Week 26: June/July

Week 26: June 25th thru July 1st

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6/25 of…1865

David Butterfield‘s first wagon train — carrying 150,000 lbs. of goods and escorted by 250 troopers — left Atchinson, KS, on the Smokey Hill Route for Denver, CO, 592 miles west. Improvements were made to the route as they went and locations for stage way-stations were selected. Butterfield Overland Dispatch+2 stagecoaches would soon follow.  {001}


The Custer Fight - Week 26The Custer Fight – C.M. Russell – 1906

Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer, age 36, defeated and killed with 268 cavalry troopers at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, MT (Battle of the Greasy Grass). Led by Sioux Chiefs Gall and Sitting Bull alongside Oglala Lakota Chief Crazy Horse, possibly as many as 2,500 Cheyenne Tsitsistas (Sioux term: Sha hi ye na-), Arapaho, and Sioux warriors decimated Custer’s command in less than thirty minutes. Legend has it that warrior Rain-in-the-Face* killed Custer. He said he didn’t. White Cow Bull said he shot a buckskin-clad man from his horse in the middle of the Little Big Horn River at Medicine Tail Coulee on the first charge. Later, he described a fight with a tall strong soldier in a blue shirt, armed with a rifle, not a carbine, at “The Last Stand”. This may well have been Custer, who was armed with a Remington-Hepburn. Brass casings from that rifle were found around and under his interestingly mutilated body (all of the bodies were mutilated one way or another). A Cheyenne warrior named Yellow Nose was claimed to have captured the 7th Cavalry’s flag during the battle. There is a claim that a Sgt. Finkel** escaped the massacre when his horse bolted (debated). One has to wonder if Custer felt some regret at having left the Gatling guns and Rodman cannons behind. Comanche - Week 26Custer’s sorrel horse (four white socks), VictoryCaptain Fredrick Benteen and Major Marcus Reno and their commands barely survived.*** Total army casualties were tallied at : 268 killed, 49 wounded (six of these later died of wounds. Indian casualties were said to be: 136 warriors, 6 women and 4 children killed, and perhaps another 150+ wounded. Far too complex for the OWDR, endless debate follows this event, look it all up and enjoy!
Painting: U.S. PD 1906 – C.M. Russell – The Custer Fight – LOC. Photo: U.S. PD, Grabill – LOC,  Legend has it that Capt. Miles Keogh’s horse Comanche was the sole 7th Cavalry Survivor. {001 & 007}
*Wk. 37, 09/14/1905 – Rain-in-the-Face
**Wk. 35, 08/28/1930 – Sgt. Frank Finkel
**06/27/1876 – below
Wk. 23, 06/09/1876 – background
Wk. 24, 06/17/1876 – background
Quotes Index – Indian Quotes – Politicians, Soldiers, Preachers and others…
–  Boyer, Benteen & Custer
Wk.. 14, 04/04/1933 – Libby Custer


Mitch Boyer - Week 26Mitch Boyer (Bouyer) Kar-pash (born c. 1837), died with Custer at the Little Bighorn, reported to have been shot off his horse at Medicine Tail Coulee (and killed later). One of the finest scouts in the old West. It was said that when Boyer was convinced that Custer would attack, he gave away all of his possessions, knowing he would die that day.  {001}


Sioux woman warriors Moving River Woman, Buffalo Calf Road Woman, and Hunkpapa Sioux Moving Robe Woman were said to have fought well in the battle. Girls were also said to have been among the Sioux “Suicide Boys”.  {001}
References – DictionaryIndian Warrior Women
Quotes Index, Indian Quotesfrom the Indians themselves
– Rain-in-the-Face
Indian Warrior Women – coming soon!


The Apache Kid surrenders; he contacted the army and said that if the soldiers hunting him were recalled, he would surrender. They were, and he did. He and four others were court martialed, found guilty of mutiny and desertion, and sentenced to death by firing squad. This was commuted to life in prison in August. General Miles intervened, and the sentence was further reduced to ten years in prison. Sent to the  Alcatraz Island Military Prison (CA), until their convictions were overturned in October of 1888.  They returned to the reservation…  {001}


The largest ever combined reunion of Union and Confederate American Civil War veterans brings more than 50,000 to the Gettysburg Battlefield at Gettysburg, PA.  {001}


Mary Hallock Foote, age 90, died in Grass Valley, CA . Author and illustrator. Hers were firsthand accounts and fine illustrations from one who was there. A Frequent contributorOld West Daily Reader Subscribe Today

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