Custer Bios


Custer's  Battle-Field (June 25th 1876), Surveyed and drawn under the personel supervision  of Lieut. Edward Maguire, Corps of Engineers U.S.A. by Sergeant Charles Becker  Co. "D" Battalion of Engineers.On the afternoon of the  25th, Grouard, dressed  as a Sioux, rode north.

 That night he found the trail left by Custer's forces  and soon came across the body of a dead soldier. From a Sioux he learned of the  battle, but the Sioux soon suspected he was not of them. He was, thus, pursued  by four Sioux for more than fifty  miles before eluding the pursuers. On the  26th, in accordance with Terry's plan, Gibbon was cautiously moving his way  toward theƂ scene. Warned by scouts of Gibbon's approach, the village was  dismantled and the Indians disappeared into the Bighorns. The next day the  extent of Custer's defeat was learned. Lt. George Wallace described moving to  the scene of Custer's fight, "but the sight was too horrible to describe.

We  buried 204 bodies and encamped near Gen'l Terry. But the smell of dead horses  forced him to move camp several miles." Bodies were down by the river, and  another smaller group, as shown by the numbers on the above map, were found  below the crest of what is now known as "Last Stand Hill.

" There were found the  bodies of (3) Custer's brother-in-law, Lt. James Calhoun; (4) Lt. J. J.  Crittenden; (5) Lt. Col. Geo. A. Custer; (6) Custer's bother, Capt. T. W.  Custer; (7) Capt. G. W. Yates; (8) Lt. A. Smith; (9) Lt. W. Reilly; (10) Lt. W.  W. Cooke; (11) Custer's bother, W. B. Custer; and (12) Custer's nephew,  Armstrong Reed. Some distance to the southeast were found (1) the body of Capt.  (Brevet Lt. Col.) Myles Walter Keogh. Near K eogh's body were found the bodies of  his two sergeants, bugler, and flag bearer.

Among  those killed at Little Bighorn was Custer's dog Tuck. In his letter of June 12  to Libby Custer, Custer wrote: "Tuck" regularly comes when I am writing, and  lays her head on the desk, rooting up my hand with her long nose until I consent  to stop and notice her. She and Swift, Lady and Kaiser sleep in my tent.


Comanche held by Gustave Korn as unidentified officer looks on. Photo by F. Jay  Haynes. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Korn (1852-1890), referred to by  his fellow soldiers as "Yankee," was Capt. Keogh's orderly and was assigned to  the Custer column but was saved from the fate of the rest of Custer's men when  his horse bolted when the troop reached the river. The horse had taken the bit  in his mouth and carried Korn through the Indian lines to Reno and Benteen's  units on what is now known as "Reno Hill.

Custer with Bloody Knife pointing to map), 1874.



Comanche held by Gustave Korn as unidentified officer looks on. Photo by F. Jay  Haynes. At the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Korn (1852-1890), referred to by  his fellow soldiers as "Yankee," was Capt. Keogh's orderly and was assigned to comanche   the Custer column but was saved from the fate of the rest of Custer's men when  his horse bolted when the troop reached the river. The horse had taken the bit  in his mouth and carried Korn through the Indian lines to Reno and Benteen's  units on what is now known as "Reno Hill.


Other  rumors relate to the survival of two dogs. In addition to Tuck who travelled  with Custer on his last journey, Custer took with him a number of greyhounds.  The greyhounds were left with packers at the previous night's encampment and,  thus, survived. Tuck was not left behind and is regarded as one of the  casualties of the battle. Of humans, the three most controversial accounts of  survivors are those relating to Frank Finkel, Charles Hopkins, and Company L's  (Calhoun's) farrier, William Heath.

In 1920  at a Rotary Club meeting, a claim was made by Frank Finkel of Dayton, Washington  State, that he had served with Custer at Little Bighorn. Allegedly, Finkel had  run away from home in Ohio and in 1874 enlisted in the Army under the name  "Frank Hall." He contended that he used the fictitious name since he was  underage. During the battle, a bullet struck the butt of his gun which  splintered, sending a splinter of wood into his forehead. At the same time a  bullet hit his horse in the flank. The horse bolted and carried Finkel through  the Indian lines. Finkel was hit twice by bullets, one in a foot and the other  in his abdomen. After reaching some hills, Finkel went into hiding. He made a  tourniquet from a blanket in an effort to stop his bleeding. After hiding for  four days, he found a cabin with two occupants, one named Bill, the other, later  identified to Hinkel only by his initials "G. W.," was terminally ill in bed.  Finkel was still bleeding. G. W. from his death bed gave instructions to staunch  the wound with hot pitch. When G. W. expired, Finkel helped bury him and carved  G. W.'s initials on a stone grave marker. Bill gave Finkel directions fron the  cabin to civilization. Finkel set out and caught a steamboat to Fort Benton. At  Fort Benton, Finkel read in a newspaper that Custer and all of his men had been  killed. He proceeded to St. Louis and from there moved west to Washington  State.

The  account, based on its details and the refusal of Finkel to change portions to  fit known facts, was apparently regarded by Custer historian Charles Kuhlman as  making the tale more credible. The difficulty with the account is that there was  no record of either a "Frank Finkel" or a "Frank Hall" in the Seventh Cavalry.  In this rOhio but from Prussia. Frank Finkel was also adamant that he was a  private and occasionally an acting corporal, but never a sergeant. Sgt. Finkel's  body was additionally one of those actually identified. It can, however, be  argued that the identification was in error. Further, Frank Finkel was insistant  that he rode a roan horse. Company C used sorrels. Each Company had different  colored horses.

And what happened in the battle? Just as the artists  provided imaginative views of the battle, writers of the day also provided  glorious accounts having little or no relationship to reality. Thus, popular  magazine writer Henry Inman wrote in conjuntion with Wm. F. Cody, in his 1898 The Great Salt Lake Trail, Macmillan Company, New York: Hinkel should not  be confused with either Curtis Hall or Edward Hall in Weir's Company D, both of  whom survived. Additionally, census records reflect that Finkle was born in Ohio  in 1854 and was, thus, not underage. It has, therefore, been suggested that  Finkel may have forgotten the name under which he enlisted or that Finkel  was really George August Finkel, a sergeant in  Thomas Custer's Company C. That contention, however, does not wash in that  George Finkel was not from In a  moment, fateful incident, the Indians came swarming about that heroic band until  the very earth seemed to open and let loose the elements of volcanic fury, or  like a riot of the fiends of Erebus, blazing with the hot sulphur of their  impious dominion. Down from the hillside, up through the valleys, that dreadful  torrent of Indian cruelty and massacre poured around the little squad to swallow  it up with one grand swoop of fire.

But Custer was there at the head, like  Spartacus fighting the legions about him, tall, graceful, brave as a lion at  bay, and with thunderbolts in his hands. His brave followers formed a hollow  square, and met the rush and roar and fury of the demons. Bravely they breasted  that battle shock, bravely stood up and faced the leaden hail, nor quailed when  looking into the blazing muzzles of five thousand deadly rifles.

Brushing  away the powder grimes that had settled in his face, Custer looked over the  boiling sea of fury around him, peering through the smoke for some signs of Reno  and Benteen, but seeing none. Still thinking of the aid which must soon come,  with cheering words to his men he renewed the battle, fighting still like a  Hercules and piling heaps of victims around his very feet.

Hour after  hour passed, and yet no friendly sign of Reno's coming; nothing to be seen  through the battle-smoke, except streaks of fire splitting through the misty  clouds, blood flowing in rivulets under tramping feet, dying comrades, and  Indians swarming around him, rending the air with their demoniacal  “hi-yi-yip-yah!  yah-hi-yah!

The fight  continued with unabated fury until late in the afternoon; men had sunk down  beside their gallant leader until there was but a handful left, only a dozen,  bleeding from many wounds and hot carbines in their stiffening hands.  The day  is almost done, when look! Heaven now defend him! The charm of his life is  broken, for Custer has fallen; a bullet cleaves a pathway through his side, and  as he falters another strikes his noble breast.

Like a strong oak stricken by  the lightning's bolt, shivering the mighty trunk and bending its withering  branches down close to the earth, so fell Custer; but, like the reacting  branches, he rises partly up again, and striking out like a fatally wounded  giant he lays three more Indians dead and breaks his mighty sword on the musket  of a fourth; then, with useless blade and empty pistol, falls back the victim of  a dozen wounds. ~ He was the last to succumb to death, and died, too, with the  glory of accomplished duty on his conscience and the benediction of a grateful  country on his head.

The place where fell these noblest of heroes is sacred  ground, and though it be the Golgotha of a nation's mistakes, it is bathed with  precious blood, rich with the gems of heroic inheritance.

                                    Custer's  Funeral, West Point, Harper's 1877 
The  casket contained only a few symbolic bones. In the hardpacked Montana earth, the  bodies were placed in shallow graves. The bodies were quickly dug up and  scattered by prairie wolves and other scavangers.


White Man Runs Him (Miastashedekaroos)

White-Man-Runs-Him, also  known as Crow-Who-Talks-Gros Venre and White-Buffalo-That-Turns-Around, was the  last surviving of the Crow Scouts. He died in 1928.

It is now generally believed fron Curly's testimony and from  archeological evidence that at Cedar Creek Custer sent Companies E and F under  Yates down to ford the river and Companies C, I, and L along Luce Ridge finally  ending up on Calhoun Hill, thus, dividing his forces yet again. Yates was forced  to retreat up to Calhoun Hill. Archeological evidence uncovered as a result of a  fire in 1983 indicates that a some point Custer's command was overwhelmed by the  Indians fairly early in the battle. With Custer overrun and dead, the remaining  men in panic attempted to reach the cottonwoods along the river and were killed  on the way, in the words of one Indian, "just like hunting buffalo." Some  Indians reported that some of the soldiers committed suicide. Thus, Wooden Leg  later recalled: The white men went crazy. Instead of shooting us, they turned  their guns upon themselves. Almost before we could get to them, every one of  them was dead. They killed themselves. (source, Wyoming Trails)




Also  referred to as the Custer Massacre, reported in the Dakota
Territory Bismark  Tribune.

Ackison     David   Pvt.         E left at Buford, constipation

Adams           Pvt.         L killed

Allen           Pvt.         C killed

Andrews          Pvt.         L killed

Armstrong    J. E.   Pvt.         A killed

Assdely          Pvt.         L killed

Atchison          Pvt.         F killed

Baba      Edwin   1st Sgt.       C killed

Babcock          Pvt.         L killed

Bailey     H. A.   Blacksmith      I killed

Baker           Pvt.         I killed

Barry      J.     Pvt.         I killed

Bauth           Pvt.         I killed

Benett     James E.  Pvt.         C wounded, died July 5th at 3 o'clock

Bishop     Alex B.  Cpl.         H wounded, right arm

Bishop     Chas. H.             H wounded, right arm

Black      Henry              H wounded, right hand

Bloody Knife        Indian Scout       killed

Blorm           Pvt.         I killed

Bobtailed Bull       Indian Scout       killed

Botzer     Edward   Sgt.         G killed

Boyle           Pvt.         I killed

Brady           Pvt.         F killed

Bragew           Pvt.         I killed

Brandon          Farrier        F killed

Brightfield        Pvt.         C killed

Briody           Capt.         F killed               

Broadhurst   J. E.   Pvt.         I killed

Brown      1st    Pvt.         F killed

Brown      2nd    Pvt.         F killed

Bruce           Pvt.         F killed

Brunn      Frank              M wounded, face and left thigh

Bucknell          Pvt.         C killed

Burke           Pvt.         L killed

Burnham          Pvt.         F killed

Burtard     J.     1st Sgt.       I killed

Butler           1st Sgt.       L killed

Calhoun     James   1st Lt.        L killed

Callahan    J. J.   Cpl.         K killed

Campbell    Chas.              C wounded, right shoulder

Carey      Patrick  Sgt.         M wounded, right hip

Carney           Pvt.         F killed

Cashan           Pvt.         L killed

Cather           Pvt.         F killed

Charley     Vincent  Farrier        D killed

Cheever          Pvt.         L killed

Clair      Eli U. T. Pvt.         K killed

Coleman          Capt.         F killed               

Conner           Pvt.         I killed

Conners?    J.     Pvt.         I killed

Considine    M.     Sgt.         G killed

Cook      W. W.   Brevet Lt. Col.     killed

Cooper     John               H wounded, right elbow

Corcoran    Patrick             K wounded, right shoulder

Corey      Davis   Pvt.         1 wounded, right hip         

Criddle          Pvt.         C killed

Crisfield         Pvt.         L killed

Crittenden   J. J.              L killedlisted as 20th Inf.

Custer     Boston   Civilian         killed

Custer     George A. Brevet Maj. Gen.     killed

Custer     T. W.   Brevet Lt. Col.    C killed

Dallans     Henry   Cpl.         A killed

Daring           Pvt.         I killed

Davis           Pvt.         I killed

Deal      Jacob              A wounded, face

DeRudio                       survived

DeWolf     J. M.   Acting Asst Surgeon   killed

Dohman           Pvt.         F killed

Donnelly          Pvt.         F killed

Doran      Richard  Pvt.         B killed

Dose      Henry   Trptr         G killed

Downing     T. P.   Pvt.         I killed

Drinaw     James   Pvt.         A killed

Driscoll    E. C.   Pvt.         F killed

Dugan           Pvt.         L killed

Dye            Pvt.         L killed

Egnen           Sgt.         E killed

Eisman           Pvt.         C killed

Engle           Pvt.         C killed

Fanand           Pvt.         C killed

Farrell          Pvt.         I killed

Feeman           Capt.         F killed               Cpl?

Finkle           Sgt.         C killed

Finley           Sgt.         C killed

Foley           Cpl.         C killed

Foster     James   Pvt.         A wounded, right arm

French           Cpl.         C killed

Galvin           Pvt.         L killed

Gardiner          Pvt.         F killed

George     Wm.               H wounded, left side, died 3 July 1876 at 4 am

Gilbert          Cpl.         L killed

Gillette    D. C.   Pvt.         F killed

Golden     Patrick  Pvt.         D killed

Gordon     Henry   Pvt.         M killed

Graham           Pvt.         L killed

Griffin          Pvt.         C killed

Gross      C. H.   Pvt.         F killed

Gucker     J. M.   Trptr         I killed

Hagan           Cpl.         E killed

Hageman     Otto    Capt.         G killed               Cpl?

Hamel           Pvt.         C killed

Hamilton          Pvt.         L killed

Hammon           Pvt.         F killed

Hansen     Edward   Pvt.         D killed

Harnington         Pvt.         L killed

Harrington   H. M.   2nd Lt.        C presumed killed, body not found

Harris     W. E.              M wounded, left breast

Harrison          Cpl.         L killed

Hattisoll         Pvt.         C killed

Haugge           Pvt.         L killed

Helmer     Julius   Trptr         K killed

Henderson         Pvt.         I killed

Henderson         Pvt.         I killed

Heyn      Wm.    Sgt.         A wounded, left knee

Hiley           Pvt.         I killed

Hime            Pvt.         I killed

Hitismer    Adam    Pvt.         F killed

Hodgson     Benj.   2nd Lt.        B killed

Hohmeyer    F.     1st Sgt.       E killed

Holcomb     F. P.   Pvt.         F killed

Homsted     Fred               A wounded, left wrist

Horn      M. E.   Pvt.         F killed

Huber           Pvt.         I killed

Hughes           Sgt.         K killed

Hughes           Pvt.         L killed

James           Sgt.         E killed

Jones      Julian D. Pvt.         H killed

Kavaugh          Pvt.         L killed

Kellogg     Mark    Civilian         killed reporter for Bismarck Tribune

Kenney           1st Sgt.       F killed

Keogh      M. W.   Col.         I killed

Kidey           Pvt.         F killed

Kiefer           Pvt.         L killed

Killey     P.     Pvt.         F killed

King      G. K.   Cpl.         A killed

King            Pvt.         C killed

Kingsoutz         Pvt.         C killed

Kline           Pvt.         F killed

Klotzburscher  H.     Pvt.         M killed

Knight           Pvt.         I killed

Krianth          Pvt.         F killed

Lawrence    G.     Pvt.         M killed

Leddisson         Pvt.         I killed

Lee       Geo.    Cpl.         H killed

Lehman     Fred    Pvt.         F killed

Lehman     Henry   Pvt.         F killed

Lerock           Pvt.         F killed

Lewis           Pvt.         C killed

Lloyd      E. P.   Pvt.         F killed

Lobering          Pvt.         L killed

Lord            Asst Surgeon       killed

Losse           Pvt.         F killed

Luman           Pvt.         F killed

Lunon           Pvt.         L killed

Lymons     D. L.   Pvt.         F killed

Madden     Michael C. Pvt.         K wounded, right leg

Madson           Pvt.         F killed

Mahoney          Pvt.         L killed

Manning     Frank C.  Civilian         killed

Manning          Blacksmith      F killed

Marshall    Jasper              L wounded, left foot

Martin     Jas.    Capt.         G killed               

Mask      George   Pvt.         B killed

Mason           Pvt.         I killed

Maxwell          Pvt.         L killed

Mayer           Pvt.         C killed

Mayer           Pvt.         C killed

McCarthy          Pvt.         L killed

McDonald    James   Pvt.         A killed

McDonnall    Patrick             D wounded, left leg

McElroy          Trptr         I killed

McGinniss    Jno. J.  Pvt.         G killed

McGue           Pvt.         L killed

McGuire     John               C wounded, right arm

McIchargey   A.     Pvt.         F killed

McIntosh    Daniel   1st Lt.        G killed

McVay      John    Pvt.         C wounded, hips

McWilliams   Daniel              H wounded, right leg

Meador     Thos. E.  Pvt.         H killed

Meyer      J. H.              M wounded, back

Meyer      W. D.   Pvt.         M killed

Meyer           Pvt.         I killed

Miller           Pvt.         L killed

Milton     Jas.    Pvt.         F killed

Mitchell    J.     Pvt.         F killed

Monroe           Pvt.         F killed

Moody      Wm.    Pvt.         A killed

Mooney           Trptr         I killed

Moore      Andrew J. Pvt.         G killed

Morris     G. C.   Cpl.         I killed

Muller     Jas.               H wounded, right thigh

Newell     Daniel              M wounded, left thigh

Noshaug     J.     Pvt.         F killed

Nursey           Sgt.         F killed

O'Bryan     J.     Pvt.         F killed

O'Connell         Pvt.         L killed

O'Conner          Pvt.         I killed

O'Hara     Miles F.  Sgt.         M killed

Omeling          Pvt.         F killed

Papp      John    Pvt.         G killed

Parker     J.     Pvt.         F killed

Patton     J.     Trptr         I killed

Paul      John    Sgt.         H wounded, back

Perkins          Pvt.         L killed

Phillips    John J.  Pvt.         H wounded, face and both hands

Phillips          Pvt.         C killed

Pitter     F. J.   Pvt.         F killed

Porter     J. E.   Lt.          I presumed killed, body not found

Post      Geo.    Pvt.         F killed

Quinn      Jas.    Pvt.         F killed

Ranter           Pvt.         C killed

Reed      Arthur   Civilian         killed

Reed      Wm.    Pvt.         F killed

Reese           Pvt.         I killed

Reeves     Francis             A wounded, left side and body

Reynolds    Chas.   Civilian         killed

Riebold          Pvt.         L killed

Riley      James T.  Sgt.         F wounded, back and left leg

Riley      M.     Sgt.         I left at Buford, consumption

Rix            Pvt.         C killed

Rodgers     Benj. F.  Pvt.         G killed

Rodgers          Pvt.         L killed

Rood            Pvt.         I killed

Rossberg    J. W.   Pvt.         F killed

Rowlins     R.     Pvt.         A killed

Ruddew           Pvt.         F killed

Russell          Pvt.         C killed

Rutler     Roman              M wounded, right shoulder

Ryan            Cpl.         C killed

Sanders          Pvt.         F killed

Schmidt          Pvt.         L killed

Schoole          Pvt.         I killed

Scollier    Henry M.  Cpl.         M killed

Scott           Pvt.         L killed

Seafferman   Henry   Pvt.         G killed

Seiller          Cpl.         L killed

Selby      Crawford  Saddler        G killed

Semenson          Pvt.         L killed

Severn     Samuel              H wounded, both thighs

Shade           Pvt.         C killed

Sharrow     W. W.   Surg. Major       killed Sgt. Major?

Shea            Pvt.         C kille

Short           Pvt.         C killed

Sicfous          Pvt.         F killed

Smallwood         Pvt.         I killed

Smith      1st    Pvt.         I killed

Smith      2nd    Pvt.         I killed

Smith      3rd    Pvt.         I killed

Smith      A. E.   Brevet Capt.     E killed

Smith      G. E.   Pvt.         M killed

Snow            Pvt.         L killed

Somers     D.     Pvt.         M killed

St. John          Pvt.         C kille

Stab            Indian Scout       killed

Stafford          Pvt.         I killed

Stanley     Edward   Pvt.         G killed

Staples     S. T.   Cpl.         I killed

Stella           Pvt.         I killed

Stringer    Fred    Cpl.         M killed

Stroude     Elijah T.            A wounded, right leg

Stuart           Pvt.         C killed

Sturgis     E.     2nd Lt.        E presumed killed, body not found

Sullivan    John    Pvt.         A killed

Switzer     Thos. P.  Pvt.         A killed

Tanner     J.     Pvt.         M killed

Tarbox           Pvt.         L killed

Tarr            Pvt.         I killed

Tenley     H.     Pvt.         M killed

Tessler          Pvt.         L killed

Thadius          Pvt.         C killed

Thompson    Peter              C wounded, right hand

Troy      J. E.   Pvt.         F killed

Tweed           Pvt.         L killed

Van Allen         Pvt.         C killed

Van Bramer   Chas.   Pvt.         F killed

Van Rieley   W.     2nd Lt.        F killed

Varden     F. E.   1st Sgt.       I killed

Varner     Thos. P.  Pvt.         M wounded, right ear

Vaugant          Pvt.         I killed

Veller           Pvt.         L killed

Vickory          Sgt.         F killed

Vincent     Charley  Farrier        D killed               l

Voss      Henry   Chief Insptr.      killed

Voyt      H. C.   Pvt.         M killed

Walker           Pvt.         I killed

Walsh           Teptr         L killed

Wanew           Pvt.         F killed

Warren           Pvt.         C killed

Warren           1st Sgt.       L killed

Way            Pvt.         F killed

Wells      Benj.   Farrier        G killed

Whaley     W. B.   Pvt.         F killed

Whitaker    Alfred              C wounded, right elbow

White      Chas.   Sgt.         M wounded, right arm

Whitney     D.     1st Sgt.       K killed

Wilbur     James              M wounded, left leg

Wild      John    Cpl.         I killed

Wilke      Max               K wounded, left foot

Wilkinson         Sgt.         F killed

Windham          Pvt.         C killed

Wright           Pvt.         C killed

Yates      G. W.   Capt.         F killed

see table of soldiers killed


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