Custer

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

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    obelix2
    Member
    Posts: 209
    (6/4/01 9:28:15 pm)
    Reply Custer
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    Nobody has noticed, but we're coming up on the 125th anniversary of Little Big Horn (Greasy Grass). I realize some of tnese choices overlap.

    Custer was:


    a great cavalry commander who made a mistake
    an idiiot
    a better president than Grant
    a megalomaniac who would have been Hitler if elected
    A guy who didn't deserve Olivia de Havilland or Rosanna Arquette

    Show results


    the real fredneck
    Member
    Posts: 28
    (6/4/01 11:47:01 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    and he was a puss, he abandoned Ft. Riley KS when there was an outbreak of some kind of disease I think it was typhus

    obelix2
    Member
    Posts: 211
    (6/5/01 3:21:42 am)
    Reply Custer wuss
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    Probably cholera, as that was more popular at the time. His own version has it he was going to visit his sick wife.

    But it's undeniable he did abandon Major Eliot (2 lls?) after the Washita River action in 1868. Ellilot and the 15 or so men who followed him were all killed (kiled?). This is not to cast doubt upon his personal courage, which was considerable, only on his judgment, which might not have been

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 723
    (6/5/01 9:45:07 am)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    An ignorant "pretty boy"...an incompetent young Douglas McArthur in curls.

    I agree, his personal courage was undeniable, but then there is a fine line between courage and stupidity.

    I vote for the stupidity.

    A lot of good troopers died from the Civil War to Big Horn because of it.

    And I'll even grant him the fact he didn't understand Gatlings, (nobody else did at the time,) but his main reason he didn't take them was they would "slow him down."

    The boy needed some "slowing."

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 363
    (6/5/01 4:22:52 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    Hey, there's a coupla hundred of us, 5,000 of them.....think I'll split my forces and surround 'em!

    Sounds like sound military tactics to me.

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 432
    (6/5/01 5:15:43 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    "With one regiment, I could march through the whole of the Indian Nations!"
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    the real fredneck
    Member
    Posts: 30
    (6/6/01 6:56:24 am)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    almost forgot he graduated last in his class at West Point

    WyomingSwede
    Moderator
    Posts: 34
    (6/8/01 7:00:26 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    Didnt a guy name of fetterman say with 80 men I'll ride through the whole Sioux nation. Look what it got him....

    Custer was of same stamp...tireless self promoter...as long as his men did what he wanted..just ok. otherwise see how he treated deserters.

    regards swede
    Wyoming Swede

    obelix2
    Member
    Posts: 212
    (6/9/01 5:40:13 pm)
    Reply Fetterman
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    Yes he said it, and yes he did not do it. Red Cloud, btw, was the only "savage" to win a war against the US: After that massacre they gave in and abandoned the forts along the Bozeman Trail. For a while.

    obelix2
    Member
    Posts: 221
    (6/28/01 2:22:32 pm)
    Reply Gatlings
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    If Custer had taken along the Gatling section he was offered, they would have been with the munitions train, in the rear and too late to help him. The best they would have done would have been to bolster Reno's defense.

    I do blame GAC for not accepting the offer of the 2nd Cavalry.

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 518
    (7/3/01 9:15:08 am)
    Reply Custer's Last Fight.....
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    I suspect that many people formed their mental picture of the Little Bighorn Battlefield from the Anheuser-Busch painting "Custer's Last Fight" ( www.anheuser-busch.com/tr...12_01.html ) that hung over nearly every bar in America from the turn of the (last) century 'till the 1950's.

    Someday......someday......I'll get there to see for myself.

    WyomingSwede
    Moderator
    Posts: 50
    (7/3/01 10:05:57 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    Its worth the trip...I used to live out that way. Even got a little town there called Garryowen. Custers Song. Kinda commercialled anymore but still worth the trip.
    Wyoming Swede

    boeboe1
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (7/25/01 10:58:25 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    I just got back from the site of the last stand, always wanted to go there. I admit I'm prejudice towards Custer because he was a great, great, great uncle on my mother's side. I've always read the accounts of him looking at a bit different side than others might see.

    In listening to the Little Bighorn Park Ranger who gave the presentation (and appeared to have Native American blood) I was relieved to hear him give a view of Custer that was much different than what most people consider. For example:

    Much is made of the fact that he had so many scouts warning of how many Indians were in the valley, and he should have listened to them. As the ranger pointed out, half the scouts were telling him all that dust was due to the Indians packing up, getting ready to run, and not because there were that many of them or ready to fight. It was Custer's justifiable fear that the Indains would run, because this was their nature.

    Custer attacked with confidence, because there was NEVER before in American history one instance where the Plains Indians sought to battle an entire regiment of the US Army. They always ran when confronted with such a force. Custer had every reason to believe they would run again. The Indians getting away, running and dispersing was his biggest concern.

    The only exception to the above statement was Rosebud (battle), which happened just a few days before the Little Bighorn. The Indians were very hyped up about this apparent victory and ready for more, a fact Custer had no knowledge of. Had Custer received word of the Rosebud his decisions may have been much different.

    There were US Military officers of Custer's stature the Indians hated MUCH worse than Custer. Custer was Mother Teresa when compared to some.

    As I said, the park ranger explained in great detail how Custer quite understandably made the mistakes he did. I think any military commander could make the same mistakes, given the information Custer had available at the time. As far as his personality, it was pointed out he was like everyone else in this world. He had strengths and weaknesses. Just like all of us.

    Probably in the case of Custer, in the eyes of history his faults are weighed more heavily than his virtues.

    I would also point out that people generally don't rise to the rank and stature he did because they are fools, or cowards. The tactics Custer was trying to implement at the Little Bighorn were right out of military textbooks. Even at the Little Bighorn, up until the very last he was looking for a way to do what he did best, launch an offensive attack.

    But, as I said, I do have some prejudice in his favor.

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 681
    (7/26/01 10:55:45 am)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    BB.....his rank at the time of The Little Bighorn was only Light Colonel....true, he'd been a temporary (brevet) Major General during the Civil War, but there were tons of them.

    Also, I know of no military textbook that advocates splitting your forces before a major battle.

    However, I certainly do appreciate your input on this forum......let's have more we can disagree on!

    Let the battle begin!

    boeboe1
    Member
    Posts: 3
    (7/26/01 6:39:01 pm)
    Reply Re: Custer
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    The following is a site giving the opinion that a coverup was undertaken after the battle of the Little Bighorn. The paragraph after that is a quote from that site, indicating the Military tactic Custer was using in the attack, which was (as I said) textbook.

    www.thehistorynet.com/Wil...6_text.htm

    "While Custer has been criticized for his tactics in the battle, this maneuver was, in fact, a standard cavalry tactic. Both Custer and Reno were experienced Civil War cavalry officers and would have been very familiar with it. The official manual of the time (used during the Civil War and in the postwar period) was Cavalry Tactics and Regulations of the United States Army, written by Philip St. George Crook. Regulation 561 of that manual states, "If possible, at the moment of a charge, assail your enemy in the flank when [the enemy] is engaged in the front." Reno's attack in the valley was to be a diversion, the "anvil" so to speak, while Custer maneuvered to strike the flank, or be the "hammer" of the combined attacks. Custer's maneuver was straight out of the book."

    End quote.

    I think that anyone familiar with how the battle played out can see that this is exactly what Custer was attempting to do.

    The site I listed is interesting reading for those with an open mind. It give details on what the author believes was an orchestrated cover-up of the details of the Little Bighorn. He refers to it as "Custergate". Now, I don't believe all of what the site says. I think there are some faults in the details he provides. For example, he says the FBI concluded in the 1950's that many of the signatures (enlisted men's) recommending Reno and Benteen for prompotion were forgeries. Considering that over 40% of the 7th Cavalry were immigrants with limited used of the English language may account, in part, for some of the forged signatures commending Reno and Benteen.

    Still, I think anyone with an open mind can easily see that the story of Reno and Benteen changed between the time of the battle and the official hearing. Even some of Terry's original claims have been debunked. Why would they lie? Perhaps because the survivors needed a scape goat. I think that's very logical. They had to have someone to blame for the defeat, and it was most convenient to blame the guy who was dead. Doesn't it stand to reason that if you have a handfull of survivors who want desperately to save their reputation and carrer, they could easily blame the dead guy, who can never dispute what they claim. Do keep in mind that Reno and Benteen did, quite obviously, lie about some of the battle. Reno classified the haphazard, disorganized retreat to the bluffs as a "charge". He was trying desperately to save face. Anyone who thinks Reno should be commended for his part in the battle should read their history a bit more closely.

    All I'm really saying is there are always two (or more) sides to every story. I generally have found the truth lies somewhere between the two sides. In this case, Custer's side of the story can never be told (Reno and Benteen knew that). Now, I don't think Custer was an exlempary officer. He had faults, no doubt about that. He had some notable strengths as well. But in this case, history is listening to only one side of the story, and that side had strong motivation to lie in the effort to cover their butts.

    As I said, I don't believe all the site I listed says. I believe some of it. I think the truth lies somewhere in between.
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General Military Arms & History Forum Geo. Custer biography? Jun 26, 2009

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