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American Age of Discovery, Colonization, Revolution, & Expansion Military history of North America. .

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  #226  
Old 08 Nov 15, 01:46
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Originally Posted by 17thfabn View Post
I wonder if ''Little Big Man'' was the first major movie to portray Custer in a negative way?

It seems like this era (1970) was a time when there started to be a more sophisticated view of the struggle between Native Americans and U.S. expansion.

This was also during a period when the military had become very unpopular with some due to the Vietnam War.
You might be right about the movie Little Big Man.
It's interesting that you brought this up because I recently watched the movie Posse filmed in 1975 and I was curious about the location of where it was filmed, but while reading online I discovered that Kirk Douglas who is very liberal produced, directed and starred in the movie and by design was aimed at the corruption of some politicians.

Kirk the marshal who wants to further his career to become a senator takes his posse and murders the bad guys rather than arrest them.

When the last bad guy [Bruce Dern] turns the table on Kirk, Kirk is willing to steal all the money the town has in order to save his own skin. In the end Kirks own posse turns on him as well as the town folk.

Another movie that caused a stir in politics [mainly senators] was "Mr. Smith goes to Washington" in 1939 starring Jimmy Stewart. I don't know if that movie was politically aimed but many politicians took it that way.
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  #227  
Old 08 Nov 15, 01:49
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FluffyBunnyFeet I am sorry if I derailed your thread, since I can't see your reply I will assume that you forgive me.

Thank you.
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  #228  
Old 05 Jan 16, 01:00
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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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  #229  
Old 05 Jan 16, 02:41
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The movie "Little Big Man" was mostly pure entertainment. It is a bit different from the book it was based on. I would opine it showed the Cheyenne as very human and just as flawed as the White Men. Old Lodge Skins used to go around bragging about his sexual conquests, but I think the movie only mentioned them twice. Perhaps the scene where the men were over run was accurate, but just about every archaeology study there finds new evidence and changes the story on Custer's Hill.

I can't say the portrayal of Custer was true to his life, but it could have made him something less than the Indian opinion. There is a popular bumper sticker that read "Custer died for your sins"...I like to think of Custer as somewhere in between the pendulum swings of opinion that have come out since. His widow, Libby, is responsible for the hero worship of Custer. I don't like him much.

I will touch on a few things mentioned above. The Cheyenne and Lakota did send small groups of warriors around to the rear of Custer. He sent a Troop to run off one group of 30 or so of them when he first got on the ridge. The recon mentioned was when several Crow climbed what is now called Crow's Nest to scope out the encampment. One book I read mentioned that Custer was becoming a bit near sighted. If so, that would explain him telling the Crows up in the Nest (he went up there after he found out the Crows could see the camp) "What great camp? I only see a bunch of dust!". He could also been lying and saw the village. Maybe a collapsing telescope would have helped him see?

The Cheyenne camps were on the far end of the village. That is why they did not participate on the assault on Reno. They were part of a large force that organized to go hit Reno, but by the time they reached the Ford, they were informed that there were Pony Soldiers on the ridge and they had been fought back up the ridge. Since these enemy were right up on the Village, the Lakota and Cheyenne went after the Custer Battalion.

There were camps for Reservation Indians and "Hostile" Indians in the village. They were not always next to each other. One "war chief" that does not get much mention here is Gall. He tried to get his family away and lost a wife or two and several children. He got the remains of his family away and then picked up a club and headed for Custer's position!

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  #230  
Old 12 Jan 16, 21:04
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Originally Posted by Von Richter View Post
If memory serves Custer dismissed his scouts just before the advance on the village, they legged it with a few captured Indian ponies. I believe those with Reno and Benteen took part in the fighting. Bloody Knife, a scout with Reno's command, certainly died in the initial charge.

You are mixing up the scouts. Custer set out from Dakota Territory with Several Arikaree warriors, who were long time enemies of the Lakota. But the "Rees" knew Dakota Territory, not the Powder River country of SE Montana Territory. When the decision was made on the Far West to send Custer up the Rosebud, while the rest came up the Big Horn, Custer was given six Crow scouts under Mitch Boyer, a French/Lakota who grew up with the Crow. The Crow were also long-time enemies of the Lakota. They knew the Powder River country well because it was part of the territory the Crow considered as theirs. The Ree were sent with Reno. They were given a mission of hitting the pony herd, with the horses to be their payment. The scouts with Custer's detachment were Crow. The agreement with Custer was that they were to find the Lakota/Cheyenne but had no obligation to fight. They were allowed to leave. Boyer stayed and died with Custer.
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  #231  
Old 20 Jan 16, 01:21
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You are mixing up the scouts. Custer set out from Dakota Territory with Several Arikaree warriors, who were long time enemies of the Lakota.
The Arikara scouts were under an experienced scout named Sergeant Bobtail Bull, I believe. That might deserve a thread of its own.
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  #232  
Old 21 Jan 16, 11:05
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Look, if I wanted to get out a reference, rather than working on memeory, hence all the errors, I would have.

I love the old West, but Custer is not a part of it i really wish to make a fuss about and work towards a better understanding of.

That fool killed more damn women and children than he had hot dinners.

He was a disgrace to west Point, and the personification of personal advancement at the expense of other people.

There is plenty to talk about in the Old west. People talked too much about Custer while he was alive.

We should concentrate more on his brothers, Tom and Boston. Tom custer had a remarkable Civil war career, but we never hear a damn about him, or boston for that matter.

Libby custer should have been LIVID with "Armstrong" for leading his entire generation to their doom at LBH/Greasy Grass.

Wonder what Custer's mother thought at the time? All three sons dead to indian fighting when they all survived the ACW? she must have been PISSED...

Vainglorious, arrogant, semi-educated, need i go on?

Disgrace to the Great country that is America and the Great people that are Americans.
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  #233  
Old 21 Jan 16, 17:01
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Thumbs up

Good 'un DN, that's something I've never considered before. Ma Custer's boys all came back from the Civil war intact, then were all slaughtered in one afternoon's savage fighting just over ten years later... poor women.

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Old 21 Jan 16, 17:58
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Boston Custer was a civilian who was too frail to pass a physical. Autie Reed was the son of Lydia Custer and was just 18. His scalp is on display at the Museum of World Treasures in Wichita, KS. Jimmi Calhoun was married to Maggie Custer.

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  #235  
Old 22 Jan 16, 02:18
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Good 'un DN, that's something I've never considered before. Ma Custer's boys all came back from the Civil war intact, then were all slaughtered in one afternoon's savage fighting just over ten years later... poor women.

Not all. One brother was too young to make the trip, and the current Custer Family line (including a George the IV whom I have met) lives on. Two of Custer's grand nephews served in future wars and became Colonels in the army. Brice won the Silver Star in Normandy, and George III served in Korea and Vietnam (where I believe he was also highly decorated). Ironically, Sitting Bull's great grandson also served in the Army and fought in Vietnam with the 101st Airborne.

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Old 22 Jan 16, 02:23
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That fool killed more damn women and children than he had hot dinners.
In just two battles against the Indians? You do realize that Indians killed women and children too, and that as a matter of policy. If non-combatants were killed at the Washita it was more of an incidental act than deliberate. This is like saying that Buckner was a murderer because soldiers and Marines under his command killed civilians on Okinawa. Get a grip.

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  #237  
Old 22 Jan 16, 13:21
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Another Custer worshippper...Good GREIF Charlie Brown!

Don't you think Ma Custer wanted Armtstrong to look after her boys, especially as he was running the show, calling the shots.

It's a living, breathing example of why you shouldn't put family members in the same unit.

Sullivan Brother's anyone?
Pals battalions?
When the "Titanic" hit the ocean floor off Grand Banks, most of the crew were from the same streets in Southampton. Whole communities were bereaved.

And whats the issue rate on Armstrong for books published compared to his brother, with TWO Medals Of Honour to his credit? 1050/1?

All George had to do was "OBSERVE, REPORT and FOLLOW", like any good security guard knows full well. Coming home at the end of the shift is the best choice. Most of those Indians were headed for a reservation anyway.

and, all he had to do after discovering "the biggest Indian Camp he'd ever seen" was to ****ing WAIT FOR SUPPORT!!!!, which was coming. IF they pulled up tents and got away, he could have easily followed their trail, it was only a mile wide after all, and they were chasing food, so attacking the camp was just IDIOCY in the strictest sense.

An "idiot" officially, is someone with an IQ of 20 or under. "Armstrong" proved, with brothers in tow, one of which should not have been there to start with, that he had an IQ of 17 at maximum.

All for his personal advancement?
all to "prove" he was the "stuff" of a General?
All to show that his antics in the ACW were not just so much "Jine the Cavalry"/Jeb Stuart/"Puffed up Cavalry" preening?

"

Yes Ma, " Armstrong said , "I will look after my brothers. particularly Boston with his weak constitution. I CONTROL the decisions, after all!"

YOU "get a grip"!!!!


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  #238  
Old 22 Jan 16, 14:02
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Honestly, I have more respect for Colonel Travis, Davie Crockett and Jim bowie at the Alamo.

They died for SOMETHING, even if it was just an intangible idea.

Think of the 260 odd poor slobs he pulled in with him as well, in an era when most American soldiers were going home after fighting Indians, to tell their grandchildren in person.

American military history has MANY praiseworthy heros, men who died for the preservation of the Great Republic, and for people all over the world; they were people of principle and genuine character. Modern Americans have such a lot to be proud of.

But George Armstrong Custer ISN'T ONE OF THEM.
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Old 22 Jan 16, 14:08
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and J*s*s H. C*r*s*, I just realized the title of this thread?

Great genral or Greatest General?

Who are you kidding?

Who started this nonsense?
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