Custer Was an Idiot by Bruce Tarleton Parts One and Two.(repost by request)

Via:  therealbruce  •  3 years ago  •  67 comments

Custer Was an Idiot  by Bruce Tarleton  Parts One and Two.(repost by request)

And Benteen and Reno were pussies.

Perhaps part of my integrity is tied to my Native American blood.   (My great grandmother was full blooded Cherokee).   Native Americans did not know how to lie.   Lying was a learned trait from the white man.

So after a forced peace upon the Sioux and Cheyenne tribes, those who were present at the Battle of Little Bighorn were sought out for their account of the battle.   They were happy to tell it.   And why not.   They kicked Custer’s ass.

To understand the battle, you must first understand the native American tactics of warfare.   They were the masters of hit and run.   Drive by was their specialty.   They understood the secrets of cover and fire, and fire and maneuver.   Our guerrilla tactics and small unit tactics have a connection with their methods.

The native American was a master at fighting from the back of a horse.   They knew how to use a horse as a shield, and to quickly locate another if the one they were on stumbled.   They would hit on the run, then wheel and hit again.   But above all, they knew when to withdraw.   There was no shame in hitting and running, to live to hit another day.

Only one condition would cause them to stop, and fight in one place.   The protection of the village, and the women and children.   Such was the case at Little Big Horn.   The largest gathering of Sioux and Cheyenne tribes were camped on the west side of the Little Bighorn river.   Custer knew they were there.   He had no idea how many.  

He got his first glimpse of the village in the valley in the early morning.   He could only see a portion of it.   The southern portion was visible from the Crows Nest atop the Wolf Mountains.   Below them stretched a large valley, with the Little Bighorn river snaking through it.   The Crow scouts could see the signs of a huge encampment.   They tried to point it out to the officers with them, and make them understand the enormity of the encampment.   But the white officers couldn’t understand what was being shown to them.   The scouts knew that sometimes seeing something is as much about knowing what to see as actually seeing it.   They told them to look for worms along the ground, what ponies looked like through field glasses to them at that distance.   But still, the white officers could not comprehend it.   Custer could barely make out the smoke from cooking fires, but he could not see the teepees, or the herds the scouts saw.

Interviews with surviving officers and men after the battle leave little doubt that Custer was warned that this was no small encampment.   Indeed, they had learned from the beginning of their march to enforce the return to the reservation that Sitting Bull’s group had attracted just about every band of Sioux and Cheyenne who were not already on the reservation.   And the Indian trails they had cut across on their march had grown wider and wider with every day.   So big was it that the Indian ponies had eaten all the grass along the path to the point that there was none left for the soldier’s mounts to graze on at night.   The effect of this was that their horses were exhausted by even a short march, and had to be rested more often than was normal.   And that was one reason Custer was unable to attack at dawn on that morning of June 25 th , 1876.

It was a trademark of Custer to attack at dawn.   But at his last Officer’s Call that morning at 11:45, the discussion of waiting until the next morning was overruled.   They had already been seen.

Crawler, and his son Deeds were out that morning to collect a pony Deeds had to abandon the day before.   Leading the horse back to camp in the west side of the Wolf Mountains, Crawler observed the heavy dust column of the entire 7 th Calvary, as they moved up to the divide on Custer’s orders.   Crawler was the camp crier for the prestigious warrior society the Silent Eaters, of which Sitting Bull was the leader.   Crawler understood what the column of dust meant, and he hurried back to the village.   Unknown to him, the scouts in the Crows nest had seen him, and alerted Custer to the fact that they had been discovered.

And so, Custer made his second crucial mistake of the battle.   He, and his officers felt that any further delay would allow the Sioux and Cheyenne to slip away without a fight.   They failed to take into account the enormity of the encampment, and the sheer logistics involved in “slipping away”.

Did I say second?   Yes. I did.   His first mistake was……….well, you’ll have to watch for the next installment


“Indian women rape easy.”


Leading the column out of the Wolf Mountains into the Greasy Grass plains of the Little Big Horn valley was Captain Benteen.   A veteran of the Civil War, and of the Indian Campaigns under Custer, Benteen did not have the confidence of Custer, nor did he have much confidence in Custer.   Benteen was very critical of Custer’s tactics, and particularly with his actions during the Battle of the Washita when his good friend Major Elliot had been abandoned by Custer and his tactics.

Nonetheless, Benteen was leading the column, at least he was at first.   As they descended into the valley, it became apparent to Custer that the landscape was deceiving.   What originally looked liked a sprawling flat prairie was in fact a series of hills and valleys, cut by coulees and dry creek beds.   As they moved North West into the prairie, Custer became frustrated that each rise revealed more hills and high points, but no sign of the Native encampment.

After no more than an hour of crossing the divide, Custer halted the column.   He directed Benteen to take a battalion of 4 companies and head due west, with instructions to find a vantage point high enough to observe the village.   He also directed his second in command, Major Reno to take a battalion and travel parallel to Custer on the west bank of the Sun Dance Creek which they were following to the Little Big Horn River.   Thus at 1 P.M. Custer had split his forces into 3 battalions, two traveling in one direction, the third in another.    This was a tactic that Custer had used before.   Again, at the Battle of the Washita.

November, 1868.   Heavy snow fell on the prairies of Oklahoma as Custer led the 7 th Cavalry on General Shreridan’s winter campaign against the Cheyenne.   Black Kettle’s Southern Cheyenne camp was on the Washita river, several miles away from other winter camps of the Kiowa, Arapaho, Cheyenne, Comanche and Kiowa-Apache.   It should be noted that these camps were well within the reservation lands set aside by the Medicine Lodge Treaty.

Black Kettle was an anomaly among the Native Tribes.   He was one of the few Indians who believed that the white man and Indian could live in peace together.   He readily agreed to treaties presented to him, even after his village was slaughtered in the Sand Creek Massacre in Colorado.   This incident would have any other tribe on a full fledged warpath.   But Black Kettle chose to remain peaceful, and agreed to relocate to the new reservation in Oklahoma.

Unfortunately, some bands of young braves had been raiding into Kansas and Texas.   Probably in retaliation for Sand Creek.   Sheridan had learned from Chief Little Rock that some of the warriors were wintering over in the camps on the Washita.   He had told the Indian Agent that he would identify these men, and allow them to be taken into custody by the US authorities.   But Sheridan, under the command of William T Sherman, deemed the entire tribe of Cheyenne as hostile.   He dispatched Custer with orders to do what was necessary to ensure the Cheyenne surrendered.   Exactly what they were surrendering to is unclear.   They were already on their reservation land.

None of this mattered to Custer.   Custer was a war time officer.   Graduating last of his class at West Point, he was lucky the Civil War required every officer the Union could muster.   As a cadet, he was almost expelled 3 times for excessive demerits.   But it was on the battle field where Custer was at home.   War is chaos.   And Custer seemed to thrive in it.   Many have written of his brave showing in battle.   Still others consider him foolish, want in taking needless chances.   Regardless, if ordered to take a hill, Custer would take the hill.   And Sheridan had ordered him to take a hill.

Traveling through the night, the 7 th Cavalry arrived at the Washita river in the early hours of November 27 th .   Below them lay the village of Black Kettle.   Roughly 50 lodges, with an estimated total of 230 men, women, and children.

Custer split his forces.   Capt Benteen was to lead a battalion from the west, Maj Elliot a battalion from the east.   Custer would lead a battalion of sharpshooters from the north, with the remaining battalion swinging far to the west to attack from the south.

As the first strings of light broke the dawn, the battalions attacked.   Custer’s horse leaped the river in one long stride, and he latter wrote that the first warrior to fall was from his gun.   Most of the heavy fighting was to the west, where Benteen’s men attacked.   But heavy is a relative term.   Only one soldier was killed in the village itself.   But the number of Indian dead has been a matter of speculation for many years.   Some put it as low as 60.   Custer himself reported 103.   What is not disputed is that those numbers include women and children.   Black Kettle, and his wife Medicine Woman were shot trying to escape across the river.   The official count by the government historians is 70 Indians killed with as many wounded.

US losses totaled 21.   One officer killed in the camp.   The other 20 were a detachment including Major Elliot who pursued a band of fleeing Indians to the east.   Unfortunately, they ran into warriors from the nearby camps who had been alerted to the attack.   They were quickly overwhelmed, killed, and mutilated.

Custer was told that Elliot was pursuing Indians to the east.   But he made no attempt to assist.   This angered Benteen.   When warriors were spotted on the hills to the east and south, he knew his friend had died.   He would forever blame Custer for his friends death.

Custer ordered the lodges burned, and most of the 600 head of Indian ponies killed, leaving enough for the prisoners to mount.   The number of warriors on the hilltops grew, until it was apparent that Custer’s regiment would soon be outnumbered.

It was at this point that Custer developed a tactic he would encourage throughout the Indian wars.   The use of noncombatants against his enemy.   Knowing that his troops were outnumbered, he could not attack east.   Instead, he mounted his troops, and had the prisoners tied to horses and lined up on the flanks of the column.   The cries of the prisoners prevented the warriors from firing on the column, and Custer marched them north, out of the battlefield and back to Sheridan’s command.   This use of human shields was used many times in many engagements, and would play an important part of Custer’s tactics at Little Big Horn.

The march took several days through the snow covered prairie.   At night, the officers of the regiment helped themselves to the bounties of the campaign, in the form of captured squaws.   Including Custer.   He chose a fine looking young Cheyenne named Monahsetah with whom he bedded every night, and well into the winter.   Scout Ben Clark related this to reporters in St Louis when asked to comment on the Battle of Little Bighorn.   The story was corroborated by Benteen, and the regimental surgeon, who reported not only seeing Custer sleeping with the girl, but many times in the act of copulation.   Benteen reflected that at an officers call one morning, a captain remarked that “Indian women rape easy.”   Custer laughed, and agreed.



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Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce    3 years ago

Reposted by popular demand.  There is one or two installments I'm working on to finish this out.  Stay tuned.

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man    3 years ago

He was decidedly no hero....

Looking forward to parts two and three.

Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
link   Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו    3 years ago

Lying was a learned trait from the white man.

It's taking all the strength I can muster to resist that one. 

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing    3 years ago

Good article, Bruce. Looking forward to the next two installments. Custer may have been endowed with some credits to his name, but, was a totally arrogant fool in so many others ways. Sacrificing human life meant nothing to him as long as he thought he was right. His hatred of Native Americans was his driving force, and the crueler the better in eradicating them in his view. 

And indeed, lying was a trait learned from the white man, who thought nothing of making empty promises and Treaties they had no intention of keeping merely to get what they wanted, then going back on their words in the end. To Native Americans, their word is not only their honor as a person, but, that of their ancestors. But, they soon came to learn that the words of the white men who dealt with them held no such honor, and were not to believed or trusted. 

Custer's defeat at the Little Big Horn was more than well deserved. He himself, is the only one to blame. The fact that his arrogance caused the death of so many of his men is also his burden to bear. I am sure that the Creator has made sure he has been paying the price that his arrogance and hatred cost so many others.

Just my own perspective. 

link   Kavika     3 years ago

Excellent, looking forward to the remaining chapters.

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   Perrie Halpern R.A.    3 years ago

Great article Bruce. I too look forward to reading the rest of this. I think that a whole generation have no idea of the event that happened then. Refreshing to see you know your history!! 

link   JohnRussell  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   3 years ago

I think that a whole generation have no idea of the event that happened then.

My guess would be that our younger generations understand that Custer was not a hero much more than older generations did.

In the past 50 years there have been many books, movies and tv shows that have shown Custer in an unfavorable light.

link   Dowser    3 years ago

My Daddy always said that Custer was an idiot.  So, if he were alive, you'd have his thumbs up!

link   Kavika     3 years ago

A few years ago there was a documentary on the battle. Using todays scientific methods they broke the battle down and laid out a very different scenario..If was really quite fascinating. 

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man    3 years ago

Yep they sure did, Custer's tactics were to have Reno ride full charge into the encampment to draw the largest response possible so he could ride out on the flank and hit them at a weaker point creating a crossfire two directional battle.

Reno didn't and the actual force of Indians in sheer numbers belied the tactics.

One can argue that Reno was a coward. (people who weren't there seem to take that liberty) I personally believe the only reason he survived what that he stopped when he did. As it was he was lucky to survive. (If the Indians wanted to wipe him out also they easily could have)

They knew their true enemy was Custer, and they wanted him. And being the idiot he was, he offered himself up to them in his arrogance. (he had orders in hand to wait until the infantry came up to join the attack his mission was to find the encampment and track them)

As it was the Indians were well aware of the advancing infantry columns and what it would mean to remain on the Little Bighorn after they arrived. If Custer had followed his orders there wouldn't have been a massacre.

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Nowhere Man   3 years ago

Stealing my thunder NWM?  LOL!  You're correct, but there's a bit more to Custer's reasoning.  I've alluded to it in the article, and will expound on it in the next couple of installments.

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

No Brother, just a couple of the high points in response to Kav's point..

I left the particulars out deliberately so I didn't blow your excellent article.

Have at it my friend, with strong anticipation on this end!

Freedom Warrior
link   Freedom Warrior    3 years ago

So just curious, why does any of this matter?


Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Freedom Warrior   3 years ago

Stick around and learn something my friend.

The People's Fish
link   The People's Fish  replied to  Nowhere Man   3 years ago

I think he has fear.

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Freedom Warrior   3 years ago

He who does not study bound to repeat it.

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Freedom Warrior   3 years ago

No Fear, to some it doesn't matter, not then, not now. But, to many, what happened at the Little Big Horn matters a great deal, as that, and many other horrible events in the history of our country, reminds us the kind of people we should never allow ourselves to ever become again. 

We are all related, we are all connected, we are all one people. 

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Raven Wing   3 years ago

It is a story both epically triumphant and tragic.

George A Custer, Yellowhair, his triumphant career ending as a casualty of his personal belief in his own infallibility.

The Native Americans greatest military triumph, but tolled the final bell on their way of life.

A moment in history that is famous for it's tragic consequences for both sides, but for no one really knowing for sure what actually happened.

A mystery wrapped in a fact.

Yet the spirits that linger still live on......

link   Dowser    3 years ago

Bruce, I am eagerly anticipating the next installment!  Great article!

pat wilson
link   pat wilson    3 years ago

I loved the film "Little Big Man". Was there any truth behind the role of Dustin Hoffman ?

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  pat wilson   3 years ago

Pat, I loved the movie "Little Big Man" as well, however, like most movies based on history and books there are areas where they take creative license, but, for the most part it did cover a good deal of what actually happened. The cruelty committed against the Native Americans at Custer's hands and others like him as shown in the movie was somewhat understated from what they truly suffered, but, the gist of what their suffering as shown was true. 

I think the movie did try to stick as close to actual history as possible. As for Jack Crabb, the character played by Dustin Hoffman, he was a fictional character who was used to tell the story. 

The real Little Big Man, or Charging Bear, was an Oglala Lakota, or Oglala Sioux Warrior. If you are interested to learn more about the real Little Big Man you can find the information here:

Hope this helps (smile)

pat wilson
link   pat wilson  replied to  Raven Wing   3 years ago

Hope this helps (smile)

It does, thank you (smile)

Perrie Halpern R.A.
link   Perrie Halpern R.A.  replied to  pat wilson   3 years ago

I love that movie, too. One of my all time favorites. 

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   3 years ago

Even though the character Jack Crabb was fictional, I thought the character brought a reality to the movie that otherwise might not make as great an impression on people of the historical facts of the events that took place before and during the Battle of Little Big Horn. I think the character helped make the movie more believable and make a bigger impact on people from a real life perspective and contributed greatly to the overall success of the movie and helped make it the classic it has become.

Buzz of the Orient
link   Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Perrie Halpern R.A.   3 years ago

Same here - just watched it again a couple of months ago.

link   Kavika     3 years ago

Has anyone been to the battlefield?

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

I have never been to the Little Big Horn Battlefield, but, I have always longed to go there. I have read so much about it in various books and seen pictures of the area and feel a Spiritual connection with it in my heart. It would be one of my dreams come true to be able to be there in real life. However, I don't think it will be in this lifetime. It will give me something to look forward to in my next one. (smile)

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

I've been there twice.

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

I'm just curious, with no unkind did you feel when you were there, Bruce? What was your inner feeling when standing where the battle took place so many years ago? Again, I am truly just curious. 

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Raven Wing   3 years ago

My feelings about the Native American wars was formed when I served on the USS Tecumseh.  I did a lot of reading about Tecumseh, the Shawnee, Seneca, Cheyenne, Sioux, Blackfeet, and others.  Once I got past the biased history of the Indian wars, I was able to see exactly how the First People were treated, and how they fought.  I even discussed it with my XO, and in our discussion, he told me that Tecumseh was one of 3 Boomer Subs named for actual enemies of the US.  (Stonewall Jackson, and Robert E Lee being the other two). He told me that Tecumseh is honored for his ability to unite the tribes in their struggle against the Americans. 

The first time I visited was on the way to a new job at the Fort Peck dam in Montana.  It was profound.  I had visited many Civil War battlefields before.  But this battlefield somehow seemed different.  I found myself not looking at it from the Cavalry prospective, but from the Sioux perspective.  That was a bit strange to me.

At my job in Fort Peck, I worked for a man named Dougle.  Full blooded Lakota, his Indian name was Man who runs in grass.  He was named after a warrior who was there at the battle, and was later killed by the Fort Peck Reservation agent for sleeping with his wife.

One time I had to take him home, out to the Res.  He took me in to meet his "grandfather"  (really just an old man he respected).  The old man and him spoke in Sioux.  As I was leaving, Doug told me "Grandfather says I'm to call you cikala mato".  I asked what it meant, and he said "Little bear". From that time until he retired, he always called me cikala mato.

Now, I tell you this, to tell you another story.  About 6 months before I left Montana, I went to a job interview in Idaho.  My route took me through the Blackfoot Res.  I had to stop for gas, and as I was pumping, this old Indian came out of the store and shuffled over to me.  He showed me some carvings he had.  Little things of a fish, wolf, etc.  Hell, I didn't know if he did them, or if they were made in China.  But I said "I will buy the wolf from you Grandfather."

His eyes lite up.  And he began to babble, and motion me to follow him into the store.  I had to pay for the gas, so I followed him.  When we got in, I went to the counter to pay, and the woman working the cash register heard the old man, and said a few things to him.  Then she says "Grandfather says he has something for you, follow him."

So I follow this old man to the back of the store, and he starts rummaging around in a basket, and comes up with the carving of a bear.  Now, I know he made them.  This was his work bench.  Wood chips all over the place. 

He keeps pushing it at me, babbling away.  The woman calls out, "Grandfather says Brother Bear is strong in you.  Take the gift."  So I tried to give the man $20 for it, but he wouldn't have it.  But he was beaming when I accepted and said, "Thank you Grandfather."

Now, I'm a little freaked about all this.  So on the road home I call Dougle and tell him the story.  He says that's exactly what his grandfather said when he met me.  Hence my nickname cikala mato.

Now, I never told my wife this until about a year ago.  But from the time we moved to Montana, to this day, she loves everything bear.  We have them all over the kitchen, in her garden, in the bedroom.  Just all over.  If there is a t-shirt or night shirt with a bear on it, she has to have it.

So now we are heading to Missouri for my new job.  And we stop at the battlefield again.  And this time, I'm at ease.  And I'm seeing the tall prairie grass wave in the wind, and I can see the Army moving along the valley.  And I can see the Sioux, and the Cheyenne crossing the river to meet them.  And I just stand there and watch it for about half an hour.  Until my wife says it's time to go.

Is all this true?  Is there some spirit animal about me?  I don't know.  But I'm not going to argue with two Grandfathers.


Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

A wonderful story, Bruce. Thank you for sharing your experience at the Battlefield. It is much of what I have sensed about you in the time I have been here on NT. While we have never met in person, your words have a particular aura in them, and express a part of you that you may not even be aware of. That is why I was so curious as to how your felt while visiting the Little Big Horn Battlefield. And what you have described is very much what I expected. There is a good deal of Spirituality about you. Thus your connection with the Spirits there was strong. (smile)



Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

I had a similar experience when I was there looking out across the field to deep ravine, I could almost envision the last troopers running for the shelter of the ravine and the warriors arising out of the ravine to meet them....

Could almost smell the powder in the air....

It was transfixative.

Then the wife told me we had to leave......

When I looked back, it was gone.....

I had a similar experience at both Gettysburg and Antietam.....

link   Kavika   replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

Bruce, a wonderful experience, I'm very happy to hear it and how you related with mishoomis (grandfather). If a gift is given, as grandfather gave you the bear, nothing is expected in return, that is why he would not accept the money that you offered.

The last time I was to the battlefield was 2011....It's always a very spiritual experience. The sound of the distance drum so to speak. I can close my eyes when I'm there and sense the battle.

When you were Blackfoot territory was the town you stopped in Browning? If it was there is a wonderful museum there run by the Blackfoot tribe. Some of the items they have a one of a kind. Well worth a visit.

After my last visit I wrote a poem dedicated to the Sioux and Cheyenne that fought at the Little Big Horn. Knowing what happened in the next 20 years. It's a retrospective view (on my part).

The Last Warrior

High on bleak, stony rag,

Unmoving, he sits astride his ragged coated pony.

Only telltale frozen breaths separate them from the still winter black boles of ancient leafless trees.

The pony, blown and lame stands with lowered head, ears flattened to the sound of a distant wolf pack.

The man on his back, all weapons lost, ignores the trickling blood from savage wounds, mingling with his war paint.

Eyes burning fiercely he strains to find the sign he seeks.

Behind, the sounds of the enemy draws ever closer.

At last, faith rewarded, he sees far below in the deep valley, arriving at the edge of the fast flowing river, the great she bear with two ambling cubs.

There to fish the racing salmon, drawn relentlessly toward their age-old spawning ground.

Silently, the wounded brave offers his final prayer to the eternal clan bear.

Totem and guardian of his battle slain tribe.

The enemy, exultant, are almost upon him, yet he looks not behind.

He sees only the Great Spirit, surrounding him kindly, in loving, firm embrace.

While the enemy closes in, he straightens himself, and calls to the Great Spirit, his voice loud and clear, echoing across the land to the distant cloudless sky.

One last defiant war cry as he spurs on his pony,

And leaps...

Into the world of his ancestors.

Kavika 2011 all right reserved. Do not use without permission.

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

What a beautiful and emotional poem, Kavika. You expressed the emotion, pride, faith and finality of both the horse and Warrior in such a way that brought them both to life before our eyes. The words, so well spoken, made me feel as if I were actually there watching it all happen from a distance.

Thank you for sharing this heartfelt poem with us, it truly does the statue of the last Warrior justice.

nv-wa-do-hi-ya-dv (Peace) 

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

Excellent work Kavika.  Reminds me of the song Elton John sings, Indian Sunset.

link   Kavika   replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

I haven't heard that song in a very long time Bruce. I can see where  the poem would remind you of the song. 


Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

For those who have not heard the song Indian Sunset by Elton John:

And here are the lyrics to the song:

Indian Sunset - Lyrics

As I awoke this evening with the smell of woodsmoke clinging.
Like a gentle cobweb hanging upon a painted teepee.
Oh I went to see my chieftain with my war lance and my woman.
For he told us that the yellow moon would very soon be leaving.

This I can't believe I said, I can't believe our Warlord's dead.
Oh, he would not leave the chose ones to the buzzards and the soldiers guns.

Oh, great father of the Iroquois ever since I was young,
I've read the writing of the smoke and breast-fed on the sound of drums.
I've learned to hurl the tomahawk and ride a painted pony wild.
To run the gauntlet of the Sioux, to make a chieftain's daughter mine.

And now you ask that I should watch the red man's race be slowly crushed!
What kind of words are these to hear from Yellow Dog, whom the white man fears?

I take only what is mine Lord, my pony, my squaw, and my child.
I can't stay to see you die along with my tribe's pride.
I got to search for the yellow moon and the Fathers of our sons,
Where the red sun sinks in the hills of gold, and the healing waters run.

Trampling down the prairie rose, leaving hoof tracks in the sand.
Those who wish to follow me, I welcome with my hands.
I heard from passing renegades Geronimo was dead,
He'd been laying down his weapons when they filled him full of lead.

Now there seems no reason why I should carry on,
In this land that once was my land, I can't find a home.
It's lonely and it's quiet and the horse soldiers are coming,
And I think it's time I strung my bow and ceased my senseless running

For soon I'll find the yellow moon, along with my loved ones.
Where the buffaloes graze in clover fields without the sound of guns.

And the red sun sinks at last into the hills of gold
And peace to this young warrior comes with a bullet hole.



link   Dowser  replied to  Raven Wing   3 years ago

One of my favorite songs!  Thanks!

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Dowser   3 years ago

It has always been one of my favorites as well, dear Dowser. You are most welcome. I posted the lyrics as well for those who may not be able to see the video so they will know what the song is about. (smile)

link   1stwarrior  replied to  Uncle Bruce   2 years ago

cikala mato fits you well Bruce - and, no, you can't argue with two Grandfathers.

Great rendition of the events Bruce - I truly hope you post the entire story again.

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Raven Wing   3 years ago

Oh, and I gave the woman the $20 for the carving.  I told her to make him take it, or buy something to give him, that I had nothing else to trade.  She just smiled and said she would take care of it.

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

I'm sure that she made sure that he got the money in a way that he would accept it. (smile)

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

Been there once. It has a eerie quality to it, quiet, reverent, like the wind carries the spirits of the individuals that died there. Spirits that will not die.

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Nowhere Man   3 years ago

Thank you for sharing your experience at the Little Big Horn Battlefield, NWM. That was the kind or reaction I was looking for.

When I moved to No Virginia I visited many of the Battlefield areas of the Civil War located in that area, and the feeling was as you said.  If you stood in silence, closed your eyes and freed your mind, you could hear the Spirits of those who lost their lives in those battlefields who have never found peace, have never been able to move on. 

It truly spoke of the horrors of war. 

link   Dowser  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

Yes.  It's spooky, to me.  I, too, can feel the spirits...

link   tomwcraig    3 years ago

In any of the fights between the white man and the Natives of the Americas, there were no winners...only losers.  Everyone lost.

Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו
link   Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו  replied to  tomwcraig   3 years ago

In any of the fights between the white man and the Natives of the Americas, there were no winners...only losers.  Everyone lost.

Unless it's any semblance of decency,  I can hardly wait for you to tell us how you think the white man "lost" anything in his attempt to exterminate an entire people.  

link   tomwcraig  replied to  Atheist יוחנן בן אברהם אבינו   3 years ago

Lost cultures cannot be fully understood and by wiping out entire Tribes, those cultures are lost and the opportunity to learn is lost thereby everyone loses.

link   Nona62    3 years ago

Great story.....thanks for posting this.  Hanging loose

link   Kavika     3 years ago

Just a reminder that I'm running out of patience waiting for chapter two.

Image result for photos of tomahawks

Vic Eldred
link   Vic Eldred    3 years ago

It was a trademark of Custer to attack at dawn. 

One of my favorite books was "Son of the Morning Star" by Evan Connell.

The article is well written and accurate but if I was teaching history I would demand it placed into context. For instance - what was the relationship between the Sioux and Cheyenne and other Indian tribes?

I note some native Americans here - does anyone know what a warrior tribe or nation is?

Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce    3 years ago

Are you talking about the Warrior societies of the Cheyenne, like the Dog Soldiers?  There were 6 of them if I'm not mistaken, including one, (Backwards?) that rode into battle on their horses backwards as a sign of bravery.

Just about all of the Plains Tribes were at war with each other at one time or another.  Territorial disputes, hunting ground disputes, and sacred lands were always being fought over.  However, they were also very quick to ally with one another in order to vanquish a common foe.  Cheyenne and Sioux had a long history of fighting over the plains areas over Buffalo hunting.  But the battle of Washita and the death of Black Kettle drove the Cheyenne to ally with the Sioux in their fight against the US Army.

link   Kavika   replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

 Bruce, if I may interject here regarding the Warrior Nation or tribe. The term Warrior doesn't always mean fighting. A warrior can be many things although all are for the good of the tribe. Each tribe has clans. The clans are generally designated by an animal, but not always. Each clan has a propose and one (or more) clans among the tribe is the designated Warrior Clan. They are the protectors of the tribe, but when the battle starts other clans join them in the fight. 

Among the Ojbiwe (Chippewa) the Bear and Marten clans were the warriors or ''Ogichidaa'' which translates to more than Warrior. It means those that stand between the people and evil or ''protectors.''

Thoughout the U.S. tribes formed confederacies. Some were very close and some were loosely organized. The Iroquois Confederacy, and the Three Fire Nations are two that come to mind, but there are many others.

As Bruce described, tribes could war among themselves for the reason Bruce described, but were quick to form an alliance when a outside threat appeared.  


Uncle Bruce
link   seeder  Uncle Bruce  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

 Another thing about the Warriors, and combat.  I mentioned in the article that they were the masters of hit and run tactics.  The truth is, in warfare, the warriors fought at an individual level.  That is, there were leaders that would lead a group into battle, but there were very few small unit tactics developed and executed.  This wasn't a bad thing.  The warrior fought for himself, and the individual tactic was centered around counting coup.


link   tomwcraig  replied to  Uncle Bruce   3 years ago

Most people will jump to the conclusion that counting coup was actually scalping their defeated enemies.  That is incorrect.  Scalping was a white man idea given to them by the traders that came in.  Most of the time, what was counting coup was kidnapping a maiden for wife.

Nowhere Man
link   Nowhere Man  replied to  tomwcraig   3 years ago
Scalping was a white man idea given to them by the traders that came in.

Absolutely false,

Indians were scalping Indians long before the white-man ever arrived....

For reference,

The Crow Creek Massacre , circa the 1350's AD well over 100 years before the whiteman ever set foot on the continent.

Archaeologists from the University of South Dakota, directed by project director Larry J. Zimmerman, field director Thomas Emerson, and osteologist P. Willey found the remains of at least 486 people killed during the attack. Most of these remains showed signs of ritual mutilation, particularly scalping .

Scalping is a war rite. First observed in bohemian europe, it seems to develop in societies on it's own.... The process was exacerbated in the Americas when it was used as proof of death in a bounty scheme. Horrible practice.

But no, Scalping is not something the whiteman brought with him to the new world, it was something learned by the whiteman from the natives, then the whiteman adopted it and used it for their own purposes.

link   Kavika     3 years ago

Most of the time, what was counting coup was kidnapping a maiden for wife.

No way that it was kidnapping a maiden for a wife. Counting coup was the act of bravery of a warrior when confronted with an enemy. Touching the enemy on the head with a Coup Stick was an act of both bravery and to humiliate the enemy. The enemy was rarely killed. 

Raven Wing
link   Raven Wing  replied to  Kavika   3 years ago

Agreed, Kavika. Taking Coup was in no way such a cowardly act. Taking Coup was a honorary act of bravery, and many Tribes required their Braves to take at least 4 Coup to earn the right to be considered a true Warrior.

While there were Tribes that kidnapped women as slaves, few were taken as wives.  


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