Indian numbers at Little Big Horn. Nov 24, 2013 14:48:27 GMT -5
Post by fuchs on Nov 24, 2013 14:48:27 GMT -5
Nov 24, 2013 13:27:48 GMT -5 @fred said:I do not believe either Thomas or Hardorff are correct with the numbers of dead Indians.
Sorry, but again your own work indicates otherwise, or at least lend strong support that they are close.
My number is in the mid-60s, many of which I have confirmed with the battlefield.
By which method? Weren't there quite some discussions here about misplaced/shifted markers here for the soldier casualties? And those would have based on much better evidence than for the Indians, no?
Hardorff misplaces bodies and makes no allowances for Gall's family as well as other things.
I cannot answer to misplaced bodies, but he most certainly does account for the civilians killed in the Reno attack in the final tally (ten casualties), as well as Rod Thomas.
It is also extremely far-fetched to believe with the number of different battles raging at different times and in different locales, as well as the close-in fighting, that there would be only 31 or so Indian deaths.
As far-fetched as the idea that there were only some 15-16000 Lakota in 1876?
Hell, I have more names than that and unless those reports are wrong or the names were duplicated-- which they were not-- the mid-60s number is reasonably accurate.
Ummh, Again, I'm terribly sorry but it appears that you do have quite a lot of duplicates in your list in Participants. Not duplicate entries, but multiple entries for the same person.
With very few exceptions, all the names of killed warriors you have in Participants are found on Rod Thomas list. That list has only 31 unique persons.
I have found entries for 28 of those on your list, (the other 3 were killed most likely on the 26th).
In total, I could find 47 of your entries on the Rod Thomas list. Where possible, I checked the biography information you gave in Participants against the potential duplicate entry, and what information Hardorff and Thomas has given to the person.
According to the information you listed in Participants, the duplicates are "real" beyond reasonable doubt for most of the cases, there were several "probable"'s, and one or two "maybe"'s.
This is from my dim memory, and might actually have been less bullet-proof than I remember, but at the time I was fairly certain that most of those suspected duplicated were indeed duplicates.
I did this quite some time ago, and unfortunately didn't make any notes, but simply made a mark in my/your "warrior" list. Accordingly, if you call me out to provide those notes, expect me to need some time to repeat the exercise.
Especially the Cheyenne had almost invariably multiple names. I think it is dishonest to make the argument that the total number of killed Cheyenne was significantly different from "7", if pretty much all accounts agree on that number or something close (if they are mentioned at all, of course).
Yet, you list 19 names of Cheyennes killed in the battle. All of those are on the Rod Thomas list.
For the total number of killed warriors, Hardorff assembled some 35 different Indian sources:
I did fudge the binnings a bit to smooth it out, but this doesn't change the fact that we have 31 unique named warriors from the Hardorff/Thomas casualty roster and a clear peak around "30" in the histogram for the total number of casualties.
A comparable fraction of duplicates was apparently assembled by Hardorff for the Washita, about 40 different names (as listed by Greene) for about 15 individuals. Again, the aggregate of the Indian sources do seem to support the lower number.
Certainly a lot more accurate than either Hardorff's 31 or Clair's 300+.
If I remember correctly, the main support for that 300 estimate were the number of cairns found on the battlefield. At least one modern oral Lakota history (as per poster "brock") has it that those cairns are indeed representing warrior casualties.
But, and I would ascribe a higher reliability to that, JSIT explains that those cairns are actually mnemonics put there by the Cheyenne to help in retelling battle stories. Some of those would undoubtedly represent casualties, but not necessarily all, or even most.
IIRC, those cairns were most numerous on the Custer part of the Battlefield, fitting with a Cheyenne origin.
Nov 24, 2013 14:22:49 GMT -5 @fred said:No, no... quite the contrary. I do not see a very big discrepancy between your numbers and mine and I am very comfortable with mine.
That obviously depends on the perspective
1300 vs. 2072 and 6500 vs. 10000 do appear to me as about as much of a step as
10000 vs. 15000