Custer - Pro or Con?

Discussion in 'History Forum' started by Dr. Bob, Sep 3, 2003.

  1. Dr. Bob

    Dr. Bob
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    Out here in Wyoming, most of us think of George Armstrong Custer as, well, this is a Christian forum and appropriate words fail me. There are some KJV words, but not for genteel society in their present meaning!

    If you look in our dictionary for the word "loser" you see his picture. :eek:

    What do YOU think?
     
  2. Loren B

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    I think he was a CON.
     
  3. rlvaughn

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    Like every one of us, there are things both PRO & CON about Custer. As far as his last stand, hindsight is much better than foresight. The tactics that failed so miserably at Little Bighorn had actually worked for him most of the time previously.
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    His Ouachita Campaign under Sheridan down in Indian Territory used that exact strategy and annihilated the winter camp.

    But the 250 white guys can whip 2500 redskin mentality was about to get a wake-up call.
     
  5. ChurchBoy

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  6. rsr

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    His Civil War record, unfortunately, was not a good predictor of his frontier success.

    The Cheyenne would say "he got what he had coming." His tactics at the Battle of the Washita may have been "successful," but he almost got taught a lesson even there.

    BATTLE OF THE WASHITA
     
  7. rlvaughn

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    I think a lot of that mentality arose from very different ways of thinking from the two peoples. Indian tactics were often interpreted as "retreat" by whites, while actually they did not have the same sense of "defending a piece of ground" like most westerners do. They chose their own battles on their own terms.
     
  8. rsr

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    And part of it was the expectation that the soldiers would have superior firepower. At Little Bighorn, the Lakota, Cheyenne and Arapaho were, in general, better armed than the troopers.

    And Custer also refused to take a Gatling gun with him ...
     
  9. Hardsheller

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    Was Custer Scalped after the battle?
     
  10. Major B

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    1. Custer almost got cut off and wiped out a couple of times during the Civil War--he was reckless.

    2. He was supposed to wait for Gen Terry's 2,000 infantry.

    3. He gave the ammo wagon to Capt Benteen, and when Reno fell back, he and Benteen and their men were also surrounded-but they had lots of bullets, and set up and maintained a strong perimeter and kept up a good rate of fire.. Custer's men carried 60 rounds per man.

    4. He was an idiot.
     
  11. Dr. Bob

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    Side note: Is the Ouachita River in Oklahoma different than the Washita, or just a variant spelling. Thanks.
     
  12. rsr

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    They're variant spellings, but for different places.

    The Washita (wah-shu-tah) is a river in western Oklahoma. Actually, it's only a river a few times a year; most of the time, it's a creek surrounded by sand.

    The Ouachita (wah-shee-tah) Mountains are a mountain range in eastern Oklahoma and western Arkansas, the home of the fabled Talimena Drive for fall foliage.

    The Ouachita River's headwaters are on the eastern slope of the Ouachita Mountains - in western Arkansas. The river flows south and east until its confluence with the Mississippi in Louisiana.


    The variants are devilishly hard to keep straight even for the natives, who tend to pronounce them both the same. Then again, it's hard for us to remember there's another Red River.
     
  13. rlvaughn

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    When I saw the pronunciations given, I guessed that we Texicans just didn't bother to get it right since it's all in another country anyway, but I see you all are following us on this! :D We pronounce both of them the same.
     
  14. rsr

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    As a loyal Okie, I would say the Texicans are following us ...

    Don't pay no never mind to the Arkansawers, or is it Arkansansas?
    :D [​IMG]
     
  15. mioque

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    When we are discussing Custer, let's not forget about his use of biological warfare (donating the blankets of smallpox patients to the Indians in midwinter).
    The term utter swine comes to mind.
     
  16. Ed Edwards

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    Like an Indian (Native American) said:
    "Custer died for your sins". :eek:

    I live in Oklahoma. Custer had
    the men under his command shoot
    up a camp full of elderly, women,
    and children. His press reported
    back East a great victory over
    an Indian war party.
     
  17. Ed Edwards

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    What was the actual rank of General Custer
    when he died at Little Bighorn? Why
    was he called "General"? Why wasn't he
    wearing a similar uniform like everybody else?
    :confused:
     
  18. rsr

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    Custer's permanent rank was lieutenant colonel, which was appropriate for command of a troop of cavalry. He had been breveted to major general during the Civil War; after it was over, his rank reverted to a lower level.

    Still, once you've been a general, you always think you're a general. Just like judges somehow remain judges even when they're no longer on the bench.

    Mioque, I am unfamiliar with your reference to biological warfare on Custer's part. There is a story about Gen. Amherst, a British officer, though.
     
  19. mioque

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    "Mioque, I am unfamiliar with your reference to biological warfare on Custer's part." :confused:

    Strange, I've read twice that he collected blankets of people who had died of smallpox and donated those to the Indians in the heart of winter. I've read both references many years ago (so I can't quote chapter and verse) and neither was in anything resembling a scholarly publication (so it is possible those 2 books got it all wrong).
     
  20. rsr

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    The most widely-distributed version concerns letters from British commander Jeffrey Amherst to Henry Bouquet during the French and Indian War (the Seven Years War) in which Amherst suggests sending blankets from smallpox victims to the Indians.

    From what I can tell, Bouquet does not warm to the idea and there is not documentation it was tried.

    Even Dee Brown in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee doesn't try to pin smallpox on Custer, if I recall.
     

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