On the Greasy Grass, Gen. Custer and his troop met their fate at the hands of the Cheyenne and Sioux.
Indians (1), Custer (0), Custer had it coming !!!
Classic case of arrogance, splitting forces and underestimating the enemy. We studied the battle in Officer Advanced Course. LTC Custer could not have made worse choices. The only thing I can say as an old Cavalry Officer is, Custer was audacious. Unfortunately his men paid the ultimate price as a result.
My grandfather was born 1876.Been there and it seemed like poor ground to fight over? Bud.
Ropkey Armor Museum ...
Many years ago I picked up a Buda engine for transport that Fred Ropkey had sold.
He invited me to tour his " little museum ".
What I remember was a Bell X-14 he had come into possession of after a crash - he had restored it :
One of the two Gatling guns Custer left behind because he thought they would slow him down in his
pursuit of Indians at the Battle of the Little Bighorn .....
Fred has since passed away - the museum closed - the contents sold last year .....
What made Custer's defeat egregious was the incredibly one-sided loss of life, and the fact that In the public eye, he was a "super star" in spite of official censure.
A year later Gen. Howard's lack of judgment resulted in what was possibly an even worse tactical defeat at Camas Meadows by 30 odd Braves of Chief Joseph's retreating band of Nez Perce, but as I recall (?) only two troopers were killed.
Just curious, Rob - was that action covered in your Officer Advanced Course ? Military history can be a fascinating study !
Custer graduated last in his class at West Point in 1861. A portent of things to come.
Custer was considered an asset by Command but was disdained by his men.
Although never formally stationed - he camped near Fort Hayes in Kansas - that is a place worth visiting.
Its about fire power! Custer had single shots while the Indian's had repeaters.
Custer was born just a few miles from where I live, New Rumley, Ohio.
Still many folks with the Custer name in the area.
What "portent" John C. ? Incredible successes as a cavalry commander beginning with First Bull Run and rapid promotion to Brevet Major General ? It's been popular the past 50 years or so to tear down all heroes. There's far more to Custer than his inglorious demise. The Little Big Horn will be debated as long as there's any interest in those legendary times. A lot of "brilliant" simplistic criticism has been offered since 1876 with the benefit of hindsight.
Hindsight is 20-20 only if we learn from it.Bud.
I will be spending 9 days at the Michigan National Guard base named after him in July. It is Fort Custer Combined Training for the US Naval Sea Cadets (of which my son and I are members) and I'll be Assistant Division Officer for the Motor Vehicle Maintenance training. I did it last year, boy was it fun.
Custer wile stationed in the Texas panhandle came across a small grope of Comanche warriors on horse back . He ordered his men to intercept the Indians . The Indians keep there distance , but did not try to out run the cavalry . Custer decided it was not worth the time for such a small group of Indians and returned to his headquarters . Good call . If he had keep after the Indians ,he most likely would have never seen the Little Big Horn . The small grope of Indians were leading hem to the main body of Comanche force of around 600 Comanche .
I remember an interesting "what if" twilight zone called "The 7th is made of phantoms" that i watched as a boy, putting a group of tankers in the battle as food for thought...they still perished...
Dale, thanks for posting those pictures of some of the monuments at the battle field site. Interesting comment on our various stations in life. The "officers and gentlemen's" remains were eventually re-interred in more genteel cemeteries . . . The enlisted men remain "on the lone prairie" with their ponies. Ever wonder what kind of men those troopers were ? Often shady characters on the dodge, tougher than nails, meaner than snakes and much given to desertion. Rough "little guys" by today's standards. You had to weigh in at no more than 140 pounds to be a cavalryman in those days.
Ed, I remember that episode too!
Every New Years day the SciFi channel runs Twilight Zone Shows all day. I always try to catch that one, its a favourite.
that program was a Who's Who of late 1950's- mid 1960's character actors and some youngins that hadnt hit the big time yet.
I cant remember the names of the other two, but thats Warren Oates in the centre of your picture.
Captain Reno also fought at Little Big Horn. He and most of his men survied The natives left when the other group of US soldiers under Gen. Terry came. The U.S. gave out more medals to Reno's men that actually were there. G. Custers brother was allso lost in the battle as well as a nephew. His nephew was late and road into the battle after asking an other soldier where Custer was. Clusters men had 1873 45:70 Springfields (trapdoor model- low arch) and the American Indians had 1873 model Winchester. I have one of each. G Custer was with General Grant and it was Custer that brought the note from Robert E Lee to Grant ending the Civil War. The table where the document ending the war signed was given to Custer to give to his wife Libby.
I think a Custer era trapdoor Springfield has a "High Arch" and the later ones a "low Arch" trap door. I do have both a high arch and a low arch examples. Custer lore is interesting. A book named "Morning Star" and others give you an insight into Geo. A. Custer. The American Indians called him "Yellow Hair". A famous photo of President Lincoln visiting leading generals during the Civil War includes Custer. Custer was with Grant at Gettysburg. He led an exploral group in to the Black Hills in about 1874.
I would think the number of 1873 Winchesters in the hands of the Indians were very few do to availabity and high cost?? Other than the huge number of Indians, Custers men had them out gunned with the 45/70 compaired to the 44 cal or 44/40?? Bud.PS,Yes with both the Winchester and Henry you shot a lot until you had to reload but when they did reload was it any faster than the trained troops?? I have doubts because only on tv can you shoot forever,and how much ammo did the Indians have? Bud.
There is a book or books floating around out there . With the title Custer at the Alamo . It was it in a antique store window ,they were closed and by time I got around to check it out , it was gone . I would like to find another if someone has a copy . I do know the U.S.Army leased the ruined buildings of the Alamo in 1847 from the Catholic Church as a quartermaster's depot . The army repaired the Alamo , putting a roof on the chapel and capping the west façade with its distinctive parapet. At the time of the 1836 battle with G. Santa Anna's army the west side of the church was flat across the top . The army used the buildings until 1861 ,when the Confederate forces took command . After the Civil War the U.S. Army resumed its use of the buildings. The army used the buildings until Fort Sam Houston was built in 1877.
there were 2 of my distant relatives at Little Big Horn … 1 ( a trooper ) is in the mass grave … the other ( an officer) served with Custer and the 7th since the Civil War later died of alcoholism … I have wondered how our revisionist historians would view Custer IF he had the Gatling guns on site and the battle had been a massacre of the native forces … would he be a strategic genius and hero or would he be viewed as a criminal like Chivington here in Colorado ? like comparing apples and oranges I know … Custers service had been of great strategic value many times during his career … he deserves far more respect for his lifetime of service … my opinion , BUT I stand by it ...always an optimist ...gene french
Begging your pardon, Darel, but Grant was at Vicksburg Mississippi during the battle at Gettysburg. Vicksburg was a decisive battle that cut the Confederacy in two. Grant celebrated July 4, 1863, inside a conquered Vicksburg. The book, Son of the Morning Star, by Evan Connell is a worthy read for those interested in the remarkable life & death of G. A. Custer.
More recent Custer book; Custer's Trials by T.J. Stiles (2016)
Typical modern day revisionist history. Custer lost, so he's backward dumb idiot who refused to follow orders........ If he had won, he'd be a racist white supremacist who raped and pillaged and tortured women and children.......
Hal, youre being much too harsh on the boy general! who says he cant be both?
Of all the cinematic portrayals I'll bet Little Big Man probably was closer to the truth than Santa Fe Trail or They Died With Their Boots On.
Great read this morning, gentlemen!! Been to the Little Big Horn twice now and have thoroughly enjoyed both times. Also went to Fort Phil Kearny where Red Cloud wiped out 79 troops and 2 civilians some ten years before the Little Big Horn. Crazy Horse apparently “mooned” the troops into the trap that Red Cloud had set up for them there. Of course Crazy Horse was a major player at the Little Big horn!!
I believe that Custer was assigned to fend off JEB Stuart at Gettysburg so he couldn’t attack from the rear of Cemetery Ridge, during the main battle, which he successfully did. Pluses and minuses, gentlemen. He was one hell of an interesting individual!!
Several small bits of information in this mornings read that I was unaware of. Much thanks.
Agree Ron, that G.A.Custer was made for legend, and have some relation to him too, as the family name was changed from Kuster, where I have ancestors.
A really good researched book on the life and death is Dr. Lawrence A. Frost's "Custer Legends" 1981, Popular Press.
About the best way to describe his achievements, known in person by those around him, is Custer's Luck , that was always with him, but in that last fight, he ran out of his luck.
BTW, Custer's Luck is also a book title, a real good fact based read on George Custer's military life, "Custer's Luck", Edgar I. Stewart, Univ. of Oklahoma Press, 1955, 521 pages.
If the natives had just killed those first white guys getting off the boat history as we know it would never had happened. Sometimes I think what North America would look like if that would had happened. There would still be waring tribes, But I wonder how things would had turned out. I'm sure there would still be millions of buffalo roaming free.
With no outside influence, I suspect North America would look much the same way today as it did then.
Our American history is made of man's desires, something that will always be with us. Those Americana natives after the first settlements in the east, became fond of trading with the advances too.
By trading furs from hunts, with the new arrivals, their tribes gained. That fur trade became paramount. But in the end, American natives suffered from the same age old progression of developing natural resources. Man and woman events that march onward the same from eons ago to today. And today we are discussing settlements on Mars! What a trip to be part this wondrous world.
Well, what ever your opinion of Custer is and regardless of what the history books teach, the two understandable facts about what happened on that day 142 years ago are #1 he got his ass kicked and #2 unfortunately he took a lot of good men with him.
If the Cheyanne and Sioux had checked their calendars they would have seen that 1876, the centennial year for our country was a poor time for such a monumental US defeat. This battle caused a step up to defeat the Indians and it could be argued that this spelled the end of tribal life as it had existed.