Last Updated: 30Sep10 13. [Here is where Martini’s testimony starts getting fouled up.] When asked how far—distance—they had traveled from where they had watered to where they looked down to see the village, he replied, “… about an hour and a half after we left the watering place till we got to that place.” [He could not have been talking about the morass.]  [Elisabeth Kimber brought out the point that, “Graham interprets the ‘hour and a half’ to be either a slip of the tongue, or a mistake in the written record; he thinks what was meant was ‘a mile and a half’. That would make much more sense, I think ... In which case the watering place he's referring to is presumably North Fork?”]
The North Fork is an unlikely choice for Custer to have watered his horses. According to local landowners, the North Fork is nearly always dry at this time of season. It is far more likely that the horses were watered in Ash Creek just west of where the mouth of North Fork enters Ash Creek. This is also where a branch of the Indian Lodge Trail would have crossed the river and continued to the north along the east side of the LBH river.
I believe Elisabeth Kimber is correct. Martini meant a mile and 1/2 north of the watering place on Ash Creek (just a bit west of the mouth of the North Fork) would be the high hill where Custer and Martini first stopped to view the village. This would clearly be either the south end of Sharpshooter Ridge or 3411 or both.
14. [This is now very interesting.] “We went more to the right from that ridge and went down to a ravine that went to the river. At the same time General Custer passed that high place on the ridge or a little below it he told his adjutant to send an order back to Captain Benteen.” 15. Martini then states the command “went more to the right from that ridge and went down to a ravine that went to the river.” As Custer went past “that high place on the ridge,” he told the adjutant to send a message back to Benteen.  [The assumption now is that the “high place on the ridge” is Weir Peaks and the ravine is Cedar Coulee. Martini would not have known that Cedar Coulee would not go to the river, but would empty into MTC. Furthermore, Martini would probably have understood Custer to say something like, we’ll take this ravine to the river.] • According to Martini’s testimony, this “high place” is now Weir Peaks. He was asked if Custer went there and he said no, only the Indian scouts did.  • It looks like Martini was given the note right near the head of Cedar Coulee. 
My interpretation of Martini's testimony is that the note was given near the mouth of Cedar Coulee where it enters into MTC. Keep in mind the following descriptive statement from Martini:
"We went more to the right from that ridge and went down to a ravine that went to the river. At the same time General Custer passed that high place on the ridge or a little below it he told his adjutant to send an order back to Captain Benteen.”
If the high place on the ridge refers to Weir Point -- and I believe it did -- Martini is telling us that as the command was traveling down the ravine to the river, Custer passed by Weir Point on his left, then told his adjutant to send an order back to Benteen. This would suggest that the command -- Martini included -- had already traveled far enough down Cedar Coulee to have passed by Weir Point on their left before the message was sent back to Benteen.
This would, to me at least, clarify Martini's later contradictory statement that he was sent back "600 yards or 3/4 of a mile" from the hill they first stopped at to view the village. From the above statement, it would appear that the 3/4 of a mile would be closer to the truth, for this is only distance that would put them past "the high hill" (Weir Point) on their left before Custer sent the message back to Benteen.
"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, Commanding General of the Army ------
"With our cherished ones deliverance within our grasp we waited breathless two hours, for the order that never came."
Fred, there is great stuff here but … isn’t it almost everything? I’m not any less confused. For example: Martin told Camp in 1908 that he met Boston Custer BEFORE getting to the top of the ridge above MTC; in 1910 he said he rode on quite a distance after reaching “elevation” before encountering a straggler from C Company, and that he met Boston AFTER that. The scholarly and scientific work of authors like Gray and Fox make it clear these encounters occurred within a half mile of the Cedar Coulee-MTC intersection and a point roughly a mile south of Weir Point … but it seems clear that’s as close as we will ever get!
Regarding Martin's departure, my interpretation of Camp's notes is that the whole command moved off the hill toward dry creek and turned left upon reaching it. "Martin thinks he continued about 1/2 mile farther when Cooke halted and wrote" the 'be quick' note. This seems to fit scenarios suggested by Fox and Gray.
Meanwhile, I didn’t see one of the most intriguing aspects about Martin’s participation on the long list. That would be his claim to Graham published in “The Story of the Little Bighorn” during the 1920s, that while waiting for Cooke he heard Custer say something about bringing Benteen up to the center. If this was Custer’s mindset at that moment—and had Benteen suddenly appeared—presumably H,D, and K would have been deployed to Ford B so that Custer’s battalion could have galloped north as fast as possible. But little would have changed.
OK, let's ask the great question. Who shot Martini's horse?
Wolf Tooth's band, stray Indians, US forces? How did Martini not know he was under fire? (Ummm, I have also had folks tell me I was under fire when I have no recollection of even hearing shots, so may be just a combat thing).
I am no timing expert, I defer to certain NAM FOGs. But let's look at sequencing. There was a period in time when traveling from the Custer column to the regimental main body was open, followed by a period when it was closed. Then this area became open again.
And age does mess up a good story. There is a certain action I am very proud of, think it was my best fight. 3 years ago one of my NCO's told me I was a knucklehead. I had let an enemy force with two RPDs get to our rear and suppress us. For the like of me, I have no recollection of this. So what I thought was effective decision making led him to think I was insanely reckless. As I write this I am trying to recall events as he portrayed them, and it does not bring the slightest recollection.
Bottom line: recollections are best when as close to the event as possible. Army videotapes AARs now, has been a great resource.
My great whatever grandfather served in the Army of Potomac. He was wounded and captured in seven days campaign. I have his pension records. As he got older, his story changed. He was wounded and exchanged. As he got older he claimed he escaped on his own, and many similar exaggerations.
SO to think LBH survivors changed their stories over time it typical.
So far, you seem to be about the only one who has put his finger on it. This is precisely why I set these files up this way: it shows you how the stories changed on the years, all within a page or so. It shows you how someone with an agenda can pick and choose from a story that varies. So, in my opinion, you did a very nice job in picking that up.
Now... understand something. These notes were done for my own edification and I never meant to make them public. Whenever I pick up something that can add to it, I do so, but they may not be complete. Martini may have said something in some publication I am unaware of, so obviously that would not be included.
Also... understand that I have cut out a lot of stuff I felt was superfluous or nonsensical, so it is all severely edited, though not to the point where I left out something that might change things.
Also, remember, I did all this groundwork... and then I formed my theories, not the other way around. This is the rub I have with too many others, including Clair, "keogh" to an extent, John Gray, et al. To me, many of the things I read are "facts" set into theory, not theory set into fact. You are not allowed to cherry-pick to the exclusion of pertinent data... and that is key. [Moderator Note: Fred, ironically, is more often than not guilty of the very things -- like "cherry-picking" the evidence -- that he accuses others of.]
Another thing... and Airborne, this does not pertain to you... I didn't post that stuff to be criticized or for my comments to be debated. I put it up for information. And I set it up chronologically for a reason. [Moderator's Note: You may not have posted your "stuff" up to be criticized or for your comments to be questioned or debated, but that is not a decision for you to make. When you post material up at a public message board, it is for the very purpose of having it discussed, debated and analyzed. No one's work is above criticism or question.]
Like "montrose" said here, and Darkcloud said, the key is the closer the testimonies are to when the event occurred, the more likely the truth, imo.
Anyway, good job Airborne.
Best wishes and happy new year, Fred.
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2013 19:34:27 GMT -5 by moderator
Post by calamityannie on Jan 2, 2011 11:49:33 GMT -5
Montrose, Martin's horse was shot within a few minutes, if not seconds of his departure. And for those interested to know, Keogh's(my bad...sorry) Kanipe's departure was mere seconds after Boston's arrival. Melani, The answer to your question which Fred seems reluctant to comment upon is - YES it would have mattered. There is one person here who knows what that 18 minutes difference can do - 3 1/3rd miles @ 12 miles per hour isn't that difficult to figure over those 18 minutes. And that matters alot.
Fred, you have treated me like some kind of two bit buffalo gal. ****.... If you don't want your opinions commented upon then don't publish them - e*v*e*r. Opinions are like, well you know, but a more realistic approach would be, they are like the burnt powder expended from the end of a gun and blown to the 4 winds. One person's fact is another persons fiction, like those bullets, shells... what-e*v*e*r, of Custer's found at the Crows nest. The Indian who pillaged it was there firing it after the battle. Prove me wrong. Its the same way with your presumptive - assumptive theories. Why not discuss them and find out the truth? Why not- in fact - answer Keogh's counter to one of your locations? Because yours is airtight, and anyone who disagrees with you is bound for insults, gags and your whims? Most of these people here are extremely intelligent and LBH savvy, and don't need you to tell them what to believe as part of your Disease of Victory, and don't appreciate the insulting gags anymore than I do. CASE CLOSED ****.
**** Post edited to remove inappropriate material. We are trying not to emulate the destructive tone so prevalent on other boards. One acid tongued 'DC' is enough for the Custer Community, and we are fortunate enough to have him on the other side of the fence.
Last Edit: Sept 14, 2012 21:50:33 GMT -5 by moderator
Annie, I don't think these are very good guesses. Even the most highly-regarded Custer scholars haven't attempted to pinpoint when or where Boston Custer regrouped, or even which wing he joined.
Even Gray didn't attempt to estimate Keogh's departure time. Plus there are still a few students out there who believe Keogh's wing didn't depart, but rather descended on to Ford B.
Trying to determine when Martin's horse was shot is really a crapshoot. Camp, one of the few early scholars to venture a theory, thought it was atop the bluffs after the meeting with Boston, inflicted by warriors firing "straggling shots" from between the river and the bluffs. If true, that would have been more than halfway through his approximately 24-minute ride.
The best thing about this forum is that we try to maintain a certain degree of dignity and respect for each other. It gets strained once in awhile Like the movie Godfather, we may spill a little blood once in awhile. But it isn't personal, it is just LBH business.
Now Calamity is new here, but has been a one man wrecking crew. You start out with a nasty attack on reenactors.
You then went on a presumptive attack on Fred's notes that was also over the line. But since you were attacking facts and analysis, I had planned to respond.
But your attack on Fred is way over the line. Get a grip on yourself, son.
If you want to discuss a view, go ahead. Lay out your reasoning and supporting facts. You will get differing opinions. This is due to a thing called the internet.
There are forums that only reflect a single view and tolerate no dissent. You may want to find a Switzerland based forum.
This forum , I believe, encourages diverse views. It also encourages views with some vague linkage to facts. I do not always agree with Bill on various theories, but I deeply admire his management skills on this forum. It is like herding cats.
If you want respect, respect others.
Last Edit: Jan 2, 2011 20:41:35 GMT -5 by montrose
CA made the following point on another thread: "Martin's statements to the court were not sequential. He never got the opportunity to tell his story to the court as some of the others did. He was questioned, and answered those questions as they were put to him, and there was nothing sequential about the questions or the answers he provided."
My response was: I would concur with that. And he was probably under some pressure as well. Then he had a previously marked map stuck in his face as I recall. However, I don't think Martini ever made a return trip to the battlefield and made any statements at the battlefield itself. That terrain is very deceptive with all the hills and gullies. That's not to say he couldn't have photographic recall of his ride, but unless he wrote a journal, his distances remain suspect.
I tend to put Martini leaving in MTC or close to it and probably the mouth of Cedar Coulee. The hill he is referring to could be Luce/Butler Ridges, the Weir sugarloaf hills, or even Bouyer's bluff. I do not necessarily think his departure point was the same as one of the points where someone alleged to be GAC was observed from the valley. Making that connection may be a flaw to the entire interpretation of his story, or maybe not.
Last Edit: Apr 27, 2013 19:36:43 GMT -5 by moderator
The more I read this Martini information it seems that Custer attacked at ford B faster than I though and without much delay. Reno's fight went faster than I was thinking.
Martini says Custer was going to attack through the village. I just don't see much that would stop him. Even if some NAs were riding from Reno.
Martini saw them going back in the flat. I assume this is the flat along MTC on the way to Luce and not the flat over in Deep Coulee on the way to Calhoun. If Custer was really intent on crossing the river into the village, I just don't see a few or even a lot of NAS and riflemen stopping him. Not sure I buy into the speculation that GAC was shot at the river anymore. Could he have been attacked from the rear by Wolf Tooth causing a battalion to respond back against WT and effectively stopping his charge?