while I always was thankful that the American Indian was shown to be more real and human than ever before shown in film ( and "Dances With Wolves" was the best in that regard) the portrayal of Custer was a farce.

Respects, Morris
---------------
"You are a $70, red-wool, pure quill military genius, or the biggest damn fool in northern Mexico."

Jim Brinton
Harper's Ferry, WV, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 74

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 12:54:01 PM
Son of Morning Star is probably the best Custer movie out there. Little Big Man could have been a decent movie without portraying Custer as a buffoon.

JB

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 5285

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 9:04:25 PM

Quote:
Son of Morning Star is probably the best Custer movie out there. Little Big Man could have been a decent movie without portraying Custer as a buffoon.

JB
--Jim Brinton


There was a lot more to Little Big Man than the Custer event.

Jim Brinton
Harper's Ferry, WV, USA
top 50
E-4 Specialist


Posts: 74

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/3/2016 9:07:17 PM

Quote:

Quote:
Son of Morning Star is probably the best Custer movie out there. Little Big Man could have been a decent movie without portraying Custer as a buffoon.

JB
--Jim Brinton


There was a lot more to Little Big Man than the Custer event.

--George


Exactly.

JB

wazza
Sydney , Australia
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant
Posts: 342

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/4/2016 2:38:34 AM
I liked the portrayal of Custer in 'SOTMS', and yes the parody of Custer in LBM was annoying to me. Errol Flynn as Custer was more mocking...in my view.

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 3/5/2016 8:38:46 AM
Yes Wazza,

But Errol made Custer a good guy!!!
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 5/28/2016 5:36:07 AM
Look guys, I think there has been a bit too much 'noble savage'/'white man's guilt' anachronistic stuff - going on in this thread..

Just recall how vicious Sherman's subjugation of fellow white people ( & civilians at that) who'd been deemed 'rebels' was, just a decade earlier..

I'd suggest a viewing of the movie 'Black Robe' to get an idea of the indigenous perspective, & HBO show, 'Deadwood' for the US settlers position..

scoucer
Berlin, Germany
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 1923

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 5/28/2016 6:37:14 AM

Quote:
Look guys, I think there has been a bit too much 'noble savage'/'white man's guilt' anachronistic stuff - going on in this thread..

Just recall how vicious Sherman's subjugation of fellow white people ( & civilians at that) who'd been deemed 'rebels' was, just a decade earlier..

I'd suggest a viewing of the movie 'Black Robe' to get an idea of the indigenous perspective, & HBO show, 'Deadwood' for the US settlers position..

--James W.


Not sure what you mean here James. Haven't seen Deadwood here. Black Robe was, for me, dreadful. Hardly rated it all. And it is a completely different time, region and culture ( native and European ) than the Indian Wars post ACW on the Plains.

Oh Yeah. Welcome to MHO!

Trevor
---------------
`Hey don´t the wars come easy and don´t the peace come hard`- Buffy Sainte-Marie

Some swim with the stream. Some swim against the stream. Me - I´m stuck somewhere in the woods and can´t even find the stupid stream.

James W.
Ballina, Australia
top 15
E-8 Master Sergeant


Posts: 674

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 5/28/2016 7:19:16 AM
Cheers Trev, my point is.. you cant use current social/cultural values to judge those of the past..

'Black Robe' did clearly show the futility of that, & the predictably sorry outcome if the 'new' ideas are not accepted,
- it also showed many of the cultural values/practices of the indigenous peoples common to the wider Americas region.

'Deadwood'is IMO, def' worth a look, since it deals with the putative US ideal of unrestrained 'private enterprise',
& directly in an area that was off limits due to a 'treaty'- but which was nullified by the outcome of Little Big Horn..

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 2752

Re: Battle of the Little Bighorn --25 June 1876
Posted on: 12/21/2016 7:26:50 PM

Quote:
So as far as the movies and tv productions go, where do we rate 'Son of the morning star' for accuracy compared to say 'Little Big Man' or 'They die with their boots on'(which is pretty woeful)?
--wazza





Also Wazza,

As far as songs go we always have this!

[Read More]

get the point?
MD

And of course;

[Read More]
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

 (1866-1899) Other 19th Century Battles    
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