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Cypress Sun

Battle of Greasy Grass/Little Big Horn 144 years Ago

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On this day in 1876, Lt. Col. George A. Custer led approximately 170 of his men into The Battle of Little Bighorn only to face annihilation at the hands of several Indian tribes. The only known survivor of the battle was a horse named Comanche (named post battle). Comanche still resides at the University of Kansas in a climate controlled glass case.

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Not for long now that AIM knows about it.

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Nobody wants to die.

 

Custer was a self-centered, talentless fool who was solely responsible for the deaths of his troops.  He was outmanned and outgunned and refused to learn about, acknowledge the abilities of, or respect his adversary.
 

I believe he was a grandstander, purposely sent out West to get him away from the Eastern, central military command structure, and hopefully, to make exactly the mistakes he wound up making (including underestimating his adversaries), and get himself killed.

 

Cst Brules

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A perspective on how long ago that was:

 

My paternal grandfather (the original J-Bar) was born in 1860.  He was 56 years old when my father was born.   His wife, my paternal grandmother, was born in 1873.   So both of my grandparents on Dad’s side were alive when Custer died.  Two generations ago in my family.

 

Not really a long time at all.

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8 hours ago, Cypress Sun said:

 

On this day in 1876, Lt. Col. George A. Custer led approximately 170 of his men into The Battle of Little Bighorn only to face annihilation at the hands of several Indian tribes. The only known survivor of the battle was a horse named Comanche (named post battle). Comanche still resides at the University of Kansas in a climate controlled glass case.

Comanche is in display at Dyche Hall at KU, named for 19th century KU naturalist Lewis Dyche. He was commissioned by the Army to preserve the horse after it died of old age but never got paid, so he kept the horse. 

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5 hours ago, J-BAR #18287 said:

my grandparents on Dad’s side were alive when Custer died.  Two generations ago in my family.

 

Not to hijack the thread, but we have long generations in our family also.  My greatgrandfather (yeah, my grandfather's dad) was paroled at Appomattox.  

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On ‎6‎/‎25‎/‎2020 at 1:09 PM, Okie Sawbones, SASS #77381 said:

Not one of the 7th Cav's finest moments. Or was it?

Over the years the 7th has had its share of misadventures. During the "Battle of the Washita" Custer ordered the attack on an Arapaho village that turned into a massacre.  Not only that, but Maj. Joel Elliot's unit was wiped out at a nearby camp, and Custer was apparently indifferent to the missing unit.

In Korea, the 7th lost its battle flag when it pulled an inspection in the middle of a firefight!  And, IIRC, wasn't it involved in the battle in the Ia Drang Valley, where it sustained heavy casualties (although inflicting more on the VC/NVA)?

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Seems the battle for Custer did not last to long....The battle field itself was over a large area of land...When looking up info online, there a lot of interesting things to read...A survey made of the area using metal detectors put many pieces of info together...Great reading from different time of what happened so many years ago.... 

 

Texas Lizard

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23 minutes ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Over the years the 7th has had its share of misadventures. During the "Battle of the Washita" Custer ordered the attack on an Arapaho village that turned into a massacre.  Not only that, but Maj. Joel Elliot's unit was wiped out at a nearby camp, and Custer was apparently indifferent to the missing unit.

In Korea, the 7th lost its battle flag when it pulled an inspection in the middle of a firefight!  And, IIRC, wasn't it involved in the battle in the Ia Drang Valley, where it sustained heavy casualties (although inflicting more on the VC/NVA)?

The battle in the Ia Drang Valley was the subject of the Mel Gibson starring film, "We Were Soldiers Once, And Young."

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I recommend this read.......True West June 2020....very well written and researched.

 

Get your digital copy of True West-June 2020 issue

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17 hours ago, Texas Lizard said:

Seems the battle for Custer did not last to long....The battle field itself was over a large area of land...When looking up info online, there a lot of interesting things to read...A survey made of the area using metal detectors put many pieces of info together...Great reading from different time of what happened so many years ago.... 

 

Texas Lizard

According to one of the Native American (Sioux or Cheyenne) participants in the battle, it lasted "about as long as a hungry man would take to eat lunch!"  From the records and research, it would appear that it didn't take long for the Indians to "hand Custer his lunch"!  The archeological survey concluded that only "about 354 repeating rifles were in the hands of the Indians.  The rest of them were primarily armed with bows and arrows and some firearms.  Of course, the figure of 354 repeaters was more troops than Custer's battalion had!  Bows and arrows were as effective against troops lying down behind dear horses as mortars would have been!  And the troopers were spread out by company.  The criticism of Custer for "dividing his command" is valid insofar as the course of the battle is concerned.  However, it was the tactical doctrine of the day!  Crook did the same thing a week earlier at the Rosebud.  The only reason he got away with it was the larger number of troops and auxiliaries, and pure luck!

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On 6/25/2020 at 5:14 PM, J-BAR #18287 said:

A perspective on how long ago that was:

 

My paternal grandfather (the original J-Bar) was born in 1860.  He was 56 years old when my father was born.   His wife, my paternal grandmother, was born in 1873.   So both of my grandparents on Dad’s side were alive when Custer died.  Two generations ago in my family.

 

Not really a long time at all.

I can't say fer sure but might be couple folks here that was reading about it in the news paper. :blink::lol:

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21 hours ago, Trailrider #896 said:

Over the years the 7th has had its share of misadventures. During the "Battle of the Washita" Custer ordered the attack on an Arapaho village that turned into a massacre.  Not only that, but Maj. Joel Elliot's unit was wiped out at a nearby camp, and Custer was apparently indifferent to the missing unit.

In Korea, the 7th lost its battle flag when it pulled an inspection in the middle of a firefight!  And, IIRC, wasn't it involved in the battle in the Ia Drang Valley, where it sustained heavy casualties (although inflicting more on the VC/NVA)?

Rumors about Korea are just that. I would like to see documentation. I nearly punched a smart ass Staff captain at the bar in Long Binh over similar remarks he made about the Cav.
 

As far as Vietnam, the 1st and 2nd Bns were involved in the fights at LZ X-ray and LZ Albany in ‘65. Those were straight upfights against a vastly numerically superior enemy on his own ground. The 7th sustained heavy casualties. The NVA suffered worse and learned to never again take on an American unit in a conventional battle like that. Lt. Col Moore was no Custer. He was a tremendous leader.
 

In March of 70 our 2nd Bn firebase near the Cambodian border was attacked by an NVA reinforced with VC units just about sunset. In an all night battle the Bn sustained 6 KIAs. One Huey was shot down when a flare hung on the skid and made it a target for NVA aa gunners. The co-pilot was killed.

The ill-planned  battle at the Little Big Horn has nothing to do with the subsequent record of the 7th Cavalry.


 

https://history.army.mil/html/forcestruc/loss.html

 

Sorry for the rant. Sensitive subject.

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On 6/25/2020 at 9:03 PM, MizPete said:

Not to hijack the thread, but we have long generations in our family also.  My greatgrandfather (yeah, my grandfather's dad) was paroled at Appomattox.  

 

One of my g-grandfathers survived Camp Douglas. 

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Posted (edited)

There is no question about the valor of the troops and the leadership of Lt. Col. Moore!  As far as LBH and a lot of other times and places is concerned, it had to do with the errors (and in some cases the stupidity) of the upper echelons.  I wasn't there for any of them, but the ones that get to me was the decisions by the Air Force head shed that sent the Thuds (F-105's) "Downtown" over the same route packs, at the same time of day, so that all the NVA had to do was look at their watches and salvo SAM's and AAA.  Maybe worse was the "rules of engagement" that prevented hitting MiGs on the ground until they had lifted off!  At least one time, the aerial ambush of the Thuds was turned around when Col. Robin Olds and Chappy James, et al, set up an ambush of their own by using the Thuds' call signs, so that the MiGs were jumped by Thai-based F-4's.  And Olds nearly got in trouble for doing it! 

Now I yield the stump!

Stay well, Pards!

Edited by Trailrider #896
typo correction

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One of the basic rules of air warfare is to be totally unpredictable. The AF violated that rule every day with planes from Thailand going downtown. They also frown on innovation such as Col Olds' brilliant ambush that day. It went against the "call the command post" syndrome. The AF philosophy is "if it's not authorized, it's prohibited". Naval philosophy is "if it's not prohibited, it's authorized". The AF is a bureacratic morass much worse than DC. Don't want to be anywhere around them when the shooting starts. They can come up with a million reasons why something can't be done.

 

The ROE over there was a terrible travesty of warfare. LBJ and his buddy Bob did not want to piss off the Russians or Chinamen, even if it meant getting Americans killed. There should only be 2 ROE: 1: win; 2: come home.

 

PF

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3 hours ago, Subdeacon Joe said:

 

One of my g-grandfathers survived Camp Douglas. 


Mine didn’t.

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Custer was an arrogant, self involved, narcissist. He didn't listen to his scouts, and he 'knew" that the army under his command could dispatch and group of Indians. His end was of is own making. Unfortunately, he also was responsible for the deaths/slaughter of the troops under his command!

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1 hour ago, irish ike, SASS #43615 said:

Custer was an arrogant, self involved, narcissist. He didn't listen to his scouts, and he 'knew" that the army under his command could dispatch and group of Indians. His end was of is own making. Unfortunately, he also was responsible for the deaths/slaughter of the troops under his command!

I have read much about Custer. He was one of those guys who end up being considered a great leader....as long as everything goes right. He was, no doubt, a flawed individual. Not a raving psycho as he’s often portrayed, and not Errol Flynn either. His tactics at the LBH had worked before. But this time hi ego and personality prevented hi in assessing the battlefield situation and many men died as a result.

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Posted (edited)
31 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

I have read much about Custer. He was one of those guys who end up being considered a great leader....as long as everything goes right. He was, no doubt, a flawed individual. Not a raving psycho as he’s often portrayed, and not Errol Flynn either. His tactics at the LBH had worked before. But this time hi ego and personality prevented hi in assessing the battlefield situation and many men died as a result.

 

As I heard when I was in the United States Army of America, "It takes a whole lot of Ataboys to make for one Awshit."

 

 

 

 

.

Edited by Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663
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 The difference between audacity and stupidity is success.  History says Custer was stupid on that day. 

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On 6/26/2020 at 4:53 PM, Trailrider #896 said:

Over the years the 7th has had its share of misadventures. During the "Battle of the Washita" Custer ordered the attack on an Arapaho village that turned into a massacre.  Not only that, but Maj. Joel Elliot's unit was wiped out at a nearby camp, and Custer was apparently indifferent to the missing unit.

In Korea, the 7th lost its battle flag when it pulled an inspection in the middle of a firefight!  And, IIRC, wasn't it involved in the battle in the Ia Drang Valley, where it sustained heavy casualties (although inflicting more on the VC/NVA)?

 

Mel Gibson movie, We Were Soldiers. Good flick.

 

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3 hours ago, Birdgun Quail, SASS #63663 said:

 

As I heard when I was in the United States Army of America, "It takes a whole lot of Ataboys to make for one Awshit."

 

 

 

 

.

And when you have an Awshid like the Little Big Horn, subsequent attaboys are not gonna matter. ;)

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36 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

And when you have an Awshid like the Little Big Horn, subsequent attaboys are not gonna matter. ;)

Nor the previous attaboys.

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"I had a dream last night.  I felt a comin' fight.  Somebody yelled attack, an' there I stood with a arrow in my back!

    Please, Mr. Custer, I don' wanna go!" :blink:^_^

 

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On 6/25/2020 at 11:29 AM, Cypress Sun said:

 

The only known survivor of the battle was a horse named Comanche (named post battle). 

 

Hold on, pard.  Captain Benteen survived and a few others!

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The one guy that left the battle because he was sent out by Custer with a message. Pretty long but it's an interesting read! Giovanni Martini

 

.https://www.historynet.com/giovanni-martini-message-got.htm

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17 minutes ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

 

Hold on, pard.  Captain Benteen survived and a few others!

 

1 minute ago, Rye Miles #13621 said:

The one guy that left the battle because he was sent out by Custer with a message. Pretty long but it's an interesting read! Giovanni Martini

 

.https://www.historynet.com/giovanni-martini-message-got.htm

 

True enough, however, I was referring to the fight that Custer and the five Companies under his immediate command. Probably should have made my original post clearer. There were many survivors of the entire battle. Custer's was but a part of the fight within the battle.

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Many a good man died that day; both white and red.

 

Visited the battlefield last year.  Sobering.

 

Looking toward Last Stand Hill

rgsDFu.jpg

 

Markers.

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vBzOGs.jpg

 

mrBJ2E.jpg

 

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G5caOz.jpg

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, Cyrus Cassidy #45437 said:

 

Hold on, pard.  Captain Benteen survived and a few others!

 

The 7th Cav at LBH suffered 51% casualties.

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