Ray wrote a beautiful article in the LBHA's Research Review, vol. 21, no. 1, Winter 2007, called, "'Which They Had Captured All.'" Great stuff! He goes over the whole history; great pictures, great analysis. I have been beating him up to write some more. Maybe Mike Donohue's nudge will get him stirring, and I am going to pound his head in Hagerstown next week!
If you have not seen his article, I have an extra copy of that edition, and if you want to read it, send me your address and name and I will get it in the mail right away; it's yours. You can PM me if you want.
Gen Gbbon wrote that when Reno on returning from his scout neared Gibbon's command on the Yellowstone, one of his officer's signalled to Reno's command on the opposite side of the river using a handkerchief tied to a stick. The two commands then used the "army code of signals" to spell out messages. This was confirmed by Bradley in his journal.
Bradley mentions "signal flags." Did he mean actual Army signal flags, or guidons, or hankerchiefs tied to sticks? Was there a field expediant for signalling without the usual signal flags?
In any case, there was someone in each command who knew the flag code.
Post by bandboxtroop on Sept 7, 2008 21:36:55 GMT -5
Clair: Letter written by Dr Holmes O Paulding doctor with Gibbons unit written July 8 1876 from camp on the Yellowstone River to his mother "the 7th Calvary lost the regimental colors and 5 guidons" Letter dated 4 Aug 1908 by Daniel Knipe to Walther Camp stated he saw indians carrying flags" but it was not known on Reno Hill that it was company guidons or General Custers flag or the Regimental colors which they had captured all" Sgt Fremont Kipp Co D "all the men were of one mind that after the battle neithers Custers guidon nor the regimental standard could be found and that the indians must have taken them" Private Thomas Harrington Co A 7th Infantry (Gibbons Command) the indians"even made off with the colors of the regiment" Paxton painted the Yellow regimental colors in his famous painting he took 25 years of reseach before he did this painting. The blue flag in the museum was a replacement. My source was a article wrriten by Raymond Hillyer that Fred kindly mailed to me.
Sgt Kipp was one of the men living at the Soldier's Home in Washington, DC. Kipp was the only man Col. Graham mentioned by name as being at the Home. The words are actaully Graham's. He was stating generally what the men at the Home told him. This was in Graham's article and latter privately printed pamphlet "Custer's Battle Flags . . . ."
As nearly as I have been able to tell, Graham (as he says himself) came up with the idea that the flag was stowed away and carried with the pack train.
Post by bandboxtroop on Sept 8, 2008 16:14:49 GMT -5
Rch The article was in winter 2007 Research Review Fred had sent me a copy. It shows a Yellow regimental in a 1868 picture taken with Custer and his Osage scouts. Also the Regimental Color bearer was found under Custer with his arm severed (to get the flag?)
Post by bandboxtroop on Oct 8, 2008 10:11:59 GMT -5
Keough I thinks its about 100 percentdef that they lost the Yellow standard. My question is when the hostiles started coming in I know list were put out to look for certain officer items watchs etc. Was any order put out to post commanders to be on the look out for the 6 missing flags. I read Wooden legs account again and he is on the money on the flag issue he states that there was 9 captured flags. If you add the 7 troop guidons that were lost Custer's personal flag and the Regimental standard it comes out to 9. 3 Guidons were recovered. 6 flags total missing at LBH.
Post by bandboxtroop on Dec 23, 2008 18:30:36 GMT -5
I found this account on researching lost 7th Cavalry guidons, has anyone seen this one before. If its true it would make 4 of the 7 troop guidons lost that were recovered. I still wonder why 2 NCO's would be allowed to keep recovered troop guidons as they are goverment property. Sgt Culbertson recovered another guidon on LSH under a body.
Arkansas City Republican, August 15, 1885.
THE DAY THAT CUSTER FELL.
Sitting Bull and a Soldier Exchange Reminiscences of the Fight.
BOSTON, Aug. 8. The real facts about the death of Gen. Custer were brought out a day or two ago in an interview here between Sitting Bull and Sergeant John Ryan, of Newton, who fought under Gen. Reno in the last battle between Custers regiment and the Indians. When Sergeant Ryan was introduced to the chief, Sitting Bull showed no disposition to talk, but presently Ryan drew from his pocket a blood-spattered cavalry Guidon and asked Sitting Bull if he had ever seen a flag like that before. The Indian showed a sudden awakening of interest.
Yes he said.
When was it? asked Ryan.
When we had the fight and killed Custers men, said Sitting Bull through the interpreter, we got a number of them. Where did you get it?
On the second day of the fight, answered Ryan, I saw an Indian riding up and down in front of our lines displaying this flag. Another man and I who had long range rifles fired at him repeatedly, and finally dropped him off his horse. When night came, I went out and brought the flag in.
That's a very interesting story. And to think that Major Reno claimed they had no notion that Custer and his men had been destroyed, and Capt. Benteen thought he was just down the river grazing his horses.......
Its often quite revealing what you can find out from the enlisted men. Somebody must have forgotten to tell Ryan to shut up about this event.
Post by bandboxtroop on Dec 24, 2008 10:13:27 GMT -5
True, Keough, that and it the bugle calls they heard at night and Lt DeRudios report of seeing a indian wearing Toms Custer's clothes was enough intell for Reno to know that something had happened to Custer's Command. Plus Reno's own words that he saw 3 men being tortured in the village and he thourght one was lt Harrington.
Post by thehighwayman on Dec 24, 2008 18:26:31 GMT -5
I don't doubt for a minute that Reno and Benteen sensed (by the time Terry arrived) that a MAJOR SNAFU had taken place, and may have been hoping against hope that the situation wasn't as bad as they feared it to be. Some people today might call it denial.
The first thing people generally do is look for someone to blame and point fingers at, and I also have no doubt that Reno and Benteen understood full well just at whom the fingers would be pointing. Fairly or not.