Post by blaque on Feb 9, 2016 8:41:42 GMT -5
Feb 5, 2016 17:43:40 GMT -5 @fred said:Jose,
You and I disagree over this issue and we have for a long time. I think Long's work is fairly definitive, especially after his trip to the battlefield. There has also been some artifactual evidence discovered there by both Jason Pitsch and several archaeologists. The latter admit to having found post-battle relics, but also some evidence of a small, minor encampment dating from the battle. I think between Long-- and quite frankly, I am not interested in maps of the area since every one I have ever seen is inaccurate in some detail or other--the Sioux participants, Indian scouts, some anecdotal comments alluding to such a camp, metal detecting finds by Pitsch, and the small minor finds by the archaeologists, there is enough evidence for me to believe that area was occupied... again, however small: maybe by only 20 or so warriors.
So I guess we shall just have to continue to disagree... a very precarious position for me, since I consider you one of the eight most knowledgable people alive today regarding anything to do with the battle... and far more knowledgable than I.
I hope you are doing well... one of these days I would love to meet you.
Very best wishes to an old friend,
First of all let me thank you for your kind comments praising my collaboration in these boards, a work which surely pales by comparison with the stuff contributed by people like you.
But further to this ‘recurrent topic’ of the eastern village, I’m actually in agreement with you and A10 (thanks also for your considerate remarks!) as to the warrior activity against Reno from the east bank; but while I do consider Pitsch’s findings indicative that the area was a camping ground for 19th-Century Native Americans, there’s no way those vestiges can be accurately linked to that particular week of June 1876 – it would be sheer speculation, since generations of Indians camped there before and after the battle.
Likewise, I agree with you in thinking that “Long's work is fairly definitive”. Gibbon, Becker, Thompson, Lattman, the Rees and the Crows might have missed that small village –highly improbable, but not impossible. Lt. Oscar Long, however, was told about that camp by villagers who knew of its existance and could well have pointed its whereabouts during their joint visit to the battlefield. And what did Long write in his report following that visit?:
“One small tribe of disaffected Indians from the Spotted Tail Agency […] were encamped at the upper end of the village, on the left bank of the Little Big Horn”.
This leaves no doubt as to the fact that the small tribe from Spotted Tail Agency planted their tepees at the southern end of the village and –like every other tribe present in the valley– on the left or west bank of the river.
However, and in spite of the fairly definitive report by Lt. Long, you insist in placing the Spotted Tail village on the right bank of the river –the wrong bank, according to Long. It is my guess that you have been dragged into this contradiction by the ‘artistic’ rendition of Long’s map, now in the Montana Historical Society. The artist (or rather perpetrator) mistook the labelling of the place from where a few “Spotted Tail Agency Indians” first sighted the US troops marching down Reno Creek (as in Long’s original pencil map) with the actual camping site of the tribe. Note that in his sketch Long identified five distinct villages numbered 1 to 5. Had he pretended to identify the site of the Spotted Tail village, he would have labelled it no. 6. He did nothing of the sort, however, since his evident purpose with the legend “Spotted Tail Agency Indians” –written NOT beside the stream, but on top of a high point, either SSR or 3411 since it’s opposite to Reno’s timber– was to pinpoint the place of occurrence of an important episode referred to in his report:
“Eleven men and one squaw from the Spotted Tail Agency started from the Indian camp to go back to their agency, but seeing Custer’s command –before it was divided– returned to the Indian village and gave warning”.
Long’s legend “Spotted Tail Agency Indians” was intended to highlight the spot from where these Indians alerted the camp about the impending attack (revelant fact), rather than to pinpoint the camping site of a few dozen people in a village of 7.000 souls (irrelevant fact).
I think we should get rid of the embellished version of Long’s map and stick to his original sketch and above all to his written report… and let facts speak by themselves: There are no eyewitness accounts reporting a village east of the river on June 25th. Not a single one, so far.
And I would also love to discuss all these matters with you and other friends in these boards, preferably with cold beers in hand and maps on the table after a long, exhausting day riding around the battlefield!