Post by thehighwayman on Jul 26, 2008 10:51:32 GMT -5
Ranger, (modified) I have an enlargement of the photo. The animal you mention appears to be without a feed bag. One of the horses, to the left, was shaking its head during the film plate's exposure and is blurry looking. It seems, to my fading memory, that I have seen a caption somewhere before, that identifies many of the men in the photo.
Custer is indeed mounted to the center (more or less), but the horse he's on is unidentified. Lt. Smith is in the photo (somewhere) as well as Boston Custer and Lt. Cooke. Don't bet your pick-up truck on any of that info except for the mule.
Custer may not be in the photo of the Black Hills Expedition. I don't think he or his wife ever claimed he was. Custer probably would be well behind the camera and riding between the advance guard and the Train.
I too think that the man in the left center with a rifle across his saddle is riding a mule.
The man to his right wearing a forage cap is my guess for 1st Lt A. E. Smith, who was in charge of the Train. The man leading the cavalry column of the left of the photo is probably Maj Tilford.
W. W. Cooke did not accompany the Black Hills Expedition. He was with the Regimental HQ, which remained at St Paul, Minn.
Post by thehighwayman on Jul 27, 2008 17:34:38 GMT -5
You could be right, but the facial structure is very close to Custer's own. The nose and the mustache (Custer usually looks as though he's eating a squirrel) and the slouching, so characteristic of many photos of him.
They say the camera never lies, but it often mumbles.
Sorry about the W.W. Cooke faux pas, I meant Captain Ludlow - supposedly he's on the white horse that is shaking its head, but again who can say for certain.
The best version of the Black Hills Expedition photo I've seen is an enlargement used as the frontpeice of "Exploring With Custer."
Just for clarification, do you think Custer is the man in the left center of the photo with the rifle across his saddle?
I'm not sure that the photographer ever ID'd anyone in the photo.
I think this photo was taken to document the wagon train. Only about 2 companies of Maj Forsyth's battalion are seen on the left of the photo. The most prominent figure seems to be the man I think is A. E. Smith, the infantry is not in sight, and if Custer is in the photo at all, his flag (either personal or HQ) and flag bearer are absent.
Paul Horsted with megaphone tell story of Custer's expedition and what we see in Illingworth's 1874 photo and the modern day scene. If you have his book "Exploring With Custer," you can see the larger version of Illingworth's photo. It shows his wagon alone in the valley with Custe's campsite in the upper right foreground at the base of Lime Stone Peak. The picture can be found on page 178:
Post by thehighwayman on Jul 28, 2008 10:51:44 GMT -5
To be clear and perfectly firm. I think it might be, possibly.
I've seen it declared to be Custer, but what evidence those statements were based on, beyond speculation, I've heard nothing about. Personally, I see nothing about the figure that firmly conflicts with a Custer ID.
The fact that his personal flag is not present may or may not be a clue. Ole George wasn't camera shy, and the possibility of his ducking away from the HQ group for a few minutes to pose in the photo isn't ridiculous to consider.
I think that the original was stereoscopic. A number of the photos that Illingsworth took on that expedition were. I can't say that they all were (60 or 70 photos in the entire set), but think they probably were so. The famous one of Custer and the bear was stereoscopic, and I have noticed the slightly different versions of that photo used in different places, but have never bothered to compare the various images to be found of this particular scene.
Be that as it may, however, I still doubt that Custer would have posed for a photo sitting atop a mule.
"The more I see of movement here (Little Big Horn Battlefield), the more I have admiration for Custer, and I am satisfied his like will not be found very soon again.”
~ Gen. Nelson Miles, General of the Army
At the LBH, the warriors did the unexpected and a surprised Custer was overwhelmed, a worried Reno ceded the advantage and a complacent Benteen tripped over the horns of his own dilemma.
Post by thehighwayman on Jul 28, 2008 15:10:49 GMT -5
Hi, keogh. I'm not so certain he's sitting on a mule. I will try to do some enlagements tonight (probably) and get them posted on here somehow. Not sure it will help but I'm willing to give it a whirl.
I'm not to sure its a mule compared to the one to the right, but it is hard to say. The ears are pointed back like it doesn't like the mule behind it.
The more I look at the guy in buckskins, he has a hat similar to Custer's but appears to have too much facial hair. That slightly curved shiny object with a slightly enlarged end appears to me to be more of sabre scabbard tied to the pommel. A rifle would have a dark barrel and I detect a slight curve to the object although that could be an optical issue. Don't think it is a gun barrel though.
Post by bandboxtroop on Jul 28, 2008 23:11:21 GMT -5
gocav76 Get the book "G A Custer His Life and Times" by Glenwood Swanson. It has pics of the recovered buttons. Most are General Service buttons and few officer staff plus Eagle C buttons which by the way were only worn by officers. Staff buttons were used on the many buckskin jackets worn at LBH. Officialy only majors and above could wear Staff buttons but they were used for the thicker buckskin material. Also found in the hostile camp was a number of Confederate buttons which had prabably made there way there by trade.