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

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  #241  
Old 11 Feb 17, 22:05
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I am a little late to the party but this was a great read, and provided a bit of a different perspective about Custer. At least for me, as I had thought of him as an overly brazen game-seeker.

https://books.google.com/books/about...CwAAQBAJ&hl=en
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  #242  
Old 11 Feb 17, 22:58
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Have you read this book?

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  #243  
Old 12 Feb 17, 10:44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MontanaKid View Post
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.
but did they ever experience a camp as large as this one? also, with regards to the size of Custer's force at LBH? if not, does it not make sense, with such a large camp and many warriors, that the NAs could not/would not run away? thanks replies--sorry if it has been answered before
o yeah, LBH--fiasco--did someone mention this in the Fiasco thread?

Last edited by Moulin; 12 Feb 17 at 11:20..
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  #244  
Old 12 Feb 17, 14:01
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Originally Posted by Moulin View Post
but did they ever experience a camp as large as this one?
I do not believe Custer himself had ever encountered a camp as large as the one at LBH. Other US Army units might have at rare times. The Comanche camp attacked by Ranald Mackenzie at the Palo Duro Canyon might have been about 1500 warriors. And Kit Carson attacked a very large camp at Canyon de Chelly.
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  #245  
Old 12 Feb 17, 22:39
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FOr all of you here, Joel over at faroutliers has been reviewing an interesting book on the Indian Wars that touches on the Plains Indians. Below, just one example:

From The Earth Is Weeping: The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West, by Peter Cozzens (Knopf, 2016), Kindle Loc. 3858-3875:

After Sitting Bull’s investiture as head of the non-treaty Lakotas, his uncle Four Horns advised him to “be a little against fighting but when anyone shoots be ready to fight him.”

Four Horns’s counsel, however, applied only to whites; Crows continued to be fair game. Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse led the push to dispossess the Crows of their remaining hunting grounds in the early 1870s, but many from the treaty bands fought with them, as did the Northern Cheyennes and, to a lesser degree, their Northern Arapaho allies. The architects of the Fort Laramie Treaty of 1868 had included Crow land within the Unceded Indian Territory, which made Lakota aggression perfectly legal. But it threatened the citizens of southwestern Montana, who had counted on the Crows as a buffer between themselves and Lakotas, and the governor appealed for federal intervention. Generals Sherman and Sheridan made it a matter of unofficial policy to supply the Crows with arms. Each side benefited: settlers felt safer, and the army winked at Crow retaliatory raids against the Lakotas.

The Crows had it hard, but none suffered more for their fidelity to the Great Father than did the Pawnees. Agency Oglala and Brulé warriors raided Pawnee villages in central Nebraska with the implicit support of Red Cloud and Spotted Tail, who saw nothing amiss in young warriors sating their hunger for war honors at the expense of tribal enemies. Certainly it was preferable to unwinnable wars with the whites. In August 1873, at least eight hundred Lakota warriors, perhaps led by Spotted Tail himself, fell upon a Pawnee hunting party in southwestern Nebraska, killing a hundred, of whom nearly half were women and children. Only the timely appearance of a cavalry detachment prevented a greater slaughter.

The massacre broke the spirit of the Pawnees. Nebraskans who recalled the protection that the Pawnees had afforded Union Pacific work crews in their state were outraged and demanded the government give the Pawnees the best available arms in order to meet the Lakotas on an equal footing. Instead, the Indian Bureau banished the Pawnees to Indian Territory. In their single-minded ambition to remake the hostile tribes into white men, the eastern humanitarians did not lift a finger to forestall this unpardonable act of bad faith.

more snippets at: https://faroutliers.wordpress.com/
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  #246  
Old 13 Feb 17, 07:21
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Originally Posted by KRJ View Post
I do not believe Custer himself had ever encountered a camp as large as the one at LBH. Other US Army units might have at rare times. The Comanche camp attacked by Ranald Mackenzie at the Palo Duro Canyon might have been about 1500 warriors. And Kit Carson attacked a very large camp at Canyon de Chelly.
thanks for reply.....I've read some on the Indian Wars, but not as much as other subjects....interesting in the aspect of the different technology of the cultures/different tactics/etc
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  #247  
Old 15 Feb 17, 18:46
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Major... Well Lieutenant Colonel or General F... up. He was in way over his head. Impulsive, rash, prone to poor decision making. He was last in his class at West Point for a reason...
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  #248  
Old 16 Feb 17, 07:44
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Originally Posted by T. A. Gardner View Post
Major... Well Lieutenant Colonel or General F... up. He was in way over his head. Impulsive, rash, prone to poor decision making. He was last in his class at West Point for a reason...
good point....yes, ..while you don't have to be ''booksmart''/high grades/etc to have common sense, how would you all analyze his failure at West Point with regards to his career? surely he was lacking somewhere in brain 'power'/problem solving? as T. A. states

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  #249  
Old 16 Feb 17, 09:58
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I think because his star had lost it's luster he was desperate to do 'something'.

I'm not so sure that included getting himself and a lot of other guys killed.

It was like he was SO focused on not letting the village escape... he was blind to the circumstances and dangers around him.

He was informed before the campaign there might be 1500 warriors gathered.
His scouts told him it was a huge village. There were also many signs on the trail of it being a very large village. He had to see most of the village at some point before he rode off into disaster.
Even once he actually got near the camp... his concern seemed to be to still keep the village from getting away. No worries of his troops left behind (Reno) or his wing getting stopped cold or Keogh's wing getting torn to pieces.
No matter the 1/2 of his troopers that had either been sent off to the left scouting or attacking the village WITHOUT the support that was promised.

A complete cluster-you-know-what from the minute he decided to send Reno to attack without plans or counter-plans.

Take up positions near the village, wait until the next day to at least rest the men/horses and for goodness sake... MAKE A PLAN and communicate it to your troop commanders. Even if you do attack the next day (even then you don't have to) and it doesn't go 100% right... the other main column may be in position by then to also prevent the village from escaping to the north/northwest or even helping in the attack by late day.
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  #250  
Old 16 Feb 17, 16:09
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I mean, this may not be a popular opinion but did the battle need to be fought at all? Indian testimony indicates that there was, at least, a strong minority of natives who favored negotiation and return. Custer never even tried that approach.

Cavalry, in fact, shot and wounded the two Indian negotiators.
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  #251  
Old 16 Feb 17, 16:23
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I don't think so. If Custer waits until the next day the Indians will be forced to attack them or bug out. If they don't bug out quickly enough they might be caught by Terry's Column coming down from the north. I say they try to leave that night (25th) or by the next day for sure if Custer doesn't force the issue.
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