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Custer's last flag: Little Bighorn banner for sale
London Telegraph ^ | 6/27/2010 | Tom Leonard

Posted on 06/27/2010 7:36:34 PM PDT by Saije

An American flag found at Little Bighorn after Lt Col George Custer and nearly 270 men were wiped out by Indian warriors is expected to fetch as much as £3.3 million when it goes up for auction.

The swallowtail battle guidon of the 7th Cavalry Regiment was the only military artefact left behind after Custer and his men were defeated by thousands of Lakota and Cheyenne Indians, led by Sitting Bull, in June, 1876.***

The victorious Plains Indians had stripped the corpses clean of trophies but evidently missed the flag, which was hidden under the body of a fallen soldier. It was recovered by Sgt Ferdinand Culbertson, a member of a burial party, and was sold for $54 in 1895 to the Detroit Institute of Arts.***

The auction house has estimated it will fetch between $2 million and $5 million (£1.3 million to £3.3 million) but hopes it could even exceed the current auction record for a flag – the $12.3 million paid for an American flag captured by the British during a 1779 engagement during the War of Independence.

"It's not a piece of decoration. It's a sacred relic, people died for this flag" said David Redden, a Sotheby's vice chairman.***

The battle was part of the Great Sioux War, which started after the US government tried to drive the Indians out of the Black Hills region in what is now Montana.

The land had been ceded to the tribes in perpetuity but, following the discovery of gold there, the US insisted the Indians move to a reservation.

The 7th Cavalry surprised the Indians, led by Sitting Bull, in their village only to realise they had considerably underestimated the enemy's strength.

(Excerpt) Read more at telegraph.co.uk ...


TOPICS: History; Military/Veterans
KEYWORDS: auction; custer; flag; godsgravesglyphs; littlebighorn
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Classic failure of intelligence. It will be interesting to see who ends up the winning bidder.
1 posted on 06/27/2010 7:36:37 PM PDT by Saije
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To: Saije
As Custer said, “Where in the hell did all them Indians come from?”

Bad intel, like elections, can have devastating consequences.

2 posted on 06/27/2010 7:41:24 PM PDT by EagleUSA
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To: EagleUSA

Gen. Custer was one of the first to wear an Arrow shirt.


3 posted on 06/27/2010 7:45:58 PM PDT by The_Media_never_lie
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To: Saije
Photobucket
4 posted on 06/27/2010 7:49:00 PM PDT by ladyvet (WOLVERINES!!!!!)
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To: Saije
If he had held onto that 54 dollars for a couple more years, and then invested in the auto companies that were to become General Motors , he would be screwed out of all of it now .
5 posted on 06/27/2010 7:49:45 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Saije

The History Channel many years ago had an Oli Stone tin-foil hat episode where Grant was jealous of Custer so he gave his intel to the Indians and had him whacked..


6 posted on 06/27/2010 7:53:45 PM PDT by max americana
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To: EagleUSA

As Custer said, “Where in the hell did all them Indians come from?”

I hope it is 0bama saying those words in November.


7 posted on 06/27/2010 7:53:47 PM PDT by unkus
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To: Saije

I’ve been reading and learning more about this battle and the outcome. There’s a large and popular mythology that surrounds these events - much of which was created by Custer’s wife after his death.

Some items for starters:

1. Custer didn’t surprise the Indians. Their picket riders ran into Custer and discovered the size of Custer’s forces. This forced Custer’s hand as he was weighing the prudence of attacking what his Crow scouts were telling him was a large group of Indians.

2. Custer did know that there was a very large number of Indians in the area. His scouts and trackers were telling him this, but he refused to accept their interpretation of the tracks.

3. In the end, what did the 7th in was a failure of leadership. Custer failed to maintain unit cohesion, failed to deal with insubordinate officers under his command and he attacked without having a clear plan communicated to all units.

I personally can’t understand why someone wpuld cough up millions for this artifact.


8 posted on 06/27/2010 7:54:28 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: NVDave
I personally can’t understand why someone wpuld cough up millions for this artifact.

Your susceptibility to slanderous revisionist history is somewhat explained by your understanding difficulties .

9 posted on 06/27/2010 8:01:51 PM PDT by kbennkc (For those who have fought for it freedom has a flavor the protected will never know .F Trp 8th Cav)
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To: Saije

Two good recent books on Custer and the battle - A Terrible Glory by James Donovan, and The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick.


10 posted on 06/27/2010 8:01:54 PM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: Saije
The land had been ceded to the tribes in perpetuity but, following the discovery of gold there, the US insisted the Indians move to a reservation.


11 posted on 06/27/2010 8:04:36 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: Saije
the Black Hills region in what is now Montana

The Black Hills are in South Dakota. The battle was in MT.

12 posted on 06/27/2010 8:06:02 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: kbennkc

if by “slanderous” you mean “research that pops the bubble of those who believe the romanticized version of events,” yep I guess that’s what romantics call it.


13 posted on 06/27/2010 8:13:06 PM PDT by NVDave
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To: hellbender

The Black Hills do run into MT from SD. Not picking a fight...it’s just geography...The Black Hills National Forest is located in southwestern South Dakota and northeastern Wyoming. You are correct, that the battle happened near the Little Bighorn River near Crow Agency, Montana.


14 posted on 06/27/2010 8:21:28 PM PDT by jessduntno ( "The planet has a fever, and it's in Al Gore's pants." - Howie Carr)
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To: Saije

It is my understanding the flag was recaptured by elements of the 4th Cavalry...is this the same flag for sale?


15 posted on 06/27/2010 8:27:59 PM PDT by bushpilot1
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To: Saije; All

Interesting. Thanks to all posters. BTTT.


16 posted on 06/27/2010 8:33:45 PM PDT by PGalt
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To: Saije

I’ve read so much about that battle and I still can’t figure out what Custer’s plan was. I know he thought the indians were aware he was in the neighborhood, which is why he attacked in the middle of the day, but what did he figure Reno was going to accomplish with his little attack. And what was the point in sending Benteen off on a wild goose chase?


17 posted on 06/27/2010 8:33:45 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Saije

Seems the flag is government property and belongs in a military museum.

Read the article after the 4th Cavalry post..no need to respond.


18 posted on 06/27/2010 8:37:14 PM PDT by bushpilot1
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To: Saije

♬♪ "Please, Mr. Custer" ♩♫


19 posted on 06/27/2010 8:43:59 PM PDT by steelyourfaith (America should take a mulligan on the 2008 presidential election.)
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To: max americana
The History Channel many years ago had an Oli Stone tin-foil hat episode where Grant was jealous of Custer so he gave his intel to the Indians and had him whacked..

Stone really has no concept of reality.

20 posted on 06/27/2010 8:47:42 PM PDT by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: Saije

I enjoyed the book and the movie ‘We Were Soldiers’. Especially when Sgt. Maj. Plumley (Sam Elliot) said “Custer was a wussie. You ain’t.” to Lt. Col. Moore (Mel Gibson). In a replay of that our Congress is the ‘wussies’ now, specifically the RINO’s and anyone against this country.

The Little Big Horn was a classic failure of intelligence. Others would include the Israeli 6 Oct 1973 Yom Kippor surprise attack (for Egypt and Syria) the Gorelick Wall precipitating 9/11 (for America).

The 7th Cavalry fought well in the Pusan Perimeter in Korea as well as at LZ XRAY in Viet Nam. This article was interesting to say the least. I too thought the flag was the property of the US Government (as another comment said), the US Army in particular, and as such should be returned to them. If sold the flag and the monies received for it should be confiscated by the Government. (I would not condone this action in many circumstances but this one for sure) Free enterprise, for me, has no place here. As far as I am concerned the Detroit Institute is just SOOL!


21 posted on 06/27/2010 8:57:23 PM PDT by K-oneTexas (I'm not a judge and there ain't enough of me to be a jury. (Zell Miller, A National Party No More))
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To: Saije

That flag should be in the Smithsonian or at West Point Academy. Hopefully the winning bidder will donate it to an appropriate museum.


22 posted on 06/27/2010 9:02:46 PM PDT by anymouse (God didn't write this sitcom we call life, he's just the critic.)
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To: Flag_This

I’ve always thought that Custer planned a pincer movement of some kind where Reno attacked on one end of the camp and Custer would attack from the other end.

It seems as though Custer refused to accept the fact that the Indian village he was attacking was freakin’ huge - until it was too late.

It seems as though Custer, at least once, went down to the river in an attempt to ford it but was turned away and headed back up to what was referred to the ridgeline he had been following as he tried to find the other end of the Indian camp. It was up along that area where he was finally encircled.

There was a study done back in the late 80’s or early 90’s that examined archeological evidence found on the battle field. They noticed certain marks on shell casings that seemed to indicate that Custer’s men experienced a greater than expected number of shell misfires and jammed carbines that led to a decline in fire disclipline.

Just a theory, that’s all...


23 posted on 06/27/2010 9:09:24 PM PDT by MplsSteve (Don't Be Stupak!)
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To: Flag_This

“And what was the point in sending Benteen off on a wild goose chase?”

Custer’s point was twofold: (1) He wanted to block any attempt of the hostiles to flee toward the immediate south; (2) He did not want a repeat of the Washita fight which nearly cost him his hair and those of his command (in attacking Black Kettle’s camp on the Washita in 1868 Custer failed to determine the existence of several other, larger camps nearby, and when those camps got wind of the attack on Black Kettle’s band they came out in force and could very well have wiped out Custer’s command — as they did Major Elliott’s squad earlier that day — had Custer not held a lot of women and children from Black Kettle’s band hostage).


24 posted on 06/27/2010 9:10:51 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: NVDave

“I personally can’t understand why someone wpuld cough up millions for this artifact.”

Well, I’ve been an avid student of the LBH fight for some fifty years now, and if I had that kind of money I’d buy it, and would leave it to the museum in my will.


25 posted on 06/27/2010 9:14:45 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: Saije; pandoraou812
The 7th Cavalry surprised the Indians, led by Sitting Bull, in their village only to realise they had considerably underestimated the enemy's strength.

Yeah, the Sioux were shocked. Shocked I tell you. LOL

26 posted on 06/27/2010 9:41:01 PM PDT by TigersEye ("Flotilla" means "pirate ships running supplies to terrorists.")
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To: Saije

Roster 7th U.S. Cavalry Regiment’s Little Big Horn Operations “personnel in combat” 25-26 June 1876

http://www.us7thcavalry.com/roster_lbh.htm


27 posted on 06/27/2010 9:45:31 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: MplsSteve
“There was a study done back in the late 80’s or early 90’s that examined archaeological evidence found on the battle field. “

I've seen that a couple of times and it was a great documentary. It would have been so cool to be a part of that going around with metal detectors finding bullets and shell casings.

28 posted on 06/27/2010 9:56:14 PM PDT by NavyCanDo
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To: Saije

These days it may well be bought by the Lakotas or Cheyennes and displayed in a casino.


29 posted on 06/27/2010 10:01:38 PM PDT by Eagles6 ( Typical White Guy: Christian, Constitutionalist, Heterosexual, Redneck.)
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To: Ciexyz

You do know that the problem with books and their revision of history is not always accurate? I’m not really sure what happened here...and probably never will. Factual accounts seem to go by the wayside... You have to believe what you want to by reading several accounts of the action.

It is really a shame that our education system (including the publication of books) has become so inaccurate or just plain false... Sign of the times I suppose...


30 posted on 06/27/2010 10:16:57 PM PDT by Deagle
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To: max americana

The History Channel many years ago had an Oli Stone tin-foil hat episode where Grant was jealous of Custer so he gave his intel to the Indians and had him whacked.

I’m somewhat curious as to why President Grant, in the last months of his Presidency, would be jealous of Custer? To me, something does not add up.


31 posted on 06/27/2010 10:22:27 PM PDT by tenthirteen
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To: tenthirteen

I saw one of those shows about the Battle of the Little Bighorn on History Channel also. Some pinhead “expert” had come to the conclusion that all of the soldiers didn’t fight on the hill as is always depicted but that they all ran away down the draws and washes like a bunch of cowards. He came to this conclusion because that’s where he found many empty cartridge casings. I’m no “expert” but I have spent some time out looking for arrowheads. If you throw artifacts like that on the side of a hill and come back 150 years later to find them, only a pinhead would look for them on the side of the hill where they were thrown. It’s a weather/gravity thing. The clown on History Channel didn’t seem very familiar with the phenomenon.


32 posted on 06/27/2010 10:45:01 PM PDT by FlingWingFlyer (Hey America! Had enough "history" yet?)
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To: FlingWingFlyer

There was a Twilight Zone show..a national guard tank crew was taken back in time to 1876..with the tank..

They joined the battle..but left the tank behind.


33 posted on 06/28/2010 12:25:54 AM PDT by bushpilot1
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To: bushpilot1

>>> They joined the battle..but left the tank behind.

Everybody understands soldiering in the decades between the Civil War and WW1 was a tankless occupation.


34 posted on 06/28/2010 1:13:53 AM PDT by tlb
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To: NVDave

Libby worked hard to protect the legacy of her husband after the battle. As an aside, she owned the table which Grant and Lee used to sign the surrender at the Maclean house at Appomattox Courthouse. I’ll bet it would bring as much as the flag.


35 posted on 06/28/2010 1:57:54 AM PDT by Portcall24
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To: Saije
"It's not a piece of decoration. It's a sacred relic, people died for this flag" said David Redden, a Sotheby's vice chairman.

He said, as he opened the bidding...

36 posted on 06/28/2010 3:13:10 AM PDT by Talisker (When you find a turtle on top of a fence post, you can be damn sure it didn't get there on it's own.)
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To: Saije

The Brits better get out a map, while the Little Bighorn battlefield is in Montana the sacred Lakota Black Hills are in South Dakota.


37 posted on 06/28/2010 5:59:06 AM PDT by The Great RJ (The Bill of Rights: Another bill members of Congress haven't read.)
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To: Deagle
You do know that the problem with books and their revision of history is not always accurate?

Do you feel that the books I mentioned, A Terrible Glory by James Donovan, and The Last Stand by Nathanial Philbrick, are not accurate in their historical representation? If so, how so?

38 posted on 06/28/2010 9:24:08 AM PDT by Ciexyz
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To: MplsSteve
"I’ve always thought that Custer planned a pincer movement of some kind where Reno attacked on one end of the camp and Custer would attack from the other end."

I think that is the general consensus, but I thought there was testimony from Reno's men that they could see Custer on a ridge waving his hat - at the time, Reno was in full retreat. If those stories are true, Custer must have known Reno's attack was a failure when Custer was still 2 or 3 miles from where he meet his end.

I thought Reno was told by Custer to attack and he (Custer) would support him. Even Reno wasn't clear on what "support" was supposed to mean because he anticipated Custer was going to follow him in the attack.

39 posted on 06/28/2010 9:49:46 AM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: ought-six
"had Custer not held a lot of women and children from Black Kettle’s band hostage"

I know some think that was Custer's plan - if he could get into a position to separate the women and children from the warriors, he would then be able to intimidate the warriors into returning to the reservation. Maybe that was the point of Reno's attack - The warriors would focus on attacking Reno while the women and children would flee in the opposite direction. It would have been nice if Custer had bothered to inform Reno and some of his other officers who survived what "the plan" was.

40 posted on 06/28/2010 10:00:15 AM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: jessduntno
Yes, the Black Hills do run from SD into WY, but not into MT IIRC.

The expulsion of the Sioux from the Black Hills is a sad parallel with that of the Cherokee from the Great Smokies. In both cases, gold seems to have been the motive.

41 posted on 06/28/2010 2:32:22 PM PDT by hellbender
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To: ought-six; NVDave
When I was a yongster (some time ago) my grandparents had a hired hand who was Lakota. His grandfather, who seems to me to be 100 years old, claimed he held horses and gave water to the Indian warriors at the battle. As I recall he was very stuck on the point that Custer had no way to win. He was to outnumbered and in to lousy a spot to successfully defend. One other thing that is often forgotten in the debate about Custer is that a large number of the Indians had Winchester repeating rifle, Custer's men only had Springfield carbine. The Indians had a 5 or 6 to one fire advantage. BTW the old guy claimed that there was a strong movement in the Indian camp to follow Reno and Benteen and completely wipe the 7th off the face of the Earth.
42 posted on 06/28/2010 2:49:16 PM PDT by mad_as_he$$ (Sometimes you have to go to dark places to get to the light....)
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43 posted on 06/28/2010 3:30:54 PM PDT by SunkenCiv ("Fools learn from experience. I prefer to learn from the experience of others." -- Otto von Bismarck)
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To: TigersEye

Hair tingling too.


44 posted on 06/28/2010 3:50:18 PM PDT by pandoraou812 (Merda taurorum animas conturbit......)
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To: pandoraou812

Does hair still tingle when it’s hanging from a pole outside your lodge?


45 posted on 06/28/2010 4:06:44 PM PDT by TigersEye (Greenhouse Theory is false. Totally debunked. "GH gases" is a non-sequitur.)
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To: Flag_This

Yeah, well, Custer never was one for sharing a plan with his subordinates, probably because he often flew by the seat of his pants, so to speak. The man was brave, and had some moments of innovation, but he was really not all that good a commander.


46 posted on 06/28/2010 5:11:44 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: mad_as_he$$

There is no question that the Indians outgunned the 7th. The 7th’s ‘73 carbine was a good weapon, but was no match for a repeater within 200 yards, especially given the soft copper shell casings that had a tendency to jam in the receiver when the weapon got too hot. Also, the Indians were able to shoot a storm of arrows from concealed positions, and those sharp missiles falling from the sky caused no end of problems for the troops. The Battle of the Little Bighorn was Murphy’s law in action.


47 posted on 06/28/2010 5:18:01 PM PDT by ought-six ( Multiculturalism is national suicide, and political correctness is the cyanide capsule.)
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To: ought-six
"but he was really not all that good a commander."

What's really interesting to me is how he apparently changed. Men who served with him during the Civil War loved him, but ended up hating his guts during the Indian Wars.

48 posted on 06/28/2010 5:22:09 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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To: Saije

I thought this flag was in the museum at Ft. Riley...


49 posted on 06/28/2010 5:26:11 PM PDT by COBOL2Java (Obama is the least qualified guy in whatever room he walks into.)
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To: FlingWingFlyer
"Some pinhead “expert” had come to the conclusion that all of the soldiers didn’t fight on the hill as is always depicted but that they all ran away down the draws and washes like a bunch of cowards."

Most of the grave markers are placed where they found the bodies after the battle. The guys were scattered and several were found in a draw.

At least one theory (partly based on the shell casings they found) was that it appeared Keogh's position was flat-out overrun in very short order. Once his position was gone, it could have generated panic and confusion.

The indians were using the draws for cover and concealment; Custer's guys were exposed on the hills and shot to pieces.

50 posted on 06/28/2010 5:32:13 PM PDT by Flag_This (Real presidents don't bow.)
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