Monday, March 28, 2011

Custer's Last Stand

The truth about Custer and what happened on the Little Bighorn

This subject has long fascinated me, and I have spent a fair number of hours researching it. There are some 300 books and over 40 movies on it, not to mention the even more numerous magazine articles and television programs. All seem to have a bias affecting the story as presented, even history books.

I too am guilty of a bias in this, though I have tried to always keep an open mind; and have swung my bias like the pendulum of a clock from being an admirer of Custer to viewing him with the worst disdain, and back again. Trying to sort out the actual facts have led me to some disturbing things and I am not referring to the mutilations of dead soldiers or the deaths of several women and children at the battle but to something perhaps uglier; a very real coverup and long running defamation campaign.

In discussing this topic I have tortured all those around me with the various tidbits especially Beth and my brother Dusty, and I owe them for their patience with me and for suggesting to assemble the information into a book. I am certain that it will be both enlightening and disturbing, and just as certain that it will be controversial as most people seem to be divided into mutually hostile camps over this topic.

The amount of erroneous information available is astounding; worse there are vast numbers of sources both online and in print that are not only erroneous but false, in some cases deliberately false.

There is an agenda at work here, and a pattern emerging. For not only in the subject of Custer, once held as an American hero not unlike king Leonidas of Sparta who led the brave Spartans and allied Greeks in a last stand at Thermopylae against the Persian host but other American heros have come under attack as a part of what appears to be a concerted effort to defame and discredit them. Take for instance the battle of the Alamo, another example of Americans fighting to the death against an overwhelming force, and one of the main heroes there Davy Crockett. The surviving American witness, the wife of Captain Dickinson, stated that all of the defenders went down fighting, including Crockett. Today, the popular story is that Crockett along with a number of other brave Texans simply surrendered and were later executed - based on some of the most questionable sources available, including one known for creating false documents and written in several different hands; supposedly authored by a man known to have held General Santa Anna in deep enmity so he had a bone to pick. Recently there were tales of grade school history exams which included questions such as whom were George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and the correct answer was "two important slave owners" instead of the father of our country and the author of our Constitution!

In the case of Custer, it seems very popular today to 'kick the dead lion' and ignore the fact that he was a courageous man who died while fighting for his country, along with all his men. The odd reports of a few warriors who claimed to have seen soldiers commit suicide is focused upon and extrapolated to claim that ALL of the soldiers acted that way, ignoring the numerous testimonies from surviving Indian combatants who stated "There were no cowards on either side." {Sitting Bull, interviewed while living in exile in Canada}

So in spite of the fact that there are so many books already published on this subject, I can see that there is room for yet one more. The findings will include such tidbits as;

  • Some of the Indians were not willing participants; several Arapaho warriors stated that they had been seized and held as suspected spies or scouts for the Army, and only the intercession of the Cheyennes and their active participation in the fighting prevented their being killed. Kill Eagle's band of some 26 lodges were treated likewise, and only managed to escape the hostile camp thanks to the Cheyennes offering protection.

  • The actual numbers of warriors, taken from all available sources including the statements of Cheyenne, Sioux, and Cavalry survivors and actual numbers from the surrender ledgers.

  • Evidence of a defamation campaign against Custer, from sources including even president Grant and ongoing to this very day

  • Custer's real record as an Indian fighter, and why he was chosen to lead the 'tip of the spear' was not simply based on the battle of the Washita

  • Evidence that Custer may have been sacrificed in what I term an "Uriah maneuver" - similar to the story of King David sending his faithful captain Uriah to be killed by the enemy, in order to get his beautiful wife Bathsheba.

  • Benteen and Reno changed their stories over time, covering up the truth

Just a sample of some of the facts that have turned up, I hope it will make for an interesting read and a welcome addition to the vast library of material already in print on Custer and his famous last fight. A most astonishing archive online that has been of much help, and I highly recommend for anyone researching this subject is:
100 Voices

On other topics, it gladdens my heart to see that the rebels in Libya are gaining ground, though I wish that our military would provide more assistance. The rebels do not need a lot of aid to win the revolution and end the war, so I hope that the other nations in the coalition will provide it - air cover for the ground forces, arms and ammunition for the fighting men as well as food, clothing, medical aid and other assistance.

No exciting news to report otherwise, still have not completed my first book project and it is probably a mistake to try to get another done before finishing but I believe it will work out.

Good luck and good hunting dear reader, I hope you find the treasures that you seek.

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