Benteen's Animosity Jul 3, 2012 16:08:53 GMT -5
Post by Clair on Jul 3, 2012 16:08:53 GMT -5
Well, again, this is only a court of opinion, not a court of law. So I must speculate that without other evidence, a man whose main focus is playing baseball, and is probably exempt from company extra duties and perhaps some training due to his status on the team, is not going to be the most focused marksman. Just an experienced hunch.
Who I am is a former company commander who knows how things operate inside a company. I've seen these kinds of things before...these are "indicators" of something wrong in a company that any experienced officer will question, you see. I doubt many military officers would disagree with me. If they do, have them contact me to explain how they could possibly see it differently.
Your letting your personal feelings about Benteen cloud your judgement in this matter my friend. Believe it or not, I'm not a Benteen, Reno or Custer partisan. Each of these men had positive and negative aspects to their character as do we all it's part of the human condition. However I try to analyze each without letting my personal likes or dislikes influencing it (not always the easiest). As for McCurry's selection I threw out a few possibilites such as better disciplinary record, and literacy, and literacy did play a role in the selection of Noncoms.
Yes, and those are all good considerations. But enough to promote a 4 year man over several 10+ year combat veterans? Not very likely, although Carl had an example. Such cases are VERY exceptional, however, and I cannot believe it very likely for a man that was a professional baseball player, sorry. If he was a former buffalo hunter or something, I might buy it. But not a ball player turned fantastic leader and Soldier over combat vets. I agree that you and Carl could be =remotely= possible in advancing McCurry as an adequate 1SG and SGM candidate, but you would have a long case to prove to a Regular Army officer, I think.
As for CPT Benteen, he gets my admiration as he deserves. He was brave. PERIOD. Nothing more to say of him. Guys like him are standard in the enlisted ranks in the US Army. Nothing special. Other than bravery and arrogance, he doesn't have much going for him, I think. He is an experienced Indian fighter and field campaigner...among the best at moving overland. So a couple more good credits.
His being late twice at LBH that one, allowed the loss of the mission, and two, allowed the annihilation of half the regiment, kinda cancels out all those good, but standard, qualities. That's how I feel about Benteen. It is both personal, because he was a A-hole, and professional, because I question his tactical competence, and it got a lot of good men killed.
But yeah, he was real brave. What does that buy you in the officer corps? It's rather taken for granted, I would say. It is a "minimum" standard: exceptional bravery.
We expect a LOT more from our officers than outstanding bravery. Its a hard job.
Though this is a differant Army on a differant continent I am going to post a link to Color Sergeant Frank Bourne or Rorke's Drift fame's transcript from a thirty's interview with the BBC. Bourne was a young man who had hardley any overseas experiance when he was promoted Color Sergenat of B company. I hope you enjoy the interview any here is the link
Great story. Note that Bourne was 6 years in service before being made "Color Sergeant" of Company B. Now what kinds of colors did companies carry in the British infantry then? Was he a "guidon bearer?" Or was he part of the detail assigned to battalion headquarters with the regimental colors? Bourne had more experience as a guidon bearer than McCurry had as the H Company 1SG in the 7th US Cavalry!
We both need to agree to disagree about Benteen's competancy as long as you think he is incompetant you will not believe he picked a good 1Sgt.
Oh I think Benteen was supremely competent enough to select a competent 1SG. He just did not do so in this case, for his personal reasons putting his baseball team over the competency and efficiency of his cavalry troop. Simple as that, I think. It is not a professional defect in Benteen...it is a PERSONAL defect, and we ALL know that he has plenty of those, eh?
And so we will keep beating a dead horse so to speak.
We may indeed, but this horse ain't dead yet. I think there is still a LOT more to come about about 1SG McCurry and the efficiency of Benteen's company...but who do you think really wants to hear it?
Sturgis took over field command of the regiment a few months after the battle and would have had interactions with McCurry in that capacity. If he was not satisfied by him he could have removed him. Also Sturgis does not seem like the type to me who would simply follow Reno's recommendations without taking account of the issue himself. That's just my opinion.
That is very possible. I don't see Sturgis as the kind of officer to put up with much incompetence, and McCurry HAD to have been an incompetent SGM. There is really no other way to judge that, it has to be so obvious. McCurry never had a SINGLE CLUE what a sergeant major was even supposed to do, much less how to attempt to do it!
So does anybody know how long McCurry lasted in the job of SGM?