The Mutilation Of Custer And His Troops

We often discuss the tactically inept decisions made by Custer before the Battle of the Little Bighorn without scrutinizing the uglier details of the battle itself. It’s not that much of a surprise. We want to know what went wrong or what would have happened if things had gone differently that day. What do we care if an arrow shaft was forced up Custer’s penis after the battle was over? Oh, wait, we do.

Certainly, it was common for Native Americans to mutilate the bodies of their dead enemies, but probably not for the reasons you think. Most of us are probably led to believe that the tribes were made up of fearsome warriors, sadistic butchers who were far enough removed from the comforts of civilization that they could do such a thing as shove an arrow up a man’s…well, you get the picture. But that’s not the way it was.

Sure, the Native Americans were fearsome warriors. Many of the longest-lasting, most oft-remembered cultures and civilizations on earth were made up of the same. We can’t speak of the Roman Empire without exploring the military prowess of its legions–or the butchery that they routinely committed.

The Native Americans didn’t butcher their fallen foes for want of blood and glory. They did it because they too believed in an afterlife, and they believed that mutilating their enemies in this world would prevent them from becoming a threat in the next. They were violent with us because we were violent with them.

Mutilation took many forms. Everyone knows about scalping, but it often went beyond that. It didn’t always occur after death, either. Some tribes–such as the Comanche–wanted to make a point. Matilda Lockhart described her rape and torture in the months she was held captive before a deal was made for her release. These are the stories that persevere, even though the Comanche were quite different in their interactions with white settlers than most other tribes, and even helped exterminate some of those tribes.

It’s up for debate whether or not the Native Americans responsible for mutilating Custer would have even recognized the man or known who he was, but we focus on that detail when we talk about it at all. Everyone was treated similarly; not just Custer. Then again, all we have to go on are the uncorroborated stories and reports introduced decades later.

None of the stories are ever so simple when entertained without context.

Hollywood’s Depiction of The Battle of Little Bighorn

There have been over 30 movies and several television films that document the events of Custer’s Last Stand in 1876 during The Battle of Little Bighorn during The Great Sioux War. George Armstrong Custer was a cavalry commander tasked with removing a group of Native Americans from The Black Hills in South Dakota. Unfortunately, Custer was greeted by thousands of Indians. Rather than retreating, he fought on leading his troop of 210 men to death.

The first Hollywood depiction was a silent film in 1912 entitled Custer’s Last Fight, directed and starring Francis Ford as Custer. In 1936, the first “talkie” was produced about Custer’s Last Stand. The film starred Frank McGlynn Jr and was produced by Poverty Row Studio. The movie was well received despite having many historical inaccuracies. The same year, famed director Cecil B. DeMille also directed The Plainsman, a film that fictionalized famous people from the west including General Custer. Custer was played by John Miljan.

In 1940, Santa Fe Trail a movie that has nothing to do with The Battle of Little Bighorn was released. The film had a subplot revolving around Custer attempting to woo Kit Carson Holliday who is not based on a real person. The reason why this movie is significant is that Custer was played by former (but not yet) President Ronald Reagan. This movie is constantly confused with the 1941 movie They Died With Their Boots On in which Errol Flynn starred as Custer. This is because both movies had the same leading woman. However, this movie is actually about General Custer’s life from the military academy to the civil war to his last stand. But it is still considered a highly fictionalized version according to a criminal attorney Odessa.

In the 1950s, the story began to portray Native Americans in a more sympathetic light with films such as the 1954 film Sitting Bull and the 1958 Disney film Tonka. In Sitting Bull, the story follows a soldier who is outraged by the treatment of Indians. In Tonka, a native American (played by white actor Sal Mineo) trains a horse that ends up being used by the US Calvary against his own people. Custer was played by Douglas Kennedy and Britt Lomond respectively.

The mythic quality of Custer has made him a character that appeals to every generation as we will never know exactly what happened at Little Bighorn. He’s been featured in art, featured in music and the subject of many novels and video games. Whether he is an Indian sympathizer or Indian murderer will forever be debated.

Were Soldiers Scalped at The Battle of The Little Bighorn?

Scalping is a brutal form of torture and murder practiced throughout history and by no means a Native American invention. The technique by which a person was scalped depended on how the scalper was taught. Among the Native Americans it varied from tribe to tribe. Each had its own method, but other factors were in play as well. Shape of the scalp. Size and purpose. How did the victim wear his or her hair?

Individuals chosen for scalping were usually dead or dying, and some survivors have actually described the process as relatively painless, even though the methodology seems to make a lack of pain impossible. Two semicircular cuts are made on either side of the scalp, and then the skin is torn away by grasping at the hair. Ironically, Native Americans acquired more precise instruments that were eventually called “scalping knives” from the European settlers themselves.

Is it possible to survive a scalping?

Believe it or not some people did survive after receiving prompt medical attention. The treatments for such a wound are mostly obscure, but the idea behind any such surgery is obvious. In order to stand a good chance of survival, a person must be allowed to regrow their lost skin. It is thought that the slow process must have included the puncturing of the diploe, a layer of spongy bone between the inner and outer layers of the skull. This allowed blood to blow, and new spots of skin to slowly regenerate the layer of lost dermis.

Was custer scalped?

Perhaps he was, but perhaps not. The Native Americans who killed him had no idea that anyone of note was heading the army of men. They would not have recognized him even if they had known he was there, even though many stories seem to say otherwise. Custer’s body was found with two fatal wounds–bullets to the head and heart.

When the slaughtered men who fought under Custer were discovered by General Terry a full two days later, most bore mutilations. The majority were stripped and scalped. Lieutenant Edward S. Godfrey said that an arrow had been forced up the shaft of Custer’s penis. Whether or not this is true is of course up for scholarly debate!

Custer’s body and that of his brother were buried shallowly there on the battlefield. They were rediscovered a year later. Their bones had been scavenged and scattered by animals.

Custer’s National Cemetery

War is known for its many casualties. When a soldier died on the battlefield – they were buried right then and there. However, during the Civil War the way in which soldiers were buried changed simply due to the fact that there was a plethora of American soldier corpses that the armies were incapable of dealing with. Families on both sides did not know whether their family members were alive or dead demanding that the government become involved. They asked for identification and proper burial of those who lost their lives due to war. In 1867, Congress passed the Nationa Cemetery Act which provided funds to help the government buy land for where the national cemetery would sit.

As per tradition, after battles, many of the killed soldiers at Fort Custer were buried on the surrounding area between the years of 1877 and 1881. Only official officers were identified. In 1879 in order to protect the graves, General William Tecumseh Sherman designated the area as a National Cemetery. There was an effort in 1881 to rebury the bodies but some of the bones found are still labeled as unknown. It wasn’t until December 1886 when President Grover Cleveland reconfirmed Sherman’s order with the War Department of General Orders and established National Cemetery of Custer’s Battlefield Reservation.

FDR issues executive order 8428 in July of 1940 to decree that the cemetery’s management would be placed in the hands of the Department of Interior rather than the War Department. As of 1978, there are currently no more reservations accepted however, there are 100 remaining plots designated to veterans and their spouses. There are an estimated 5,090 memorials currently on site. Several noteworthy army men are buried in this cemetery along with other Native Americans that were involved in The Battle of Little Bighorn.

Facts About The Battle Of Chancellorsville

There are many facts about the battle of Chancellorsville that most people know about. However, there are other facts that you might not be aware of. These facts can provide a better overall understanding of the battle and the consequences of it.

General Lee’s Perfect Battle Went Against Military Convention

Chancellorsville is generally viewed as General Lee’s greatest victory, but it was also the most improbable. His forces were outnumbered 2 to 1. He decided on a risky and unusual tactic. He decided to spit his smaller force not once, but twice. This allowed his forces to take General Hooker’s army by surprise and they were unable to push their advantageous numbers.

A Recent Overhaul Of The Union Army Could Have Played A Role

In 1963, after the Union defeat in Fredericksburg, President Lincoln chose a new commander, General Hooker. Soon after this, 2 other senior generals in the Union army resigned. This left Hooker short on experienced officers. When he went about reorganizing and streamlining the army, many of his key decision backfired on him. These changes demoralized the army and left the army vulnerable to attacks which may have contributed to the defeat in Chancellorsville.

General Lee Won, But At A High Cost

While the cost of lives in the battle was high on both sides, it was actually the loss of Stonewall Jackson that had the greatest impact. Jackson had been returning from a reconnaissance mission when his unit was mistaken for Union cavalry and fired upon by their own army. Jackson was shot 3 times and seemed to be recovering well after his left arm had to be amputated. However, 8 days after being shot, Jackson developed pneumonia and died. This marks the end of the life of one of the South’s brightest stars; delivering a great blow to the Confederate cause.

The Battle Was Briefly The Bloodiest In American History

In a single day of the battle, almost two-thirds of the casualties occurred. May 3, was the deadliest in the Civil War at the time. By the end of the war, this was given credit as the fourth deadliest battle. The 13,000 casualties suffered by the Confederacy amounted to 22% of General Lee’s fighting force; a number that was almost impossible to replace. The Union losses of almost 17,200 were also among the highest of the Civil War. The most deadly battle was the battle of Gettysburg. Both sides would suffer even greater losses than the battle of Chancellorsville.

Battle Of Antietam Facts: What Happened At The Battle Of Antietam?

Have you heard about the Battle of Antietam? If so, you might be wondering what happened to it and how it affects the American Civil War. The details below contain the information about the Battle of Antietam and what had happened since it had started.

What Is The Battle Of Antietam?

This is also known as the Battle of Sharpsburg which has taken place on the 22nd of September 1862 at the Antietam Creek. This Antietam Creek is close to Sharpsburg, Maryland. The outcome of this battle had been significant to the future of America. In fact, it remains one of the most deadly one-day battles in the entire history of the American military troops.

The Beginning

Some sources, have stated that this battle started at dawn on the 17th of September as the fog has started to be lifted. There are names that have been mentioned during the battle such as Brigadier General John G. Walker whose units had formed the Confederate flank. On the other hand, the Confederate center and right flanks had been formed to the west part of the Antietam Greek.

On the other hand, Lee’s troops had become hungry and worn-out. Most of them got sick. They had been watching and waiting for McClellan’s Army to assemble along the east side of the creek. Moreover, the Union forces have started to reduce the number of their Confederates.

These military troops from both sides had faced-off across a thirty-acre cornfield which was owned by David Miller. The Union troops had been the first to fire from the left flank of the Confederates. The Confederate troops had fought them off in an effort to stay away from being overrun. They transformed the cornfield into a killing field. After eight hours of bloody fighting and birth injury, there had been more than 15, 000 casualties.

The End

As the dark hours approached, there were many dead and wounded bodies from both troops in the Antietam battlefield. After four hours more of an intense fight with cannons and muskets, it resulted in over 23, 000 injuries and about 3, 650 soldiers dead.

The day after this bloody battle, Lee had started to move his ravaged military troops back to Virginia. On the other hand, McClellan did nothing. He allowed Lee to retreat with no resistance at all. However, President Lincoln was not pleased. He had believed that McClellan did not take the opportunity to win over the Northern Virginia Army while they had been down.

The Animals of Little Big Horn

The Animals of Little Big Horn

We are all aware of the legendary General Custer of the civil war. If you have never heard of this name before, General Custer’s war stories are as big of an american folk tale as Paul Bunyon. While General Custer was a real person, his loving wife and friend, William “Buffalo Bill” Cody, embellished on every letter he had sent back, making him out to be a larger than life war hero who died valiantly trying to save his men. That is not the case, General Custer led his men to a battle so bloody. One native american account said that they were turning their guns on themselves.

The Dogs

Anyone army going to battle in the 1800s were equipped with horses. Unfortunately, horses are not the best companions. General Custer brought along a few pets for the ride to the Battle of Little Big Horn; they were his dogs. Tuck, Swift, Lady, and Kaiser were all trained to run alongside his horse when running into battle. Tuck was the only victim of the Battle of Little Big Horn, the others had stayed back at the camp that day with their caregiver.

In a letter to his wife General Custer often wrote about his beloved dogs to his wife. In one letter Custer wrote “ Tuck regularly comes when I am writing, and lays her head on the desk, rooting up my hand with her long nose until I consent to stop and notice her. She and Swift, Lady, and Kaiser sleep in my tent.”

The Horses

The horses of the Battle of Little Big Horn had very strange stories. One of the most popular stories is the aftermath of the Battle of Little Big Horn where soldiers were forced to kill and eat their horses just to survive. Some of the strangest stories that arose from that day are:
The mysterious horse Little Soldier. Little Soldier was Bobtailed Bill’s horse. Bobtailed Bull was a scout working with Major Marcus Reno. It is said that after Bobtailed Bull had did in battle, Little Soldier ran over 300 miles to his home in the Dakota Territory.

Another mysterious horse was found by General Godfrey on the Yellowstone River. When Godfrey found the horse it was dead; although, it was completely intact and nothing was missing from its saddle, no even the oats the horse was fed. The horse had been shot in the forehead and left to die.

One of the horses that was stolen by the Sioux was sold to a resident in Canada. The horse was recovered by the Mounties and after U.S approval James Morrow Walsh was allowed to keep the horse. He named the horse “Custer” after the legendary general.

What Is The Trail of Tears?

Historical Context

In 1830, the Indian Removal Act was signed by Andrew Jackson. The law’s purpose was to negotiate with Native American tribes and help them relocate from land in the deep south to land that was west of the Mississippi River called The Indian Territory. As one would assume, the Cherokee Nation and other Indian tribes were not as enthusiastic to leave their homeland and were forced to relocate.

What Is The Trail Of Tears?

The Trail of Tears is not a literal trail but refers to a series of forced relocations of Native Americans from their land.

Between the years of 1830 and 1850, the Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek, Seminole, and Cherokee people were held at gunpoint and forced to march across the United States. The most infamous march was the Cherokee removal in 1838. Due to a discovery of gold on their land, 16,543 Cherokees were forced to leave their home.

During these death marches, many Native Americans died of disease and starvation before even reaching their intended destination. It’s estimated that up to 6,000 Cherokee’s died during their removal in 1838. Some Indians were given money to purchase food during the trail, but some suppliers sold them bad food which caused much of the starvation.

Where Does The Name Trail of Tears Come From? 

The terminology “Trail of Tears” comes from this removal as many Cherokee’s wept for their loved one’s death during this relocation. In Cherokee history, the event is called nu na da ul tsun yi (“the place where they cried”) or nu na hi du na tlo hi lu i (the trail where they cried).

What Was The Aftermath?

The Trail Tears is considered one of the darkest and most shameful events in American History. In 1987, about 2,200 miles of trails were labeled the “Trail of Tears National Historic Trail” which crosses over 9 states. It’s to commemorate all of the Native Americans who lost their lives during this time.

Fun Fact: General Custer Scented His Hair With Cinnamon Oil

Hipster General Custer

General Custer was ahead of his time when it came to his knowledge of skincare, haircare, and style. The General was once referred to as flamboyant, at the least. When Custer wasn’t in the middle of a bloody war, his sense of style was tip-top. He was known for wearing elegant coats, spurs on his boots, a scarf around his neck, that usually matched the rest of his outfit, and his flowing golden locks. He often scented his hair with cinnamon oil, which kept it spicy.

He may not have known it, but Custer was ahead of his time when it came to hair care and beauty. Cinnamon is now a common beauty applicant that has a variety of uses. One of the most applicable beauty techniques to General Custer’s habits, is the relationship between cinnamon and hair. Cinnamon is considered by many beauty experts as a homemade and natural way to make your hair spicy by either stimulate your hair growth or to lighten the color of your hair.

How is Cinnamon Oil Used as a Hair Product?

One of the most common ways cinnamon oil is used as a hair product is a hair growth stimulant. In order to stimulate hair growth with cinnamon, you must create a cinnamon masque from mixing cinnamon with honey and olive or coconut oil. The next step is to apply the masque to your scalp weekly. Over time, your hair will begin to grow at a more rapid rate.

Another way that cinnamon oil is used as a hair product is a hair dye. The mixture of honey and cinnamon contains natural agents that lighten your hair, like lemon juice, without drying it out. When applying the mixture, try not to get it on your scalp to avoid burns from the cinnamon which is a heating agent. You may need to apply this product once per week for maximum results.

Cinnamon is great for your hair. Even if you do not intend to lighten or grow your hair, it can be applied to regenerate and promote the health of your hair. The cinnamon application is known to reduce frizz, reduce dandruff, moisturize and soften, and makes your hair shine. Cinnamon has been used as a hair care agent for many years. If you have always admired General Custer’s hair, now you know his secret. Find a recipe and try it out for yourself.

The Trials And Tribulations of Custer at Gettysburg

General George Armstrong Custer is perhaps one of the best known military figures of the past, in large part due to his embarrassing defeat at the hands of a large band of justifiably vengeful Lakota, Cheyenne, and Arapaho Native Americans at the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Although the history-loving laymen are likely to stop there, many historians have spent exceedingly long periods of time in study of his overlooked past accomplishments. Another of his most important battles occurred during the Civil War in 1863 at Gettysburg.

Even though his last battle is the best known, it played out under a vastly inferior scale to those battles that occurred during the Civil War. While the Battle of the Little Bighorn was fought between bands of men that numbered only in the hundreds, or perhaps a couple of thousand at the very most, the Civil War pitted thousands upon tens of thousands of men against one another.

At Gettysburg alone, the Union suffered upwards of 23,000 casualties while the Confederates suffered probably a few thousand more–estimates vary greatly. Thankfully, the Union was able to win the day. Based on numbers alone, these were the battles and the harsh realities that have helped to shape the America of today–far more than those of the Indian Wars, in any case.

The bloody confrontation at Gettysburg is often considered the most important battle of the entire war. It was here that President Abraham Lincoln catapulted morale at the National Cemetery at Gettysburg with perhaps one of the most oft-quoted presidential speeches of all time.

Custer himself was on the front lines of the devastating battle, leading a skirmish during which his horse was shot out from beneath him. This eventuality was a common enough for Custer, who up until his last battle at Bighorn was known for his wealth of unending good luck. He managed to take another horse, and continued to lead. During yet another charge, he lost another horse on the very same day. Still, he carried on, famously screaming at his troops: “Come on, you Wolverines!”

Ultimately, 219 of his men were killed or injured in a span of only forty minutes–but still, the forces of Robert E. Lee were forced to retreat by the end of the battle. The Union armies won an important victory that helped stem the flow of Confederates northward, and perhaps turn the tides of the war for good.