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What Is The Sioux Nation?

The Sioux Nation was a group of Native American tribes that lived on the Great Plains. Within the Sioux Nation, there were three divisions: Eastern Dakota, Western Dakota and the Lakota. Within each of these divisions were different languages but all of there was considered a dialect of Siouan language.

Although the Sioux are known as fierce warriors, it wasn’t until European settlers brought over horses that the nation could really thrive. With horses available, hunting and travel were much easier and the nation began to thrive as food and shelter became more readily available.

In 1868, the US Government promised the Lakota Indians a portion of the land in South Dakota. However, gold was discovered in the land that they promised Lakota Indians and the US decided they wanted the land back. The Lakota refused which is what led to the Battle of Little Bighorn. The Sioux Nation won this battle and killed 210 American Soldiers including General Custer.

Another major “battle” against the United States and The Sioux Nation was the Wounded Knee Massacre.  The area of land that the Native Americans were living suffered due to overhunting of bison by both the Native American and the white settlers. Unhappy, a group of Native Americans approached Colonel James Forsyth. Forsyth had 500 soldiers. It was estimated that 300 Native Americans including women and children were killed.

 

 

The Slaughter Of The Custer Family

Sometimes history can be partial to the truth, in part because it focuses on what certain historians find most important and what people are most interested to know. That’s probably why we focus so much on George Armstrong Custer and his alleged ineptitude during the final days before the Battle of the Little Bighorn, instead of what members of his family likely thought most important: for them, the tragedy was no less than a personal holocaust.

History often forgets that George wasn’t the only Custer to die that day.

Not long after the catastrophic defeat, George’s parents Emanuel and Maria received word of his death. But that wasn’t all. You see, George’s little brother Tom Custer was also present at the battle, and also died that day. He was five years younger than George and had attained the rank of captain. Unknown to most, he was the most highly decorated soldier during the American Civil War. To the U.S. Army, he was a gifted servant with a lot of potential. He has his older brother to thank for taking it all away.

It gets even worse.

Another younger brother, Boston Custer, was among those slaughtered that day. He was known as “Boss” to those in the 7th Cavalry, and supervised the horses.

Emanuel and Maria were also told of their 18-year-old grandson, Henry Armstrong Reed. He is thought to be the youngest soldier serving the 7th Cavalry at the time of his death. He was the son of Lydia Custer and David Reed.

To make matters even more personally devastating, their son-in-law James Calhoun had joined the 7th as well. At the time of his death, he had been married to Margaret Custer for only four years, and is responsible for providing historians with one of the most accurate and personal accountings of the 1874 Black Hills Expedition we have.

That so many of the Custer family members perished that day seems unreasonable, but historians point out that they were family-oriented people. They held family gatherings whenever the opportunity presented itself, even if they had to be organized at the military fort.

When they received news of the deaths, Emanuel was 70 and Maria was 69. They surely heard of how the soldiers who died at the Battle of the Little Bighorn were mutilated after the defeat.

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.

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.

Is The 1958 Film “Tonka” 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. TCM.com 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.