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 Battle of the Little Bighorn - 1876
 Custer's Last Stand
 Benteen's order
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Author Previous Topic: Isandlwana/Isandlwhana Similiarities Topic Next Topic: The Charge of the Lght Brigade
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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  09:33:01 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
Can we have different opinions? I don't agree with you but I respect your conclusions. At my opinion He did'nt put himself there but a bad comprehension of the orders put them there. Reno could have resisted more. I reported few words of important officiers that said so too. If he had resisted giving the time to Custer to come down, as he was doing, maybe something would have changed. Indians should have two fronts not only one. Well they are points of view and the manner Custer manage the regiment called not a disaster, for me: the way some of his important officiers answer to the orders called indirectly to disaster. That's an opinion too.

If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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Dark Cloud
Brigadier General


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  09:33:16 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dark Cloud's Homepage
May I reiterate the joys of Alta Vista's free Babelfish? Lorenzo, you should use it to translate. You've missed a few things here. Somewhat confused on your interpretation of water and English vernacular.

For Custer to have a 'plan' he needed to know the ground. He didn't, and the unexpectedly high ground on the east of the LBH confounded him because he had no idea where or how to make a crossing in support of Reno. He'd simply assumed such a thing could be done at his choosing. Sloppy, to say no more, and arrogant.

Wild, We really don't know what role Crazy Horse played in all this. Or what he looked like, which is horrifying given we're destroying a mountain to recreate his 'likeness.' Also, what we do think we know about him suggests he would die of shame at such a travesty.

He was, from all accounts, an odd duck. But it is unlikely he 'generalled' some sweep that finished Custer, Wild. That has a whiff of the 'trap' set by Sitting Bull. The Sioux had no experience in or need for large scale manuevers and these theories of great Indian tactical thought are as real and supportable as Crazy Horse speaking in a clipped British accent as he assigns missions to the 101st Cheyenne Horse units while quoting Napoleon.

I agree Custer was far from an idiot and that everything he is assumed to have done, if not that day, from MTC on is idiotic. This is the basis for my convenient and unproveable and unoriginal theory that he was hurt thereabouts, and nobody wanted to take over while he thought he was still in command. He'd found the crossing, he didn't attack and his five companies broke apart to high ground where they were dead ducks.

Dark Cloud
copyright RL MacLeod
darkcloud@darkendeavors.com
www.darkendeavors.com
www.boulderlout.com
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Anonymous Poster8169
Brigadier General


Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  11:10:11 AM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by JakeW

I believe one of the men what Thompson, and the other was Gustav Korn. I could be wrong of course, but that's what I recall.


The guys who turned back were Thompson, Watson, Brennan and Fitzgerald (all of C Troop). There's some mystery about Korn. Some claimed he was with the packs, others that his horse bolted him away from Custer's column and that he later joined Reno.

R. Larsen

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Heavyrunner
Captain


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  2:01:07 PM  Show Profile
Joseph,

Thank you for the kind words. Your own words drive home an interesting point and considerably add to the discussion. My bacic premise, obviously, is that Custer never had a chance to defeat the tribes at the Little Bighorn. Over time, historians and the military have too often looked to find a scapegoat in the 7th's command, always implying that an army screwup, rather than Indian strength and skill, brought on the results. Custer, et. al, didn't just lose, the Indians won--big time.

Interestingly, I have a direct family connection to the fight, something we may have in common, although on opposite sides. I share two direct antecedents with William Lewis Bostwick, who died there. He's included in the duty roster on the 7th Cavalry site, but not as KIA. The family history, written shortly after the fight, expressly notes his death at the Little Bighorn on June 25th, 1876. Potentially, I have another relative--John Rapp. That was my grandfather's name and my mother's maiden name. I have not, however, researched a connection on the Rapp side. Although I've been a student of the battle most of my life, I only learned these things within the past few months.

Bob Bostwick
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Anonymous Poster8169
Brigadier General


Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  2:47:30 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Heavyrunner


Interestingly, I have a direct family connection to the fight, something we may have in common, although on opposite sides. I share two direct antecedents with William Lewis Bostwick, who died there. He's included in the duty roster on the 7th Cavalry site, but not as KIA. The family history, written shortly after the fight, expressly notes his death at the Little Bighorn on June 25th, 1876.


Which duty roster? According to Hammer no Bostwick was in the 7th Cavalry at the time. Neither does the name Bostwick appear among the known aliases of the men.

R. Larsen

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Dark Cloud
Brigadier General


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  3:32:27 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dark Cloud's Homepage
When having Indian blood became a spiritual status symbol for middle class social-climbing whites, 99% of those who made the amazing dicovery seemed to be Cherokee, the 'civilized' tribe, and at a safe generational remove. Nobody discoverd themselves to be descendents of the Seminoles, for example, because they were composed of escaped slaves and Tallahatchies. Or Apaches, because there were those photos of the short, ugly Geronimo.

Any relative who fought Indians of course died at LBH. Heroically. Name not on roster? Okay. He'd just killed Black Bart/Wild Bill and was on the run....not possible? okay, he'd impregnated the Empress of Brazil and ........LOOK, he died at the LBH, okay?

I have met two people who have discovered they are descendents of Crazy Horse and I've met one of Sitting Bull's seed, which might be true, actually - at least he's Indian while the other two look like Hitler Youth.

My grandmother was quite sure we ourselves descended from every Nordic King and had William Wallace blood (by marriage, alas) and that we alone ruled the Highlands of Scotland with wisdom, somehow, and that our Clan voice was as the Delphic oracle to inferior peoples. We had the best warriors and hottest women as well. No brag, of course. Just fact. I mean, look at me!

It's everybody else's story that's silly. Why do I bother conversing with such inferiors.............

Dark Cloud
copyright RL MacLeod
darkcloud@darkendeavors.com
www.darkendeavors.com
www.boulderlout.com
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Heavyrunner
Captain


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  5:07:05 PM  Show Profile
Anonymous,

William Lewis Bostwick is on the duty roster (for the battle) at the 7th Cavalry website. He's listed as a teamster, although not KIA. I would like to get the name listed here, if possible. I think the man earned the right--check www.us7thcavalry.com scroll down to "roster", click on it and scroll down to cousin Will.

As I wrote, a history of our family, "The Bostwicks in America," published in 1901, notes that he died in the battle "at the hands of Sioux and Cheyenne Indians." The only question I have is whether he was killed there and, if so, why is he not listed KIA.




Bob Bostwick
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prolar
Major


Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  9:43:21 PM  Show Profile
quote:
Originally posted by Heavyrunner

wILD,

Thanks for responding. You cover the questions central to all this. I've always felt that the Benteen question--coming to the aide of Custer--leaves a moot point. Custer was either already dead or, for any practical purpose, a dead man. The same was true for his troop.

Having visited the battlefield several times, it's very clear that Benteen or Reno, for that matter, could not have done anything to help Custer in the half hour, or so, that it took the Indians to wipe him out.

I believe the better speculation would be to consider what might have happened had Custer waited for Gibbon, as ordered. I also believe that even a combined force would have been defeated by the Indians in a standup fight.

Custer divided his command very similarly to his tactics at the Wa****a, as if he was thinking he had the same advantage. He didn't.


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joseph wiggs
Brigadier General


Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  9:57:45 PM  Show Profile
Dear Bob, I am very happy to have exchanged view points about this important battle with you. I have learned so much from you, and the other members of the forum, that I eagerly await more knowledge. We still have so much more to learn. Your assumption regarding Custer's chances of victory is valid. Yes, the probabilty that regardless of who did what, Custer still may have lost can not be denied. My position does not differ from you greatly, other than, I truly believe that the selection of other obtions by some principal players may have brought about a different conclusion. I am overjoyed to hear of your illustrious ancestor, William Lewis Bostwick. Through your veins flows the blood of a man who actually helped to create American history. I think I'm a little envious of you also, for in a sense, you were there in the spirit of your ancestor. I did not check you proffered web-sight to confirm your statement, I did not have to; I believe you. In a world of harsh realities were cynicism and ridicule are the norm, their will be those who think I am a fool for believing, and that's fine. I am half Sioux, and for many years have experienced an affinity for this battle that I have never been able to explain to myself. It simply is. On rare occassions, I am privileged to hear of dynamic personalities such as your ancestor. I know I should not speak for anyone else, but I truly believe that Lorenzo G., from Italy, and a devoted member of our forum, will understand what I'm trying to say. I hope I have not embarrassed either one of you too much. I end this message with an acknowledgement of the ancestral spirits that breach the walls of time.
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prolar
Major


Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  10:27:28 PM  Show Profile
Heavyrunner: In attempting to reply to you my message got mixed with a quote from wild I. I'm certainly not to be confused with him as he must be a Cavalry Commander of vast knowledge and experience.
I'm curious about your remark that Custer failed to obey his orders to wait for Gibbon. Where do you find that? Terry's suggestions if followed would have Custer and Gibbon even further apart.
A teamster named Mann was killed on Reno hill, I don't know if there were others.
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JakeW
Private

USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 19 2004 :  11:24:43 PM  Show Profile
Hey Jason Wiggs, you would really enjoy reading the novel, "A road we do not know". It involves the thoery you mentioned that Curly and Bouyer raced to Custer with the news that Reno had been pushed back, and then Custer sends Yates and Smith down to the river to make a show of force.

Maybe you already read it and that's were ya picked it up from, if not, read it! It's very well written, even though it's a novel, the man did his history. Much better than any other fictional tale of the little bighorn.

Jake

"We've Caught 'em Napping Boys!" - Custer's Last Phrase
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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
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Posted - May 20 2004 :  05:22:18 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
Yes Joseph, I understand your feelings. The word "perhaps" never made the history, but at least help to calm the sufference of unfairness. Dear Joseph, I agree totally with your positions about Custer and, dear Jake W., I allow myself to follow the suggestion that you make to Joseph. I will read the book eagerly as I am so much involved (obsessed?)with this battle.
Regards to both

If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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wILD I
Brigadier General


Ireland
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  05:41:11 AM  Show Profile
Hi Lorenzo

At my opinion He did'nt put himself there but a bad comprehension of the orders put them there.

Custer's orders placed Benteen 10 miles away
Custer's orders placed Reno in the valley facing overwhelming numbers.
Custer's orders left the packs miles in the rear.
Custer's led his unit out of supporting distance etc etc
Tell us something he did right.

Hi Joe
I am privileged to hear of dynamic personalities such as your ancestor.

That's very noble Joe but just remember that these "dynamic personalities" were engaged in an exercise in genocide and if they had succeeded it would have been 10 times as bad as what happened at wounded knee.
Slan


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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
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Posted - May 20 2004 :  06:23:31 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
As I said,
it's useless to say more. You've choosen to give all the blame on Custer. Ok. If you see what I have written before, I just answer to your questions. You look at the battle as if it is a painture where all it's stopped and fixed. But I can also tell you, in the same manner you make towards Custer
he order to be quick and bring packs first time
He order to be quick and bring packs second time
he order to charge through the village
These are orders too.
You could say that fault it's on Custer side. I say it's fault of some protagonist. You will say Custer bring them there. I will say Terry bring him there. And before Sherman and before Grant and before...just to arrive to the conclusion that, as you said, that was a genocide. This I find it unfair towards who found your Country. Stephen Ambrose, would have something to tell about this word...A very wise woman, with indian blood, (but not of the kind you report, Dark,) said me that probably, there was no other way to make born America; as Utley said: "would have been impossible to hunt bisons in the gardens". And as Ambrose add: "was one of that problems where the wrong and the right stay in both sides." In some manner, Little bigh Horn was an emblematic reflection of this problem.
lorenzo

If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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wILD I
Brigadier General


Ireland
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  07:19:57 AM  Show Profile
Hi lorenzo,

You've choosen to give all the blame on Custer.

]But of course.Custer initiated the battle.He had the advantage of surprise and he placed his units in positions he wanted them in therefore what followed was entirely his fault.Sending desperate messages was no more than moving the deckchairs aroundon the Titanic

as you said, that was a genocide. This I find it unfair towards who found your Country
It's not my country Lorenzo and it was attempted genocide.[no disrespect to Uncle Sam]
Slan

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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  07:48:20 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
But of course
Not for me.
He had the advantage of surprise
That's not everywhere told. Someone said that they where seen. Someone said that they just know what was preparing as they was discovered. Connell arrives to tell that indians follow columns just from the start of march. I would be not so sure like you.
Sending desperate messages was no more than moving the deckchairs aroundon the Titanic
Quite different. They was order. And when the first was done and not followed, the situation was not completely lost.
it was attempted genocide
That was not genocide. This meaning have much to do with politically correct and '68. That was the birth of a Great Nation. There was sure black corners. But look at the birth of all nations and tell me where is one nation that can call out herself from something like war. Your Ireland too. My Italy too. An Indian Chief said: "Don't cry at this, they are making us what we have done tho whom was here before..." Indians like Crow or Arikara Hated Sioux and they were making each other no less (maybe still more) of what soldiers done. They killed each other wifes, husbands, children and steal lands from each other. Not all the tribes was against soldiers and, some tribes find it right to join USA because of their hate against other tribes. USA stabilized the world-wide economy with her birth and exportations of corn etc., gave earth and job to million of emigrating people that they suffered the hunger in Europe. But, well, I suppose we are far now from the theme of this forum and still more far from the origin of this post.

If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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wILD I
Brigadier General


Ireland
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  09:19:56 AM  Show Profile
Hi Lorenzo
He had the advantage of surprise
That's not everywhere told

Well if he did not have the advantage of surprise he was a bigger fool than I thought he was.

That was not genocide.
The killing of an entire etnic group is genocide.
Nation building is not an excuse.But as you say we are far off the topic.
Slan



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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
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Posted - May 20 2004 :  09:45:53 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
The killing of an entire etnic group is genocide
Indians were not all killed. They was hostiles and there was a war. It was not a genocide as the indians that I told before in my previous post and more tribes, were not killed but they even helped USA in what was that affair: a war. You seem to think that they were all killed and that there are no more indians on the world.

Concerning Custer, As I said in my last post...


If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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wILD I
Brigadier General


Ireland
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  10:16:04 AM  Show Profile
Indians were not all killed.

Neither were the Armenians,Jews,Tutsi,Cambodians,all these are examples of genocide.

You seem to think that they were all killed and that there are no more indians on the world.

Of all the crimes of genocide committed the one against the plains Indians was as near complete as you can get.
Slan


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lorenzo G.
Captain


Italy
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Posted - May 20 2004 :  10:33:17 AM  Show Profile  Visit lorenzo G.'s Homepage
You are almost making propaganda. Jews were killed without any reason, without any war between them and the germans. That was genocide. Indians they was engaged in a war against another people. Or White men was engaged, as you prefere. In Hitler mind, as in Lenin or Stalin mind there was the complete extermination of a people; in American Government no. This was not a genocide. It was a war. Call it genocide in front of what happened to jews is at least unfair. Would be funny to ask to all the indians supporters why they eat beef from plains and hold an house there or take the iron horse among that plains that, to their opinion, was rubbed from the Bad American to indians. For all we've got too, we european, from United States, in economy and good living we would have to be more carefull to what we're saying.

If it is to be my lot to fall in the service of my country and my country's rights I will have no regrets.
Custer
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Dark Cloud
Brigadier General


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  11:54:42 AM  Show Profile  Visit Dark Cloud's Homepage
Lorenzo,

You've entered the Wiggs' World of Wonder. Wiggs seems to think his alleged Sioux blood gives him insight to the event.

Reno's orders were not to ride through the entire village. His orders were to attack and he would be supported by the entire outfit, nothing more specific.

You seem to think 'come quick' means 'ride like hell' and arrive out of order with exhausted horses. It didn't, because it would make no sense for the Army to work that way. It means come as quick as you can with your unit intact and capable of fighting. Benteen did.

You also seem to be saying Benteen got two orders to come quick. He got one. Kanipe only had 'orders' for the train, and nobody has yet raised the issue of why the train didn't obey it. One possibility: Kanipe's tale is full of errors and nobody remembers accurately what the oral orders were. The other is that Kanipe says it came from Tom, not Custer nor Cooke.

Are you at home with the map yet? Do you understand where and when these events took place? Have your read Gray's book with the timelines? You should before you get hooked into another damned novel which, you will note, is suggested as if history.

Jews were killed without any war between them and the Germans? Many of them WERE Germans. You can flense by religion or by nationality.

The United States never declared war against a single Indian tribe, they were all 'police actions.' Most wars were fought in violation of the very treaties we had signed. There was no intent on genocide outside small elements always present everywhere, given the very strong religious movement of pacification and edification at work. Most Indian deaths were unintentional by disease. Read "1491" in the Atlantic Monthly. Among other things, the Great Plains are the result of terraforming by the natives. The forest still grows back easily.

Exploration by the Spanish of the lower Mississippi reports many wooden towns, villages, people. Twenty years later the French hit the same area and found grass, buffalo, and only a few people quite warlike. What does that tell you? The Spanish brought disease, the natives all died, grass reclaimed the land. The buffalo, grass, and carrier pigeon population explosions were the result of the native die off.

Most of the Indians were surprised by Custer. People still talk as if somebody bumping into soldiers would or could alert the whole camp. These are nomads without any social structure to handle mass information or to organize on the fly large numbers of people.

Benteen wasn't ten miles away at any point from Custer, at least as the crow flies, although the land probably made him think that. Custer's orders make much sense to the point where he orders Reno to charge.

There is no explanation for what he did after he'd seen the village and left Weir Point that makes sense, is reflective of the historic Custer, shows appreciation for ground, or is conducive to his mission.

That's why novelists and archaeologists - but I repeat myself - love it from Weir Point on. "This button proves that....."

Dark Cloud
copyright RL MacLeod
darkcloud@darkendeavors.com
www.darkendeavors.com
www.boulderlout.com
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Heavyrunner
Captain


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  2:09:34 PM  Show Profile
Joseph,

I very much appreciate your kind words and thoughts. You and I can only wonder whether our blood relations met, eyeball to eyeball, in mortal combat. We can also know that their souls are at rest and at peace with each other.

William Lewis Bostwick was born in New Milford, Connecticut on May 2nd, 1846 to Harmon Israel and Mary Ann Bostwick. He and I share two "grandfathers", Arthur (the original Bostwick in America after changing his name from Bostock) and John, Arthur's eldest. Harmon Israel Bostwick was also a soldier, having served in the Mexican War.

Prolar: While I don't have the history in front of me and cannot quote it, I believe it's fairly common knowledge that Custer's original orders were to link up with Gibbon, combine forces and coordinate their attack. History also tells us that Custer, having come on the village well ahead of Gibbon, felt his presence would be (or had been) discovered--precipitating the somewhat immediate attack. Had Custer somehow survived, he would have to have defended this circumstance at his Court Martial. I'm writing from memory so forgive me if I'm missing some details.

Dark Cloud: Bad news, buddy. Another ancestor, Adam de Bostock, was knighted at Falkirk by Edward I. William Lewis and I are in his direct line.



Bob Bostwick
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Dark Cloud
Brigadier General


USA
Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  5:26:34 PM  Show Profile  Visit Dark Cloud's Homepage
Other than wishful thinking and a vanity publication that probably misread a regimental roster as a list of participants in the battle at LBH, what basis is there to think your relative should be honored by inclusion on the memorial? That roster contains officers on duty elsewhere on that day. If the 7th is pretty sure he wasn't there or at least killed there, you'd need rather substantial proof. If you cannot find it, you'd no doubt NOT be interested in why the family pretended a relative was killed in the battle.

Everyone has knights and warriors in their blood past. Also, murderers, thugs, crazies and goat lovers.

And even if he was there, he could have been one of those who screamed for mercy, as any of Wiggs' relatives there could have been among those who always somehow missed the main action. Presence doesn't bestow courage or greatness, and a too ready willingness to assume such and tear up at the image is the stigmata of the Custerphile.

Dark Cloud
copyright RL MacLeod
darkcloud@darkendeavors.com
www.darkendeavors.com
www.boulderlout.com
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prolar
Major


Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  9:16:38 PM  Show Profile
Heavyrunner: I'm mostly an interested reader of these posts and don't reply often. I don't want to come off as a know it all like Dark Cloud though he is usually right, ot Wild I who isn't. I expect that you will be doing a lot of reading in researching your ancestor. I hope that you will read Terry's "orders" for yourself. I believe that you will agree that there was no plan to link up. The most Terry expected was that the Indians might be caught between the two columns.
Do you know how many teamsters were with the 7th? I have only found two by name. Info on the teamsters seems hard to find.
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joseph wiggs
Brigadier General


Status: offline

Posted - May 20 2004 :  10:21:18 PM  Show Profile

Anyone who has the slightest knowledge of the concept identified as "Manifest Destiny", will certainly realize that the hostilities waged against the Native American was more than a "Police Action", it was rather a colossal effort of Genocide. While some people were driven by what they considered God's will, others saw Manifest Destiny as the historical inevitability of American domination of North America sea to sea. The singletary obstacle to this grandiose scheme were the Native Americans who stood in the way. While the positive aspect of Manifest Destiny was a surge of enthusiasm and energy for pushing West, the negative side was the belief that the white man had the right to destroy anything and anyone -namely Indians- who got in the way. The large-scale annihilation and movement of Native Americans onto reservations reached its peak in the late 19th. century. Forced to reservations, the Indian was cheated of food by corrupt Indian agents, and forced to watch his family starve. To leave the reservation and hunt for food to sustain his loved ones automatically classified the warrior as a hostile. This, of course, meant that he could be shot on sight. Forced to choose between a life of freedom and dignity or subjugation to a life no white man would stand for, the Indian lived or died. Every major treaty created by the U. S. was endorsed by the United States Congress. As such, to describe the slaughter of Indian men, women and children as merely a "Police Action" is the epitome of insensitivity, cold heartedness, and an extrodinary lack of American history. To respond to my premise as inconsequential soley on my background,as I suppose some will, is to blindly refute historical facts.

Heavyrunner thank you so very much for the additional information. I appreciate it. Looking forward to more.

Lorenzo, of course you are right. Combat between armed antagonists is war, the slaughter of helpless victims is slaughter.

Jake W. I haven't read that book yet, but you can believe I will. Thank you so much for the heads up, my friend.
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