Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Custer National Monument

It was on this day in 1879 that the George Armstrong Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument in eastern Montana. This was the site of what became known as Custer’s Last Stand was established at the site of the Little Big Horn in Montana.

Custer was sent to Black Hills in 1874 because increased Indians attacks on white settlers railroad workers. Custer was an experienced Indian fighter and a highly respected soldier, often compared with Nathan Bedford Forest.

A few years ago I read Custer’s book, My Life on the Plains which revealed much information of soldiers life in on the western plains and their dealing with Indians. Custer addressed the issue of the eastern establishment claim that the military wanted warfare with the Indians. They claimed that the officers and soldiers would often created tension with the hope of creating another Indian war. But he said that such a statement is absolutely foolish. War with the Indians was the last thing they wanted. Why? Custer explained that war with the Indians created misery for the military. Mail was interrupted, family could not come to live nearby or even visit. During free time, soldiers could not leave the fort to hunt, explore the area etc, but were confined to the fort. Tension was high and goods and suppliers could not come as frequently.

Custer’s wife usually traveled with him as well as his library. He did not drink or smoke and would ask others not to do so in his presence.

Custer was a daring soldier who lived by the motto, "Ride to the sound of the gun."
In recent years, Custer has been demonized by Political Correctness. But the fact is he was an American soldier and did his duty as any soldier throughout our history.

Custer lead the 7th Cavalry departed from Fort Lincoln on May 17, 1876, part of a larger army force planning to round up remaining free Indians.

The Battle of Little Big Horn occurred on June 25th 1876. Those critical of Custer like to ridicule him for his foolishness. But the fact is others have stated that the information given to Custer about then number of Indians he would face gave no reason for alarm. Custer often engaged such numbers in battle. Others has said that evidence suggest that Custer’s Indian scouts had purposely provided Custer with false information which lead to his eventual defeat. Also the Indians simply outgunned the American soldiers. Certainly outgunned them in number by outgunned them in superior weapons, they were less accurate but were able to get many more rounds off per minute. The rifles employed by Custer simply could not shoot as rapidly as those the Indians acquired.

Following the recovery of Custer's body, he was given a funeral with full military honors, and was buried on the battlefield, and later reinterred in the West Point Cemetery on October 10, 1877. The site of the battle was designated a National Cemetery in 1876.

I certainly appreciate the all of you who are faithful to the teachings and faith of our forefathers. I listened to the State of the Union address last night and was appalled by most of it. Our founding fathers created a wonderful constitution was the promise that it would promote the welfare of the people. However, as we have seen we have become a nation which feels it must provide the welfare of the people.
Benjamin Franklin as the conclusion of the Constitution Convention said "We have given you a Republic - if you can keep it."
It is now self-evidence that the Republic - if not dead is near death.
There is much more that could be written but I have no more time.

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