In "Old Neutriment," Glendolin Damon Wagner, tells the story of Custer's striker, John Burkman. I don't know how many liberties were taken with the original notes which were taken down by someone else. It's seems to me that the notes were augmented by Wagner's own research, so that it's hard to know were Burkman ends and Wagner begins.
In any case, according to Burkman/Wagner, the regimental standard, was carried into the battle by Sgt Vickory of Company F, and when Vickory's body was found on Custer Hill his right arm had been "cut off." The implication is that the arm was severed because it was the one that held the flag or even that it was held with such a death grip that severing the arm became the quickest way to take the trophy.
Are there any other sources that support Burkman's statement that the arm was severed?
Are there any Indian sources which describe such a mutilation?
Is such a death grip even possible?
Last Edit: Dec 21, 2015 2:01:58 GMT -5 by moderator
Post by bandboxtroop on Sept 10, 2008 8:19:00 GMT -5
Sgt Thomas O'Neil was a close friend of Vickorys and was digging a grave for him when the command decidedto use that grave for the Custer brothers. Burkman was the only person to note Vickorys mutilations. Seeing that Burkman was Custer's striker and had a great affection for him I see no reason to doubt his account as Custer's body lay over Vickory and Voss.
O'Niel was discribing Custer's burial so it is understandable that he made no mention of Vickory's arm. Burkman never went himself to see Custer's body and whould have had the information about Vickory second hand.
That's why we need more information.
The interesting thing about the story, assuming Burkman didn't make it up himself, is that he got it second hand. Someone had to tell him the story. I think even a rumor of that nature implies that other men in the regiment believed the standard was lost.
Post by nanaotameoxz on Sept 11, 2008 13:08:19 GMT -5
rch and bandbox:
O'Neill was actually burying his friend Vickory when Wallace came along. From Hardorff's Battle Casualties II, giving the Pacific Monthly, July 1908 as source:
"Some of the bodies were lying on top of other bodies; one case in particular, the body of the chief trumpeter which was lying over the face of a very dear friend of mine, named Jack Vickory. All the bodies were naked, except that of Vickory, which had one white sock on with his name on it. I rooled the body of the trumpeter off Vickory and began to cover up Nickory's body. I made a considerable mound over him, and in doing so, I made quite an excavation in the ground. Captain [George D.] Wallace....was in charge of my company at the time, said, "O'Neill, that will be a good place to bury the General." So, with the assistance of another soldier, we squared the hole, and lifted the General's body a few yards away and placed it in the grave. Captain Wallace wrote the General's name on a piece of paper, put it in an empty shell, and placed it at his head............."
This differs somewhat from Camp's field notes, but the substance is pretty much the same. I think that O'Neill would have remarked on the missing arm, had that been the case, since he did note the one sock detail.
Post by thehighwayman on Sept 11, 2008 13:40:28 GMT -5
It does have the flavor of one of those regimental legends that spring up, doesn't it? 'Why, even in death, he was holdin' the colors so tight, that they had to chop his arm off to get 'em away from him.'
Post by bandboxtroop on Apr 28, 2013 4:53:53 GMT -5
Your not going to find information when there was none recorded. As I stated many were missing parts and hacked up. The Sioux and Cheyenne had 2 days to play with the bodies. Only a dig of the mass grave and a few years of sorting out the bones which they can very well do would solve these questions but why spend money on that when we can pay North Korea for pig bones. I stated my theory before to Keough as to who I think is buried in Custer's grave in West Point and who is in Toms Custers grave in Kansas. Ill stay with my theory till digs are done. Not mentioning a missing arm is no big deal when you had a whole battlefield of men missing heads ,legs and arms, plus throw in a hundred scrotum sacs to even it out.