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Old 05 Jan 16, 02:00
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Real Name: Alan Johnson
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Originally Posted by Drusus Nero View Post
I'm going to venture an opinion on this man...Here you go Gambrinus, I'll welcome you to comment on my posts anytime, good bad or indifferent as you may see fit!

I do believe that GAC was guilty of failing to recon the Indian 'ville' he ran across at Little Big Horn. His brash, glory seeking actions and failure to co-ordinate his split command cost him dearly.
Fluffy answered this pretty well. The situation called for making quick decisions on the fly. The experience of the Army was that the Indians would run from any large force and the main problem was to contain them. Custer believed this so did everyone up and down the chain of command. The Army ordered three columns into the Powder River Country, not to cooperate with each other but to cut off three directions of travel except east, back to the reservation. Each was considered large enough to take on the Lakota and Cheyenne, even Gibbon's Montana column of just 400, combined infantry and cavalry. If you understand that, you have a little more insight on Custer's thinking.

[/QUOTE]Custer knew darned well how to handle a big encampment, and that was to wait for the pack train with the gattling guns. Sending 240 plus people in a pincer attack when you should have stuck together in a covenient position of natural defense is inexcusable, to say the least.[/QUOTE]

The pack train did not have gatling guns. The Reno Powder River scout a week before took along a gatling and it was nothing but a pain in the butt. They had to unlimber it several times and hoist it up slopes. Plus don't think the gatlings have the effectiveness of machine guns. They jammed easily, they were mounted on artillery frames meaning they could not be panned across a broad spectrum of fields of fire. Gattlings were left back at the Powder River Depot, with the 100-man garrison the 7th left there to safeguard supplies that were offloaded by the steam boats.

[/QUOTE]Armstrong let his judgement carry him away whilst ignoring the military realities that could have easily shown themselves to be the case with a little time spent observing the village, counting lodges to get an idea of umbers, or simply looking at the number of horses in the corral to get a fair idea of what he was up against.[/QUOTE]

Corral? Are you serious? There were thousands of ponies spread across several acres of bench land to the west of the villages.

[/QUOTE]I do not believe he had US. Grant in mind at all, more like his own chances of getting to be a General again. He was only a Brevet Colonel, had been demoted after the ACW finished, and was looking to get his reputation and standing with the government back in the good books.[/QUOTE]

Custer was not a "brevet colonel." He was a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army. In the Civil War the Union Army grew so fast that a lot of junior officers were generals in very short time. But these were brevet ranks. Custer commanded a Division of cavalry at the war's end. He was a brevet Major General. It was customary to address civil war veteran officers by their brevet rank, though they had only the pay and responsibility of their actual rank. At the end of the War Custer reverted to the rank of captain, but was promoted to LTC when the 7th was organized. He had defacto command in the field in the west, because Colonel Sam Sturgis stayed behind. Prior to heading to the Dakota, the 7th was spread all around they western southern states on reconstruction duty.

[/QUOTE]The Sioux with Gall and Two Moons outnumbered Custer's command alone. They fended off Benteen's attack rather easily, and besieged his position until they were forced to quit the field to move their lodges before the bulk of Crook's soldiers arrived.[/QUOTE]

Two Moons was a Cheyenne. As has been said, Reno led the attack on the south end of the village. Crook was fishing on Goose Creek more than 100 miles away near the present day city of Sheridan, WY. You are thinking of the Montana Column under the command of Col. Gibbon, himself a brevet General. He was joined by the Dakota Column infantry and General Terry's command group. Terry was Department of the Missouri commander and both Gibbon and Custer were subordinate to him. Crook commanded the Department of the Platte and as such was in command of the Wyoming Column, which retreated after the Battle of the Rosebud one week before the Little Big Horn Battle.

[/QUOTE]Full credit to people like Rain in the Face and Sitting Bull for seeing the situation as it was, rather than they way they would like it to have been. The Sioux also had better rifles, more horses, and were defending their home and loved ones.[/QUOTE]

Sitting Bull had nothing to do with the battle, so made no tactical decisions. He helped the women and children move out of danger up the west bench where the ponies were. In fact the Lakota and Cheyenne had no generals. No one centrally planned the battle, warriors fought on their own hooks, though they would follow the lead of leaders they respected. It was not a coordinated take down of Custer. Horses had little to do with the battle other than transporting Custer's command to the spot where they died. The Lakota and Cheyenne moved into the battle area mostly on foot. The soldiers fought as dismounted skirmishers, every fourth soldier holding four horses. The Lakota and Cheyenne had everything from bow and arrow, to muzzle loaders and perhaps as many as 200 repeating rifles. These rifles had shorter range and threw smaller rounds, but they were faster. When the Indians worked their way close, the repeaters were very effective. The army's Springfields had greater range and threw bigger chunks of lead. They are very effective when fired in volley under an experienced commander. But the terrain at LBH allowed the warriors to work their way close by stealth.

[/QUOTE]Custer was a vain glory seeker, taking ill advised gambeles with a command with not enough firepower or support to do the job he set them, let alone eliminate the entire village encampment.[/QUOTE]

He was not there to eliminate the village. The point was to force them back on the Greater Sioux Reservation, which at that time comprised all of western South Dakota. Custer may have originally conceived a pincher attack, but abandoned that. He sent two notes to hurry Benteen and the ammo packs. He was on Battle Ridge waiting for Benteen and the warriors came up after them, largely by stealth, something they did not expect.
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