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.

General Custer’s Achievements During The Appomattox Campaign

When we spend enough time looking into General George Armstrong Custer’s activities during his esteemed military career, it’s a wonder that he survived for as long as he did. Even though most of us look at his end with mild disdain due to his brazen tactics and perhaps impetuous decisions, he climbed as far as he did because of what he was willing to do in the heat of battle. Consequently, that is probably why he only lived to the young age of 36. Still, Custer played a major role in the eventual Confederate surrender at the Appomattox Court House.

Prior to the Confederate defeat that ended the Civil War, Custer had been in hot pursuit of Lieutenant General Early. Custer followed Early relentlessly into the Shenandoah Valley in order to prevent him from making it to Washington D.C., which would have marked a symbolically embarrassing day for the Union. Luckily, it never happened. Custer managed to smash Early’s forces at Cedar Creek during the Valley Campaigns of 1864.

This victory marked a turning point. Not only did it end in a Confederate defeat, but it allowed Custer and the forces under his command to advance to meet the whole of the Union Army at Petersburg, where they remained in siege of the city during the harsh winter months when fighting rarely took place. Back then, it was common wartime strategy to campaign only during relatively good weather.

It was in April of 1865 that Robert E. Lee began his historic retreat. His forces ended up at the Appomattox Court House. Custer fought a series of battles at Waynesboro, Dinwiddie Court House, and Five Forks. It was these battles that allowed him to maneuver into a position to cut off Lee’s retreat for good. Custer was the first officer to receive a flag of truce from the Confederate armies during these final fateful confrontations, a fact of historical importance that is often overlooked because of his later struggles.

When the Confederate Army signed the agreement of surrender, Custer’s wife was subsequently granted the table on which the momentous event took place. Because of Custer’s actions during the Civil War, he rose through the ranks quickly, from Second Lieutenant of the 2nd Cavalry in 1861, to Captain of the 5th Cavalry in 1864, and finally to Lieutenant Colonel of the 7th Cavalry in 1866, a full decade before his death at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

What Were Some Criticisms and Controversies of George Armstrong Custer?

There are many reasons that people become famous and well-known by their peers. Some of them are visionaries, transcending the ability or technology of their times to achieve great things and shape the future in the present. Some of them are great leaders, using their gifts in social and political situations to direct the path of their country. Some people are simply gifted enough to shape their own fame, or infamy in most cases, to build themselves up to be more than they very well might have been.

In the case of George Armstrong Custer, there was much in the way of criticism and controversy about his life. Taking away nothing from his ability in the American Civil War, Custer exemplified a man with a multitude of personal flaws, some of them have led to drastic mistakes. The first one is probably the most obvious to many people: his miscalculation at the Battle of Little Bighorn.

Famously known also as “Custer’s Last Stand,” the Battle of Little Bighorn was, unfortunately, one of the defining moments in Custer’s military career – mainly because that was the point at which it had ended. Whether it be due to a failure of gaining proper intelligence or a simple disregard for it, Custer’s underestimation of the Sioux forces near the Little Bighorn River would prove to be his downfall. One could argue that Custer was doomed from the start as his entire regiment was made up of only about 600 men as opposed to what turned out to be roughly 2000 to 3000 opposing Native American warriors. However, the decision to split his regiment up into parts that could not strategically assist each other was probably not the wisest in his stretch as a part of the United States military (Custer only had approximately 200 men with him when he attempted to assault the Sioux village). And while the legend of “Custer’s Last Stand” lives on to this day, there are some who might suggest that Custer never even had the chance to make any stand at all, due to the overwhelming forces led by Crazy Horse.

But that is far from the only criticism of Custer’s military career. One could argue that his reputation ultimately led to his demise. Praised as an aggressive and relentless soldier, Custer had earned a name for himself in the Civil War. It was this that gave the United States military cause to pull him early from a subsequent court-martial and suspension from military duty which he was supposed to serve for a year. Historians suspect this suspension was due to erratic behavior caused by a lack of success in the wars with the Native Americans following the Civil War. Specific incidents include abandoning his post during a resupply to visit his wife on a completely different base as well as taking matters into his own hands regarding deserters as opposed to having them go to trial (ironic, upon further investigation).

Despite what some would consider a military career worthy of the annals of history, Custer’s beginnings were more humble than anything. It was said he graduated last in his class at West Point in 1861 before joining the Civil War as a second lieutenant. However, rapid success in the war led to an equally fast succession of promotions through the United States military, bolstering his reputation that led to his position within the Great Sioux Wars. An ego and a reputation for recklessness that was overlooked by a military who saw a greater need of his ability could easily be blamed for his preemptive downfall. This is not to say Custer was a bad man or even a bad military leader. However, insofar as personal flaws are concerned, it is easy to see how fame as historically documented as his might overshadow some of these personal failings.

How Did George Armstrong Custer Die

There are many myths and speculations that surround George Armstrong Custer. For one, the general opinion wavers between what his actual rank in the United States military actually was. Some sources believe he was ranked as high as a general while others place him at a rank of lieutenant colonel. Speculations of this nature make it difficult to gauge the truth on many matters regarding his life, not to mention a significant lack of public documentation compared to the days that we currently live in now. Which leaves great holes in his personal history, such as the circumstances of his death. The universally-agreed opinion is that Custer died in action against Sioux tribes. But, what were the circumstances of his death? Was there really a “Custer’s Last Stand” in the most literal meaning of the phrase?

Already known as a reckless and aggressive style of soldier, Custer had made a name for himself by acting in his own best interests for the majority of his time served in the United States military. Despite this, his success in the Civil War was well-documented and noted by his superiors, donning him a war hero, and he was sent to combat Native Americans in the northern Midwest territories of the Dakotas, Wyoming and Montana.

Following a court martial in 1867, Custer had been serving a year-long suspension from rank without pay for misconduct due to abandoning his regiment at Fort Wallace (allegedly to visit his wife at Fort Riley). However, due to the military’s minimal success in combating the Native Americans, they reinstated Custer early due to his known reputation as an aggressive leader and wished to take advantage of that. He was assigned back to the 7th Cavalry at southwestern Kansas in September 1868, and would help the United States win their first military victory two months later against the Southern Cheyenne. This victory cemented Custer’s reputation as a proficient fighter against the Native Americans for years to come.

Amidst the spark of a gold rush in 1874 (spurred on by reports from Custer himself), the United States government had issued that Native American tribes in the Black Hills region relocate to appropriate reservations by early 1876 or be deemed hostile. While many tribes did adhere to this decree, there were those who had begun to rise up in opposition of U.S. expansion policy, particularly Sitting Bull of the Sioux. Combining forces with Arapaho and Northern Cheyenne tribes, the Sioux began campaigning against the United States military, which ultimately led to the conflict near the Little Bighorn River, famously known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

As aggressive as he was as a soldier, Custer’s recklessness could very well be documented as the reason that he lost his life in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Whether it be due to inaccurate intelligence (sources differ on the opposing forces’ numbers, ranging anywhere from 2000 to 3000 warriors) or due to his decision to split up his own regiment into three sections that could not support each other (only about 200 soldiers had accompanied Custer in his assault on the northern reaches of the village), Custer had been overwhelmed and driven back from the Sioux village he had been targeting.

Due to the fact that there were no survivors of the conflict itself on the side of the United States military among the 200 plus in attendance with Custer, accounts are scarce on the exact circumstances of his death. It is said his body was found nude among cavalry horses with several dozen of his men who had survived long enough to take a defensive position. These accounts suggest Custer had also suffered two bullet wounds, either one fatal in and of itself. Though other accounts suggest that there may not have been any legendary “Last Stand” at all, but that the forces were overwhelmed in one swift motion by Crazy Horse’s forces. Any surviving soldiers from such an assault are speculated to have died in a ravine near the battlefield. Whatever the case may be, the death of George A. Custer and the mysterious circumstances surrounding it led the United States to mourn their war hero and increase their efforts against the Sioux, driving the majority of them to forfeit their lands and place them on reservations.

Who Was Marcus Reno?

It was called “Custer’s Last Stand.” But it could easily have been “Reno’s Retreat.”

Almost 150 years later, there is still controversy about whether Maj. Marcus Reno betrayed Gen. George Custer during the Battle at the Little Bighorn against Sioux and Cheyenne with a retreat or flat-out cowardice.

Marcus Reno became a major in the U.S. military after serving in the Civil War and then spent 10 years following the war in various parts of military justice, as an inspector general, judge advocate and in court-martial duty at Fort Hays. He joined the 7th Cavalry in South Carolina in 1871 before joining a consolidated regiment at Fort Abraham Lincoln in 1875.

Shortly thereafter, Reno became a senior officer under Gen. Custer’s command as the 7th Cavalry reached the Little Bighorn River in Montana to set up an attack on a village that housed Sioux and Cheyenne Indians. Custer ordered Reno to take three companies and attack the village to the south from a wooded area, while Custer kept five companies on bluffs to the north; a third group was left to block the Indians’ escape route to the south, and a fourth had the job of protecting the horses.

When the cavalry arrived at the village, it was much larger than Custer thought (though reportedly his scouts told him accurately). Yet, Custer split up his 600 troops into four groups and Reno posted his group in the woods on the opposite side of the river from Custer. While in wait, however, a large number of Sioux and Cheyenne warriors came out of hiding in the woods and attacked Reno’s detachment, killing Reno’s scout as he sat behind Reno on his horse.

Based on who was testifying, Reno either gave an order to retreat or he panicked and gave conflicting commands, leading to a chaotic retreat back to the bluffs where Custer was.  Reno essentially led the Warriors to Custer, who was eventually overrun and killed, leaving Reno in charge of the remaining soldiers the next day, though at least one-third of the cavalry was killed.

Reno was eventually court-martialed in 1879 for his efforts at the Little Bighorn, mainly after an outcry that Custer was to be blamed for the humiliating defeat. Several supporters of Custer, including Custer’s widow, pointed the finger at Reno as the one to blame. After a 26-day court-martial, Reno was exonerated of cowardice and drinking for his conduct at the Little Bighorn.

He faced a third court-martial of his career in 1880, due to drinking and “conduct unbecoming” while at Fort Meade, finally being dismissed permanently (after a previous suspension) in April of 1880. After that, he spent the rest of his life fighting for the restoration of his military reputation, which did not work out. Custer’s loyalists were able to successfully tarnish Reno forever.

Reno died in 1889, buried in an unmarked grave in Washington D.C., where his body remained until a family member in 1967 requested his body moved to the Custer National Cemetery in southern Montana, and the request was granted.

Who Was Cheif Gall?

These days, much notoriety can be gained if a person is a serial or mass killer (Charles Manson, Adam Lanza, Jared Loughner), just as much if not more than someone who does a lot of good (Tim Tebow, Peyton Manning).

Unfortunately, that reality was just as true 150 years ago, when the U.S. military continued to do battle with several defiant Indian tribes which protected their sacred lands from the white settlers to the east.

Whether he did it or not, the death of a prominent U.S. military officer by a group of Lakota warriors under his charge, put Chief Gall of the Lakota on an early Most Wanted List by the U.S. Army.

Chief Gall, or Pinzi as was more commonly known,  became a bigger name nationally than Chief Sitting Bull at one point in the 1860s and 1870s during the lengthy Indian campaigns of the time. Gall became a prominent chief of the Lakota Sioux based in the Dakotas and the Yellowstone River Valley of the northern Plains.

Achieving the rank of chief of part of the Hunkpapa tribe, Gall became known as a fierce and merciless warrior, leading his band of a couple hundred warriors into several raids on settlements and skirmishes with various military outfits. He was a prominent leader of the Indian contingent during the infamous Battle at the Little Bighorn in 1876, known as “Custer’s Last Stand.”

In his early 20s, Gall became a trusted adviser for Sitting Bull, and developed a loyal group of warriors to fight the U.S. military in a series of skirmishes and raids.

Before Little Bighorn, Chief Gall made his name with the U.S. government following a raid on Fort Rice that killed two officers in Col. David Stanley’s 17th Infantry. One of the officers, however, was 2nd Lt. Lewis Adair, who is the cousin of the First Lady of the United States, Julia Grant – the wife of President Ulysses S. Grant.

There is no evidence that Gall himself took Adair’s life, but he immediately became Public Enemy No. 1 for taking out a member of the presidential family. Facing the wrath of the military, Sitting Bull decided to take his Lakotas over the international border into Canada to re-settle, which was a fierce struggle to survive. At this point, Gall departed in opinion from his long-time mentor, and he brought some of his tribe back into the United States four years later, in 1880.

At that point, Gall surrendered to the military, and a few months later he and more than 200 of his brethren were loaded on steamers and sent down the river to the Standing Rock Indian Reservation, where Gall remained until his death in 1894. While on the reservation, Gall became a Christian, a farmer, parted ways with Sitting Bull forever, and became a prominent judge on the Court of Indian Affairs.

Chief Gall became a model for the caricature of the Indian warrior that kept fighting the U.sS. Army in defending its sacred lands in the Rocky Mountain and Great Plains, especially once he killed the president’s cousin. That turned the military’s approach to the Indians to another level – from a roundup effort to a war.

Is The 1958 Film “Tonk” Historically Accurate?

Historical fiction often suffers the criticism of its attention to actual historical detail in an effort to tell a unique story that may (or may not) have taken place in a similar time period as that of popular, real historical accounts. In the case of “Tonka,” the 1958 film produced by Disney that also went under the name “A Horse Named Comanche,” the movie attempts a telling about a cavalry horse that survives the Battle of Little Big Horn. The story itself, starring Sal Mineo as a Sioux named White Bull, is actually based on a book by David Appel called “Comanche: Story of America’s Most Heroic Horse.”

The premise of the story takes place in a time period that features Custer’s Last Stand and the Battle of Little Big Horn. The most dramatic change within the story itself seems to come from the perspective, as the movie prominently features the Sioux rather than the United States military under which Colonel Custer served. The main plot of the story circulates around White Bull developing a relationship with the wild horse (Tonka) before releasing him due to mistreatment from another Sioux named Yellow Bull. Tonka eventually is taken in and commissioned by the United States cavalry under the care of one Captain Miles Keogh. Through a series of events, White Bull hears of Tonka/Comanche’s part in the U.S. Cavalry and goes to see him, thus developing a rapport and friendship with Captain Keogh in the process. The events coincide with Custer’s attack on the Sioux village where his army and he are subsequently ambushed and defeated. White Bull and Tonka are noted survivors (on the side of the United States) and Tonka is decommissioned and retired for his duty after the battle. The epilogue reveals that Tonka and White Bull remain united, as White Bull is apparently the only one who can handle Tonka’s disposition.

While the movie itself receives praise for some of its historical accuracies, there is also wide criticism regarding the shallow approach to the events leading up to the attack on the Sioux village as well as the base of the overall conflict regarding the Sioux and the U.S. Cavalry altogether. notes that several different critics were concerned with issues such as “the causes of the Little Big Horn conflict and for romanticizing the Sioux” as well as making “no attempt to explore the rights and wrongs of the situation between the Redskins and whites in the 1870’s” says Christian Science Monitor. The New York Times and other law professionals also weighed in, critiquing that the movie failed to explore any reasoning as well for the friction or root cause of conflict between the two peoples. While it was a touching story that united two fictional characters in one of the most unlikely of ways, it is also fairly obvious to say that the movie failed to explore much if any of the significance behind the historically true portions within it.