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The FReeper Foxhole Profiles Frederick W. Benteen - Aug. 18th, 2005
Wild West Magazine | June 2001 | Steven M. Leonard

Posted on 08/17/2005 9:59:49 PM PDT by SAMWolf



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Custer's Nemesis:
Frederick W. Benteen
(1834 - 1898)

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Benteen, though he displayed daring and audacity during his military career, would probably not be remembered today if not for his supporting role at the Little Bighorn more than 125 years ago.

Frederick William Benteen can best be described as an enigma. To George Armstrong Custer, Benteen was a nefarious subordinate, a man who doubted every decision, questioned every order. To his own men, the cavalrymen with whom he served, Benteen was a courageous and honorable man, a leader in whom they held the greatest respect and trust.

In his book on the Battle of the Little Bighorn, To Hell with Honor, Larry Skelnar illustrates Custer's nemesis in less than complimentary terms, describing a jealous and oftentimes unprofessional military officer. In the mold of numerous other writers, Skelnar characterizes Benteen as a man devoid of honor, an angry bit player on the stage of history who allowed his personal feelings to overcome his sworn duty.

In Harvest of Barren Regrets, Charles K. Mills, portrays Benteen in a far different light. For Mills, Benteen represents the flawed human being within each of us -- the common man thrust upon a strange and unforgiving stage, cast to perform in a deciding role in a classic tragedy of epic proportions. Mills views Benteen as misjudged by history, a man forced to shoulder much of the blame for events far beyond his scope of influence or control. He finds in Benteen a hero lost in the sands of time, a warrior forgotten by history.



While Custer and Benteen shared a certainly acrimonious relationship, few historians -- and even fewer Custer buffs -- possess the military experience or intuitive wherewithal to judge the professional commitment of a career officer. During the Civil War, Benteen demonstrated a level of raw courage and bravado that drew others to him. Yet, even then he was an enigmatic leader; he was often peculiar to a fault and was markedly unforgiving with those in whom he found character flaws. Nevertheless, in the heat of battle, few men were as decisive in victory as Frederick Benteen.

On the frontier with Custer, Benteen exhibited the same daring and audacity, but his personal life became one of recurring tragedy. However, his resolve to serve never wavered. In 10 years of campaigning with an officer he obviously held in rather low regard, he performed his duty with all the gallantry and boldness one would expect from a military professional. At no time did Benteen allow his duties and responsibilities to succumb to a personal distaste for Custer.

The true essence of military professionalism is the ability to serve in the face of adversity, to maintain honor and personal integrity under the most difficult circumstances. For years, Frederick Benteen demonstrated those qualities with an unremitting steadfastness. To assume that he would abandon his principles in an adversary's greatest hour of need is to underestimate the depth and intensity of those tenets in a military officer.

Frederick William Benteen may have been little more than a minor actor on the grand stage of history, but he was much more than many have portrayed him. Ultimately, he was a human being, flawed and imperfect, but a human being nonetheless. And, maybe not so unlike us after all.


Benteen in 1861


On 24 February 1887, Major Frederick William Benteen sat quietly before his court-martial board at Fort Duchesne, Utah. In the waning hours of a trial that mocked the career of a man who had so honorably served his country, Frederick Benteen introduced a final exhibit for the court to consider -- his heart. For a man such as Benteen, whose emotions were intensely private and closely held, this measure was as remarkable as it was unexpected.

Benteen told of a proud military career spanning three decades of selfless, often sacrificial, service to his country. He spoke candidly of his decision to take arms for the Union, a choice that alienated him from his own father and effectively divided the Benteen family. With deep furrows across his face and locks of snowy white earned on the field of battle, Frederick Benteen bore little resemblance to the powerful young cavalryman who fought with distinction against both Confederate soldiers and Native American warriors. Looking deeply into the eyes of those who would judge him, he solemnly said, "There was nothing left for my immediate family, but a harvest of barren regrets."

Frederick William Benteen was born in the Virginia port city of Petersburg on August 24,1834 to Theodore Charles and Caroline Hargrove Benteen. The Benteens had moved to Virginia from Baltimore shortly after the birth of their first child, Henrietta Elizabeth, in October 1831. The elder Benteen earned a prosperous living as a paint and hardware contractor, securing a private education for his son at the Petersburg Classical Institute, where Frederick was first trained in military drill. Sadly, Caroline Benteen died suddenly in 1841, leaving a young husband and family. Undoubtedly, the loss of his mother at such an impressionable age impacted Frederick, but to what extent is unknown.

Following the marriage of his daughter in the spring of 1849, Charley Benteen followed the call of the west and moved his family to St. Louis, Missouri. There, he remarried, established a paint and glass supply business, and employed his sixteen-year-old son as a sign painter. In 1856, Frederick became acquainted with Catharine Louisa Norman, a young woman recently arrived in St. Louis from Philadelphia. "Kate", a staunch supporter of the Union, would have a profound influence on the future of Frederick Benteen.


Major F. W. Benteen


The election of Abraham Lincoln as U.S. President in 1860 polarized the country, and Missouri was no less affected than any other state in the Union. Kate strongly urged Frederick to support the cause of the Union forces in Missouri. His father, an ardent secessionist, vehemently opposed Frederick's association with Unionists, igniting a family crisis that was never truly resolved. When told of his son's decision to support the Union, Charley Benteen retorted, "I hope the first God damned bullet gets you."

As early as July 1861, Frederick was observing and supervising the drill of volunteer infantry companies in and around the St. Louis Arsenal. He got his first taste of battle -- although not officially on the rosters of any of the participating units -- on August 10, at Wilson's Creek. Outnumbered five to one, volunteer and Federal forces under Brigadier General Nathaniel Lyon attacked a concentrated force of 22,000 Confederates ten miles southwest of Springfield, inflicting over 5000 casualties before retreating in ultimate defeat to Rolla. The opening act of the Civil War in Missouri, although inauspicious, cemented Frederick's decision to join with the volunteers.

On September 1, the 67 members of what would become the 1st Battalion, Missouri Cavalry, held an election of officers; Frederick Benteen was elected first lieutenant of C Company. By October 1, the battalion was at full strength and Benteen was elected captain and commander of C Company. Twelve days later, Benteen saw his first action as an officer at Dutch Hollow against a large body of irregular Confederate cavalry.

On January 7, 1862, Benteen married his longtime girlfriend, Kate Norman, at Saint George's Church in St. Louis. Only her immediate family attended the ceremony. Their honeymoon was short; within three days, Frederick returned to Rolla. Kate settled into their new home to wait out the war.



TOPICS: VetsCoR
KEYWORDS: biography; cavalry; civilwar; custer; frederickwbenteen; freeperfoxhole; indianwars; littlebighorn; veterans; warbetweenstates
In the closing days of the month, the Union forces in Missouri under Brig. Gen. Samuel R. Curtis organized in what was to become the Army of the Southwest. Rather than join with one of the four new divisions on their march into Arkansas, Curtis assigned Benteen's cavaliers as his headquarters bodyguard. In that capacity, Frederick forged a friendship with Curtis's Commissary of Subsistence, an outspoken West Point captain named Philip H. Sheridan.


Benteen Circa 1865


For most of his first two years of military service, Frederick Benteen engaged his cavalry against "bushwackers", irregulars, and local guerrilla bands in the areas in and around Missouri. A thoroughly respected and well-regarded leader, Benteen drew from those experiences lessons that would serve him so well in later years. Ironically, perhaps, Benteen mastered the art of irregular warfare long before he would take to the Great Plains during the Indian wars.

In August 1862, as General Ulysses S. Grant brought the Army of the Tennessee to bear on Vicksburg, Benteen's battalion launched an assault against the Confederate supply vessel Fair Play. The converted luxury steamboat, used primarily to transport quartermaster stores from Mississippi to fragmentary forces in Louisiana and southern Arkansas, was reportedly carrying a large shipment of weapons and ammunition. The ship's manifest listed her chief engineer as Theodore C. "Charley" Benteen.

With Frederick Benteen leading the way, the Union cavalry captured Fair Play, destroyed a Confederate supply depot along the shore, and routed the rebel forces garrisoned there. His father, who knew nothing of Frederick's role in his capture, spent the duration of the war in a Federal prison; Union troops released Charley Benteen's crewmates at Helena, Ark.

Shortly after the Fair Play incident, the 1st Missouri Cavalry reorganized into the 9th Missouri Cavalry. In December, the regiment joined with the 28th Missouri Volunteers, becoming the 10th Missouri Cavalry. On December 11, 1862, under the provisions of Special Order 218, Frederick Benteen was promoted to second major of the regiment. Benteen's close friend, William J. DeGress took Benteen's captaincy in C Company two days later.


Benteen's signature


On February 15, 1863, the 10th Missouri Cavalry joined with the Army of the Tennessee at Grant's forward command post at Corinth, Mississippi. Soon after arriving, a long-running feud erupted between the regimental lieutenant colonel, William D. Bowen, and the senior major, Thomas Hynes, resulting in the court-martial of the latter. Hynes never returned to duty with the 10th Missouri and Benteen became the senior major of the regiment.

In July 1863, Grant finally took Vicksburg, the Army of the Potomac found victory at Gettysburg, and Kate Benteen gave birth to the couple's first child, Caroline Elizabeth, in St. Louis (sadly, she would die before reaching her first year). On July 7, Bowen's ongoing and continual war with the officers of the regiment left Benteen in command of the 10th Missouri. He wasted no time, leading the regiment in its first true taste of regular combat in a minor, yet spectacular, cavalry clash at Iuka. Benteen's bravery and audacity earned a singular commendation from the Union cavalry commander, Colonel Florence M. Cornyn. It would not be the last time Frederick Benteen received official accolades for his ability to lead troops in battle.

Success continued to follow Frederick Benteen and, on February 27, 1864, he was promoted to lieutenant colonel and commander of the 10th Missouri Cavalry. April brought new reorganization and the regiment joined the 3rd and 4th Iowa Cavalry under the colors of Brig. Gen. Edward F. Winslow's brigade. The reorganization would remain unchanged until the end of the war.

On October 22, a gunshot wound to Winslow's left leg resulted in Benteen taking command of the brigade in the midst of battle at Westport, Mo. Benteen led his brigade in a charge that broke through Confederate lines and came within moments of trapping J.O. Shelby's brigade. Three days later, Benteen's 1,300 cavaliers routed a Confederate division of 7,000 men north of Mine Creek; Benteen himself had the right skirt of his overcoat shot off when, during the cavalry charge, he took his mount over one of the rebel guns.


Battle of Mine Creek


As the pursuit of the retreating Confederates began, General Curtis drafted a letter to Willard P. Hall, the Union governor of Missouri, urging his support in securing a brigadier's commission for Frederick Benteen. On November 23, Governor Hall forwarded his recommendation to President Lincoln, noting that he had already nominated Benteen as a Brigadier General of the Enrolled Militia of Missouri. Sadly, Benteen would remain a lieutenant colonel for the remainder of the war.

Even as Governor Hall penned his letter to the president, the 10th Missouri Cavalry was steaming from St. Louis to join the Cavalry Corps, Military Division of the Mississippi, at Clarksville, Tennessee. The commanding general of this new organization, a 27-year-old West Pointer named James Harrison Wilson, was to become Benteen's mentor in the coming months.

Wilson's raid into the Deep South marked the defeat of the last organized Confederate resistance. From Nashville, Wilson's divisions marched into Alabama and soundly defeated the rebel stronghold of Selma, taking the city as the president lay dying in Washington. The following afternoon, they continued the march into Columbus, Georgia, then on to Atlanta, where Benteen would garrison his forces.

On June 7, 1865, Wilson recommended that Benteen be brevetted brigadier general for gallant and meritorious service. He specifically noted Benteen's distinguished and conspicuous bravery in the official reports dispatched to the War Department. But the war was over and the Army was in the process of being dismantled. In Washington, Wilson's request was noted and ignored.

Yet, Frederick Benteen felt no slight. In just four short years, he had risen from a sign painter to a regimental commander of cavalry. He personally led one of the largest cavalry charges of the war at Mine Creek. The War Department denied his promotion simply because the war ended before his turn came.



In Atlanta, Wilson became the military governor of Georgia and his cavalry corps, the largest cavalry force of the war, was disbanded. On 23 June 1865, Benteen reported to Macon to clarify another change not reflected in the orders deactivating the 10th Missouri Cavalry: Frederick W. Benteen was to be promoted to colonel and given command of one of the new volunteer units to garrison postwar Atlanta.

Most Civil War veterans wanted to go home. Benteen's experiences during the war, combined with Wilson's influence and guidance, convinced him to remain in the military. The prospect of returning to a sign painter's life in St. Louis no longer appealed to him. Benteen saw the promise of the future in his new assignment.

To Benteen's surprise, however, his new command would consist of the former slaves that followed the march of Wilson's Cavalry Corps through Alabama and Georgia. Benteen was a Southerner by birth, his father a slave owner, and his personal association with slaves and servants undoubtedly prejudiced. Yet, if he was to enjoy a postwar military career, he could not reject the opportunity.

On July 15, Benteen mustered into the 138th United States Colored Troops (USCT) in Nashville; four days later, he resigned from the 10th Missouri Cavalry. The tour in Atlanta was pleasurable for Frederick and Kate. They purchased a home in the city and a former plantation south of the city. On January 6, 1866, the 138th USCT was disbanded and Benteen became a civilian once again.

By summer, with Congress in the midst of expanding the Regular Army to meet the security requirements of an expanding frontier, Benteen was seriously considering returning to the military. The Army Act passed on July 28 authorized 30 new regiments, four of which were cavalry; the 9th and 10th Cavalry were designated "colored" units while the 7th and 8th Cavalry were segregated for white recruits. In September, Benteen applied for a Regular Army commission in one of the regiments.
1 posted on 08/17/2005 9:59:52 PM PDT by SAMWolf
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To: snippy_about_it; radu; Victoria Delsoul; w_over_w; LaDivaLoca; TEXOKIE; cherry_bomb88; Bethbg79; ...
On November 24, Benteen wrote to Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton to accept his offer of a captain's commission in the 7th Cavalry. Later in life, Benteen told a correspondent that he refused a major's commission in the 9th Cavalry, preferring to serve as a captain with a white regiment. He was ordered to report for duty at Fort Riley, Kansas. In January 1867, he departed for his new assignment with the 7th Cavalry, his regiment for the next 16 years. Ironically, he would one day leave the regiment for a promotion to major in the 9th Cavalry.

Upon arriving at Fort Riley, Captain Benteen found himself in the company of many old acquaintances. The commander of the 7th Cavalry, Colonel A.J. Smith, was an old friend of Benteen's who witnessed some of his finest moments in the Civil War. Smith's aide-de-camp, Captain Henry E. Noyes, held the same position for Wilson during the march to Atlanta. Both men knew and respected Benteen.


Battle of Washita


But it was the lieutenant colonel of the 7th Cavalry that made the first, lasting impression on Benteen. On January 30, 1867, Benteen made a customary courtesy call to the quarters of George Armstrong and Elizabeth Custer. While no one can be sure exactly what transpired during that visit, it is apparent that at some point, Custer made comments that greatly offended Benteen (many historians believe that the slight regarded the Civil War record of Benteen's mentor, James H. Wilson, but no one can be absolutely sure). From that day on, their relationship consistently bordered on conflagrant.

By the end of July, the 7th Cavalry had dispersed appropriately to begin campaigning on the frontier. Of the nine companies remaining in Kansas, four companies were assigned to Fort Riley, two to Fort Harker, and one each to Fort Hays, Fort Dodge and Fort Wallace. The three remaining companies were assigned to posts in eastern Colorado, with two at Fort Lyon and one at Fort Morgan. The cavalry formed the roots of a strategic strike force for launching deep assaults into the frontier; in times of crisis, the companies would mass for an expedition into "hostile" territory.

The Cheyenne Indians represented the greatest threat on the Kansas frontier in 1867. With the discovery of gold in Colorado in 1858, the old Santa Fe Trail brought hordes of settlers through the Cheyenne lands, upsetting the ecological balance on which the Native American people thrived. As with most tribes, the Cheyenne Nation viewed the encroachment as a threat to their very survival.

Benteen proved to be a skillful, if relentless, warrior on the plains. But he also showed a deeper respect for American Indians than did many of his fellow countrymen. Although he held the belief that the westward expansion of white culture was to blame for many of the problems on the frontier, he also saw the need for Indian culture to adapt to his own.



The spring of 1867 also brought great joy to the Benteen family. On March 27, Kate gave birth to a son, Frederick Wilson Benteen, in Atlanta. Kate Benteen named her new son in honor of his father's mentor and friend, General James Henry Wilson. Meanwhile, the Senate finally approved awards of brevets to distinguished veterans of the Civil War; Benteen received brevets of major for Mine Creek and lieutenant colonel for Columbus. From that day forward, his contemporaries referred to him as "Colonel" Benteen, despite his more junior rank.

That same month, the War Department authorized a show of force on the frontier in an effort to compel the recalcitrant natives to the government reservations. Major General Winfield Hancock, the department commander, began preparations to array his forces and march en masse on the tribal encampments in an exhibit of his ability to force the natives onto reservations, if necessary.

"Hancock's War," as it is often called, provided Benteen the first opportunity to exercise his talents as an irregular warrior since the early days of his service in Missouri. On April 14, 1867, Hancock ordered his troops to surround a large village of Cheyennes and Sioux north of Fort Dodge on the Pawnee Fork of the Arkansas River. But in the darkness, the natives escaped and Hancock sent Custer's 7th Cavalry in pursuit.

During the pursuit, Custer delayed the command to send Benteen and two companies after what he believed to be fleeing natives in the distance. The "natives" proved to be nothing more than grazing wildlife -- elk, deer, antelope and buffalo. A full day was lost. When Custer's eight companies approached the Smoky Hill Road near Fort Hays on 19 April, they found stage stations burned, settlers butchered, and livestock run off. When Hancock received the news, he burned the abandoned village to the ground.

The incident sparked a controversy that spread across the frontier. It also sparked a war, leading to a plague of raids against settlers that endured well into the autumn months of that year, when the signing of the Medicine Lodge Treaty brought a temporary end to hostilities. In May, Hancock dispatched Custer and his command on an expedition to Nebraska that resulted in the latter's court-martial and one-year dismissal from service. Benteen, serving on a separate court-martial at Fort Riley, was not present during the debacle that culminated in Custer's arrest.


Custer's last message, written by Custer's Adjutant Lt. W.W. Cooke on a sheet torn from his field dispatch book. At the top and right of the message is a "translation" written by Captain Benteen. The original message is in the U. S. Military Academy Library, West Point, N.Y.


With the signing of the treaty at Medicine Lodge Creek, Hancock returned the 7th Cavalry to the dispersed frontier posts for the winter. Benteen arrived at Fort Harker, his first permanent duty station as a regular, on 10 November 1867. In February 1868, Kate and young Freddie joined Benteen in their new home. In March, Major General Philip H. Sheridan replaced Hancock as commander of the Department of the Missouri.

As spring came to the Kansas prairie in 1868, unrest on the reservations brought renewed anxiety to the settlers. In late July, Benteen (with fresh mounts obtained at the expense of Colonel Benjamin Grierson's 10th Cavalry) led an expedition to provide security for Indian agents near Fort Larned, when raiders began to wreak havoc among the homesteads along the Saline River. Benteen led two companies back to Fort Harker to pursue the raiders.

Upon reaching Fort Harker, Benteen resumed the chase with a small force tailored to the pursuit. Early in the morning on August 13, Benteen caught the raiding party along the banks of Elk Horn Creek near Fort Zarah and charged his troops into a force of about fifty warriors atop a hill. To his surprise, Benteen discovered a force of more than 200 braves in the process of raiding a small ranch. The startled natives mistook Benteen's audacious charge for a much larger force (instead of just 30 troopers) and scattered in panic.

Benteen pursued the young Cheyennes without rest until dark, engaging the raiders throughout the day without respite. The first undisputed victory of the 7th Cavalry brought Benteen a brevet to colonel (one of the last awarded before Congress halted the practice until 1890) and the adoration of the settlers of central Kansas.

On September 24, Sheridan wired for Custer to return to the 7th Cavalry. On October 10, restored to favor, Custer joined the regiment at an encampment on the Arkansas River south of Fort Dodge. Three days later, he dispatched Benteen and an orderly to make a hazardous return to Fort Harker to retrieve fresh horses and new recruits.


Trumpeter John Martin who carried Custer's last message to Captain Benteen.
(Photograph by D. F. Barry in 1906.)


During the return march, Benteen spurred his troops ahead to overtake a Mexican wagon train loaded with guns and ammunition bound for the regiment. He reached the wagon train just as a native war party began to attack. Benteen and his young cavaliers drove the warriors off, saving the wagon train. Later, the trail of the raiding party would lead the 7th Cavalry to an enormous Cheyenne encampment on the Washita River in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma).

November brought the first winter snowstorms to Kansas and the beginning of Sheridan's winter campaign. The 7th set out from Camp Supply on November 23, with over a foot of snow on the ground, bearing toward the Texas state line; Custer dispatched Benteen to escort the supply train. After four days march in continually falling snow, fitfully following the trail left by Benteen's raiders, Custer finally found his prey nestled in the Washita River valley.

Just before dawn on November 27, Custer launched a four-pronged assault on the village. As the Cheyennes began to scatter in panic, Custer's men pursued them with a vengeance. Unknown to Custer -- who failed to perform a reconnaissance of the village -- the encampment was but a portion of a much larger collection of winter camps, including other Cheyenne bands, as well as Arapaho, Kiowa and Comanche. Custer soon found himself surrounded and, with the coming of nightfall, feigned a cavalry charge to facilitate his escape.

Custer marched his regiment proudly into Camp Supply on December 2 and submitted a single report to Sheridan concerning the events at Washita. In his report, Custer failed to commend anyone in his command, uncharacteristic for the time in an Army in which such commendations were the recognized practice. In a battle that represented the first spectacular victory of the frontier regulars in the post war era, his omission was notably unusual.

Additional Sources:

www.cleavelin.net
www.cr.nps.gov
www.andythomas.com/civil_war_images
www.nmnh.si.edu
www.historycooperative.org
www.indianwars.org
www.mohicanpress.com
www.arlingtoncemetery.net

2 posted on 08/17/2005 10:00:43 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
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Custer's report to Sheridan also made light reference to casualties, failing to note that he had abandoned Major Joel Elliot and 16 others on the battlefield. According to Benteen, Custer made no attempt to locate the bodies. The bodies were found together, in a tight circle, when the regiment returned to the battlefield on December 11. At Fort Harker in mid-December, Kate Benteen gave birth to a daughter, Kate Norman Benteen, but the child lived less than a week.

The completion of the Kansas-Pacific Railroad and the rise of racial organizations saw the 7th Cavalry dispatched to the South in 1871. Ultimately, Benteen's H Company was assigned to Nashville over the objections of Custer. On April 2,1872, Kate had another daughter, Fannie Gibson Benteen. In April 1873, the regiment was transferred to the Department of the Dakota; in late June, Benteen and his family reported to Fort Rice in Dakota Territory.


From the valley floor this view is of the bluffs climbed by the survivors of Reno's battalion.


On June 20, Colonel David S. Stanley departed with the 7th Cavalry on a surveying expedition of the Yellowstone River, known to historians as the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873. On July 31, Custer ordered Benteen to remain behind at what became known as Stanley's Stockade, a supply point on the Yellowstone some 20 miles upriver from the mouth of Glendive Creek.

As winter descended upon the expedition, Benteen received word that baby "Fan" was very ill at Fort Rice. He immediately requested leave to return to the post, a leave that Custer promptly denied. Before Benteen could resolve the issue, his daughter was dead. In April 1875, the Benteens produced a second son, Theodore Norman Benteen; the following winter, little Theodore was laid to rest at Fort Rice. Of the Benteen children, only Freddie would grow to adulthood.

On May 5, 1876, Benteen departed for Fort Abraham Lincoln with Companies H and M; his rendezvous with history was but two months distant. Custer and Brig. Gen. Alfred Terry arrived soon after. For the first time in the regiment's history, all 12 companies were assembled together. On May 17, the regiment marched from Fort Lincoln as the regimental band played "The Girl I Left Behind Me."

On June 22, as the regiment drew nearer the native encampment for which the expedition was searching, Custer's demeanor noticeably changed. Survivors later noted that he lacked his usual confident swagger, casting a pall over the evening's officers call. After the meeting, Lieutenant George D. Wallace commented to Lieutenant Edward Godfrey, "I believe General Custer is going to be killed."


The monument atop the point known as Reno Hill, site of the Reno-Benteen entrenchments. The Valley Fight occurred below on the open ground.


The following day, Custer made the fateful decision that would forever be remembered as the turning point in his short life: disregarding Terry's orders to continue to scout the Rosebud, he followed the growing Indian trail into the Valley of the Little Bighorn.

Upon arriving at the native encampment, Custer split his command much as he had at Washita years earlier. In the Washita Valley, the 7th Cavalry had converged on a village of perhaps 50 teepees; at Little Bighorn, at least 1,000 lodges were present in the valley. Custer barely escaped the Washita Valley. He would not leave the Valley of the Little Bighorn alive.

At the Washita, Custer's attack had been synchronized for a simultaneous assault from four directions. But at the Little Bighorn, he committed his forces piecemeal, in an uncoordinated attack ill conceived for a village of such immense proportions. First, Major Marcus Reno's charge was repulsed with disastrous results. Then, Custer's own charge through Medicine Tail Coulee was met by Chief Gall at the cost of his entire battalion. Benteen, dispatched by Custer along the south fork of the Little Bighorn River, arrived in time to regroup Reno's shattered battalion and probably save the remains of the regiment.

In this role, Benteen will forever be remembered. Nearly 125 years later, historians continue to debate Benteen's role in Custer's Last Stand. While some assert that he allowed his personal prejudice in his relationship with Custer to influence his response to Custer's call for his advance, no evidence exists to substantiate such a claim. Instead, much evidence exists to suggest that Benteen was responsible for preventing further death and destruction resulting from Custer's ill-advised attack.

Benteen's arrival on Reno's besieged position northeast of the village signaled a turning point in what could well have resulted in the destruction of the entire regiment. Reno was visibly shaken and disoriented and his battalion was on the verge of total collapse. Benteen quickly organized defenses for the two battalions. He personally directed construction of breastworks, "in full view of the Indians, making no effort whatever to seek shelter."


Benteen at his retirement from active duty


Given the size and scope of the native force encamped along the Little Bighorn, it is doubtful that Benteen could have successfully relieved Custer's battalion. Unwittingly caught between the pincers of Gall and Crazy Horse, Custer's command fell in much the same manner as Elliot's much smaller command had at Washita -- separated, isolated, and with unmitigated violence. The miracle of the Little Bighorn is that any portion of the regiment survived, and that mainly due to the timely and heroic intervention of Captain Frederick W. Benteen.

The following year, during the Nez Perce War of 1877, Colonel Samuel D. Sturgis led the 7th Cavalry deeper into Montana Territory in pursuit of the fleeing Indians. On September 13, 1877, Benteen distinguished himself the Battle of Canyon Creek, an engagement remembered for the resulting allegations of Sturgis' cowardice under fire.

As the native threat receded with each coming spring, the need for the 7th to take to the trail diminished. Benteen's service on the frontier all but ended after Canyon Creek. He testified before Reno's court of inquiry in 1879, served duty as a cavalry recruiter officer in 1880, and supervised the Army Board on Magazine Guns through 1882. On January 27, 1883, Benteen received official notification of his promotion to major, effective December 17, 1882, in the 9th Cavalry.

Benteen joined the regiment on July 20, 1883 at Fort Riley, Kansas. But, unlike the regiment he had spurned 16 years earlier, the 9th Cavalry of 1883 had an excellent reputation. Not only had the regiment performed with distinction in Texas and New Mexico, the unit had fewer desertions, incidents of drunkenness, and reports of criminal behavior than any of the white regiments.

But the Benteen who served with the 9th Cavalry was also not the same Benteen who joined the 7th 16 years earlier, either. Aged by years in the saddle and his share of battle, Benteen was no longer capable of extensive campaigning. When the regiment took to saddle, Benteen usually remained behind to command the post in Colonel Edward Hatch's absence. On May 16, 1884, Benteen was assigned as the post commander of Fort Sill, Indian Territory. In 1885, the 9th was posted to the Wyoming Territory and Benteen commanded the 2nd Squadron (the new "official" name for a cavalry battalion) upon departure for Fort McKinney on June 12,1865.


Captain Frederick Benteen's grave at Arlington National Cemetery


Chronic ill health caused Benteen to consider retirement by 1886, but on July 5, he became the senior major of the 9th Cavalry and prepared to march two companies into Utah Territory to establish a new post. General George Crook, commander of the Department of the Platte, needed to establish a presence in the territory to counter the unsettling influence of the Utes. On August 20, after an especially difficult and tiring march, Crook designated a point roughly three miles north of the confluence of the Duchesne and Uintah rivers as the site for Fort Duchesne.

There, an ailing Benteen found himself embroiled in controversy between the post sutler (and Crook's building contractor for the new post) and General Crook. Benteen settled the problem with natives with ease, dispatching a company of infantry to secure the agency. Building the new post, however, proved a daunting, if impossible, task. In January 1887, the troops remained in tents; building material, forage, food and other essential supplies were slow to arrive. The troops of the 9th, accustomed to such treatment, were not nearly as upset as Benteen.

As Benteen's relationship with the sutler continued to erode, he found himself on the wrong side of Crook. Crook dispatched his inspector general, Major Robert H. Hall, to investigate and report on the progress at Fort Duchesne. With nary a word to Benteen, Hall's scathing report implicated the old major as unfit for duty and the principal cause behind the lack of progress at the post. The report made six, largely unsubstantiated, allegations of Benteen's repeated drunkenness.

Crook, angered by a Kansas City Times article criticizing his mismanagement of Fort DuChesne, ordered Benteen to face a military court martial on January 7, 1887. The board found Benteen guilty of three charges of drunkenness, largely due to the questionable testimony of the sutler and another civilian, and recommended his dismissal from service. On April 20, at the recommendation of General Sheridan, President Grover Cleveland approved the findings, but mitigated the dismissal to suspension from rank and duty for one year at half pay.



On July 7, 1888, Benteen received a medical discharge for maladies incident to service. He and Kate retired to Atlanta, where they enjoyed the amenities of life denied them for so many years on the frontier. On February 27, 1890, the Senate approved awards of brevets for gallantry in action against natives; the Army submitted only 144 names, one of which was Frederick Benteen. In April 1892, he was nominated for a brevet as Brigadier General for gallant and meritorious service at the Little Bighorn and Canyon Creek.

On Wednesday, 22 June 1898, Frederick William Benteen died. The funeral was well attended, and the pallbearers included the governor of Georgia, the mayor of Atlanta, and several other prominent figures. Charles K. Mills summarized the life of a forgotten warrior at the conclusion of his biography of Benteen:

"There are no monuments to Frederick William Benteen today. He remains as he lived: a rather obscure supporting actor who appeared briefly on center stage in a well-known American history drama and then quietly faded away. It was his misfortune to live largely unknown and to die largely misunderstood."

Often misunderstood himself, Custer overshadowed everyone else who ever served in the 7th Cavalry, including Frederick Benteen.


3 posted on 08/17/2005 10:01:14 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
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To: All


Showcasing America's finest, and those who betray them!


Please click on the banner above and check out this newly created (and still under construction) website created by FReeper Coop!


Veterans for Constitution Restoration is a non-profit, non-partisan educational and grassroots activist organization. The primary area of concern to all VetsCoR members is that our national and local educational systems fall short in teaching students and all American citizens the history and underlying principles on which our Constitutional republic-based system of self-government was founded. VetsCoR members are also very concerned that the Federal government long ago over-stepped its limited authority as clearly specified in the United States Constitution, as well as the Founding Fathers' supporting letters, essays, and other public documents.





Actively seeking volunteers to provide this valuable service to Veterans and their families.




We here at Blue Stars For A Safe Return are working hard to honor all of our military, past and present, and their families. Inlcuding the veterans, and POW/MIA's. I feel that not enough is done to recognize the past efforts of the veterans, and remember those who have never been found.

I realized that our Veterans have no "official" seal, so we created one as part of that recognition. To see what it looks like and the Star that we have dedicated to you, the Veteran, please check out our site.

Veterans Wall of Honor

Blue Stars for a Safe Return


UPDATED THROUGH APRIL 2004




The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul

Click on Hagar for
"The FReeper Foxhole Compiled List of Daily Threads"



LINK TO FOXHOLE THREADS INDEXED by PAR35

4 posted on 08/17/2005 10:01:34 PM PDT by SAMWolf (Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
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To: Colonial Warrior; texianyankee; vox_PL; Bigturbowski; ruoflaw; Bombardier; Steelerfan; ...



"FALL IN" to the FReeper Foxhole!



Good Thursday Morning Everyone.

If you want to be added to our ping list, let us know.


5 posted on 08/17/2005 10:15:18 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: USMCBOMBGUY; w_over_w

Watched it. Where's my barf bag? Sam and I watched it together, he's saying he might want to watch it next week cuz the preview looks good with an imbedded reporter. Maybe this week's show was just a bad week??

We determined both on Sam's experience and my common sense (LOL) that there was entirely too much moralizing going on. Whatever happened to just doing your job, also, why didn't they check out the house, you know, do a search? Why were the women ordered to drive by as a test? And for one spotter, the decision to take him out went all the way to the general?

It was slow and painful. I'll try one more for "balance" but if they are all like tonight I don't think I can take it.

Bedtime. Goodnight.


6 posted on 08/17/2005 11:03:51 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All

Wild West Bump for a Benteen Freeper Foxhole

Regards

alfa6 ;>}


7 posted on 08/17/2005 11:15:16 PM PDT by alfa6 (Any child of twelve can do it, with fifteen years practice)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; USMCBOMBGUY; U S Army EOD
All your questions are legit and reflect the comments/criticisms every week. This was one of the worst episodes, "slow and painful" is a good description. The location shots look more like Camarillo and less like Iraq.

If next weeks embedded reporter portrays these guys in a negative light then I fold.

Goodnight.

8 posted on 08/17/2005 11:15:16 PM PDT by w_over_w (If the competition beats my pants off, can I file a lawsuit?)
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To: snippy_about_it
Good morning Snippy.


9 posted on 08/18/2005 1:18:45 AM PDT by Aeronaut (2 Chronicles 7:14.)
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning, Snippy and everyone at the Freeper Foxhole.


10 posted on 08/18/2005 3:04:46 AM PDT by E.G.C.
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To: SAMWolf; snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Darksheare; PhilDragoo; Matthew Paul; Wneighbor; ...
Good morning everyone!

To all our military men and women past and present, military family members, and to our allies who stand beside us
Thank You!


11 posted on 08/18/2005 3:34:45 AM PDT by radu (May God watch over our troops and keep them safe)
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To: snippy_about_it

Good morning ALL, work up to rain, we really need it, even if it only lasted a few minutes.


12 posted on 08/18/2005 3:37:17 AM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; All


August 18, 2005

Why Love Begets Hate

Read:
John 15:18-27

[Jesus said], "If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you." —John 15:18

Bible In One Year: Jeremiah 43-46

cover If there is one thing believers in Jesus should be known for, it is love. The word love appears in Scripture more than 500 times. The essence of the gospel is love, as we see in John 3:16. "For God so loved the world . . . ." The epistle of 1 John 3:16 elaborates: "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us."

Christians are to serve one another in love (Galatians 5:13), love their neighbors as themselves (Galatians 5:14), live a life of love (Ephesians 5:2), and love with actions and in truth (1 John 3:18).

So, if Jesus and His followers are all about love, why do some people love to hate us? Why are there, according to one estimate, 200 million persecuted believers in the world today?

Jesus told us why. He said to His disciples, "Everyone practicing evil hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed" (John 3:20). Jesus is the Light. When He walked this earth, people hated Him because He exposed the darkness of their sin. We are now His light in this world (Matthew 5:14); therefore, the world will also hate us (John 15:19).

Our task is to be channels of God's love and light, even if we are hated in return. —Dave Branon

Some will hate you, some will love you;
Some will flatter, some will slight;
Cease from man, and look above you,
Trust in God and do the right. —Macleod

Love in return for love is natural, but love in return for hate is supernatural.

FOR FURTHER STUDY
Knowing God Through John

13 posted on 08/18/2005 4:32:19 AM PDT by The Mayor ( Pray as if everything depends on God; work as if everything depends on you.)
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To: SAMWolf
The author has GOT to be kidding! Always did his duty? Benteen DISOBEYED an order at the Little Big Horn before he ever joined forces with that other paragon, Marcus Reno. Benteen, in that celebrated note that Martini brought him, was ordered to "Come quick", twice in the same missive. With Benteen at the time was Custer's nephew, Autie Reed, who managed to reach his Uncle, and die with him, before Benteen reached Reno - who had also disobeyed his orders [to charge the village], halted a half mile out, dismounted his troops [depriving himself of 20% of his combat strength - horse holders], with his left flank in the air, and passed the initiative to the Indians.

Much is made of the Elliot affair at the Washita, yet, in point of fact, Benteen had demonstrated a palpable distaste for Custer prior to that incident. After the Washita, Benteen penned anonymous attacks on his field commander [Custer was the regimental Executive Officer, not the commander], and did so anonymously [so much for courage]. Why? Benteen had not done as well coming out of the Civil War when reverting from his brevet rank. And, more importantly, few of Benteen's worshipful admirers had as high an opinion of Benteen's genius as he did. I imagine Custer's lack of awe, disinclination to solicit Benteen's advice, and failure to include Benteen in his circle of favorites led to Benteen's increasing rancor which culminated in something akin to hatred after Elliot's death, and a dilatory compliance with orders at the Greasy Grass that may have contributed to Custer's death.

Was Custer perfect? No. But he deserved the full support, if not the loyalty, of his subordinates. I am quite sure that the last two people on Earth he wanted in command of the other two battle groups of the 7th on June 25th were Reno and Benteen. But since they were the next senior officers, he put them in charge. In the early morning hours before the attack, Custer actually held a council of war with his officers [an unusual practice for him] , and solicited their advice on the pending operation. Benteen, offered none.

Custer has been made the scapegoat for the Little Big Horn for far too long. As the commanding officer he does, of course, bear the responsibility for the defeat. But his actions on June 25th, based on the information he had, at the time he had it, and the common belief, throughout the command structure of the U.S Army, that Indians would flee, not fight for, a village under attack, were not unreasonable. He deserves better from history. He deserved MUCH better from Benteen.
14 posted on 08/18/2005 5:46:51 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: SAMWolf

On This Day In History


Birthdates which occurred on August 18:
0472 Flavius Ricimer general of the Western Roman Empire, kingmaker
1276 Adrianus V, [Ottobono Fieschi], Italian Pope (7/11-8/18/1276)
1503 Alexander VI, [Rodrigo the Borja], Spanish Pope (1492-1503)
1587 Virginia Dare 1st American born of English parents
1685 Brook Taylor England, mathematician, discoverer of Taylor's Theorem
1750 Antonio Salieri Italy, composer (Tatare)
1774 Meriwether Lewis, American explorer who led the Corps of Discovery with William Clark
1778 Fabian Gottlieb von Bellinghausen 1st to circumnavigate Antarctica
1834 Marshall Field founded Chicago-based store chain
1873 Otto Harbach songwriter (Smoke Gets in Your Eyes)
1896 Alan Mowbray London England, actor (Dante, Colonel Flack)
1904 Max Factor Jr CEO (Max Factor Cosmetics)
1906 Andre Van Gyseghem England, actor (Search for the Nile)
1907 Enoch Light Canton Ohio, orch leader (Gulf Road Show with Bob Smith)
1916 Elsa Morante Italy, writer (L'isola di Arturo)
1916 Moura Lympany Saltash England, pianist (OBE-1979)
1917 Casper Weinberger US Secretary of Defense (1981-87)
1919 Walter J Hickel (Gov-R-Alaska)/US Secretary of Interior (1969-71)
1922 Shelley Winters [Schrift], St Louis Mo, actress (Poisidon Adventure)
1924 Mohammad Zia Ul-Haq pres of Pakistan (1978-88)
1927 Rosalynn Carter Georgia, 1st lady, Pres Carter's main lust
1930 Johnny Preston Port Arthur, Tx, rocker (Feel So Fine)
1933 Roman Polanski director/pedophile (Knife in the Water, Repulsion)
1934 Rafer Lewis Johnson US, decathalete (Olympic-gold-1960)
1934 Roberto Clemente pro baseball player (Pittsburgh Pirates)
1935 Gail Fisher Orange NJ, actress (Peggy-Mannix)
1937 Robert Redford Calif, actor/lover & protector of our mother the earth, and a much better person than you are. (Sting, Candidate, Natural, Great Gatsby)
1941 Christopher Jones Jackson TN, actor (Wild in the Streets)
1943 Martin Mull Chic Ill, actor/comedian (Bad Manners, Flick, Serial)
1945 Nona Hendryx Trenton NJ, rocker (LaBelle-Lady Marmalade)
1948 Rudy Hartono Kurniawan Indonesia, All-England tennis champ
1951 Candice Earley actress (Donna Tyler-All My Children)
1952 Patrick Swayze Houston Tx, actor/dancer (Dirty Dancing, Ghost)
1968 Greta Lind actress (Katie Kennicott-All My Children)
1970 Malcolm Jamal Warner Jersey City NJ, actor (Theodore-Cosby Show)
1971 Trey Ames Canton Oh, actor (David-A Year in the Life)



Deaths which occurred on August 18:
1227 Genghis Khan (Chinggis), Mongol conqueror, dies in his sleep at his camp, during his siege of Ningxia, the capital of the rebellious Chinese kingdom of Xi Xia
(Ruled an empire that stretched from Poland down to Iran in the west, and from Russia's Arctic shores down to Vietnam in the east.)
1952 Ralph Byrd actor (Dick Tracy TV Show), dies at 43
1959 Harvey Glatmin executed
1961 Learned Hand Chief judge of US court of Appeals, dies at 89
1968 Cy Walter pianist (3's Company), dies at 52
1982 Beverly Bayne actress, dies at 87
1988 Frederick Ashton choreographer (Cinderella), dies at 83
1990 B.F. Skinner psychologist (Skinner Box), dies from Leukemia at 86




Take A Moment To Remember
GWOT Casualties

Iraq
Aug. 18, 2003 Army Sgt. Eric R. Hull, Baghdad Hostile - hostile fire - IED attack
Aug. 18, 2004 Marine Lance Cpl. Dustin R. Fitzgerald, 22, non-combat related vehicle incident Al Anbar Province, Iraq.

Aug. 18, 2004 Marine Sgt. Richard M. Lord, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Aug. 18, 2004 Army Spc. Jacob D. Martir,Sadr City, Iraq, enemy small arms fire.
Aug. 18, 2004 Marine Sgt. Harvey E. Parkerson III, Al Anbar Province, Iraq.
Aug. 18, 2004 Army Pfc. Henry C. Risner, 26, Baghdad, Iraq, enemy small arms fire.


Afghanistan
A GOOD DAY


http://icasualties.org/oif/
Data research by Pat Kneisler
Designed and maintained by Michael White
//////////
Go here and I'll stop nagging.
http://www.taps.org/
(subtle hint SEND MONEY)


On this day...
0410 Visigoths occupy & plunders Rome


1587 1st English child born in the New World (Virginia Dare)
1686 Cassini reports seeing a satellite orbiting Venus
1759 The French fleet is destroyed by the British under "Old Dreadnought" Boscawen battle of Lagos Bay.
1769 Gunpowder in Brescia Italy church explodes, killing 3,000
1812 USS Constitution encounters HMS Guerriere about 750 miles out of Boston. 55-minute battle leaves 101 British dead, Guerriere rolled helplessly in the water, smashed beyond salvage. Constitution suffered little damage and only 14 casualties. USS Constitution nicknamed "OLD IRONSIDES"
1817 Gloucester, Mass, newspapers tells of wild sea serpent seen offshore
1834 Mt Vesuvius erupts
1835 Last Pottawatomie Indians leave Chicago
1846 Gen Stephen W Kearney's US forces captures Santa Fe, NM
1862 Sioux Indians begin uprising in Minnesota
1864 Petersburg Campaign-Battle of Weldon Railroad day 1 of 3 days
1864 General William T. Sherman sends General Judson Kilpatrick to raid Confederate lines of communication outside Atlanta. The raid was unsuccessful.
1868 Pierre Janssan discovers helium in solar spectrum during eclipse
1873 1st ascent of Mount Whitney, Calif (14,494')
1894 Congress creates Bureau of Immigration
1914 Pres Wilson issues Proclamation of Neutrality
1919 Anti-Cigarette League of America formed in Chicago, Illinois
1920 Tennessee ratifies 19th Amendment, guarantees women voting right (36th state) (And it ONLY took 139 years)
1930 Eastern Airlines begins passenger service
1936 106.5ø F-Hottest afternoon ever in Iowa
1938 FDR dedicates Thousand Islands Bridge connecting US & Canada
1941 Phillies commit 8 errors in a game
1942 Japan sends a crack army to Guadalcanal to repulse the U.S. Marines
1943 Final convoy of Jews from Salonika Greece arrive at Auschwitz
1943 RAF attacks Peenemunde
1943 Otto Skorzeny's Heinkel-111 shot down at Sardinia
1946 Golf Writers Associaton of America formed
1947 Naval torpedo & mine factory explodes at Cadiz, Spain killing 300
1954 Asst Sec of Labor James Wilkins became 1st black to attend cabinet
1956 Cincinnati Reds (8) & Cubs (2) combine to hit 10 HRs in a 9 inning game


1956 Elvis Presley's "Hound Dog/Don't Be Cruel" reaches #1


1957 Amelia Wershoven sets record of female throwing a baseball (252'4")
1957 Juan-Manuel Fangio, wins his last auto World Championship at 46
1958 Betsy Palmer joins the Today Show panel
1958 Fidel Castro makes a speech on Cuban pirate radio Rebelde
1958 Great Britain issues regional stamps (N Ireland, Scotland & Wales)
1958 Lolita, by Vladimir Nabokov, published
1958 TV game show scandal investigation starts
1960 1st photograph bounced off a satellite, Cedar Rapids, Iowa
1961 Construction on Berlin Wall completed
1962 Peter, Paul & Mary release their 1st hit "If I Had a Hammer"
1963 James Meredith became 1st black graduate from U of Mississippi
1965 Hank Aaron loses a HR, because he hit it out of the batter's box
1965 Operation Starlite marks the beginning of major U.S. ground combat operations in Vietnam.
1966 Australian troops repulse a Viet Cong attack at Long Tan.
1972 Police fine Paul & Linda McCartney $800 in Sweden cannabis possession
1973 Hank Aaron's record 1,378 extra base hit surpasses Stan Musial record
1976 USSR's Luna 24 soft-lands on Moon
1976 Two U.S. Army officers were killed in Korea's demilitarized zone as a group of North Korean soldiers wielding axes and metal pikes attacked U.S. and South Korean soldiers. Major Arthur G. Bonifas was attacked and beaten to death by North Korean soldiers as he attempted to cut down a poplar tree in the DMZ
1978 Memphis, Tenn, settles with striking police officers & firefighters
1979 Iran Ayatollah Khomeini demands holy war against Kurds
1981 Jerry Lewis appears on "Donahue" to defend Telethons
1982 1st time NYSE tops 100 M figure, 132.69 M shares traded
1982 LA Dodgers beat Chicago Cubs, 6-5, in 21 innings (game started 8/17)
1982 Pete Rose sets record with his 13,941st plate appearance
1983 Hurricane Alicia battered Houston & Galveston, Texas
1983 Royals defeat Yanks, 5-4, completing "pine-tar" game (12 minutes)
1983 Samantha Druce, age 12y 119d is youngest woman to swim English Channel
1986 Crockett's Tavern opens in Fort Wilderness
1987 Philip Rush of NZ, set record for triple crossing English Channel. His time 28:21, 10 hours faster than the 1st man to do it
1988 FDA approves Minoxidil as a hair loss treatment
1988 Largest house (130 rooms) on Long Island sold for $22 million
1988 Republican Convention in New Orleans select Bush-Quayle ticket
1989 Arturo Barrios of Mexico sets the 10K record (27:08.23) in Berlin
1991 Pan Am games closes in Havana
1991 PM Valentin Pavlov attemps coup aimed at toppling President Mikhail S. Gorbachev
1992 Basketball star Larry Bird announced his retirement after 13 years with the Boston Celtics
1997 The Lutheran Church approves a Formula of Agreement document that called for closer cooperation with the Presbyterian Church (USA), the United Church of Christ and the Reformed Church in America.
1998 A day after his grand jury testimony, President Clinton left Washington on a vacation with his family. Meanwhile, some lawmakers called for Clinton to resign in the wake of his admissions concerning Monica Lewinsky while a spokeswoman for Hillary Rodham Clinton said the first lady "believes in this marriage." ("Because I WILL be President, and this SOB will help...or else.")
2004 Iraq's new air force takes to the skies for the 1st time since the 2003 US invasion


Holidays
Note: Some Holidays are only applicable on a given "day of the week"

Hawaii : Admission Day (1959) ( Friday )
Mich : Montrose-Blueberry Festival ( Friday )
Bad Poetry Day
Elvis International Tribute Week (Day 4)
US : Women's Voting Rights Day (1920)
National Watermelon Day
Foot Health Month


Religious Observances
RC : Commemoration of St Agapitus, martyr
RC : Comm of St Helena, empress, mother of Constantine the Great
Ang : Commemoration of William Porcher DuBose, priest


Religious History
1688 Puritan clergyman John Bunyan, 69, preached his last sermon, before dying 13 days later. In 1678 he had authored Pilgrim's Progress, an allegory describing the difficulties encountered in the Christian life, while journeying through this world.
1856 Birth of Charles Gabriel, American sacred music artist. He edited a great number of hymnbooks, and wrote several hymns, including "More Like the Master," "I Stand Amazed in the Presence" and "Send the Light."
1927 At age 20, Christian radio pioneer Theodore Epp was converted to a living faith. In 1939 he founded Back to the Bible Broadcast, an evangelistic radio program with outlets today on over 600 stations around the world.
1930 English apologist C. S. Lewis wrote in a letter: 'One creeps home, tired and bruised, into a state of mind that is really restful, when all ambitions have been given up. Then one can really for the first time say, "Thy Kingdom come."
1963 Swiss Reformed theologian Karl Barth wrote in a letter: 'Even if there is cause for great dissatisfaction with one's church, one should stay in it in the hope that new movements will come.... Only in this way could I continue to be a member of the Evangelical Reformed Church.'

Source: William D. Blake. ALMANAC OF THE CHRISTIAN CHURCH. Minneapolis: Bethany House, 1987.


Gas Thieves Fill Car With Diesel Fuel

NAPPANEE, Ind. -- The high cost of gasoline may have driven them to it, but picking the wrong fuel pump cut short their getaway.
Two men who tried to steal gasoline from a construction company instead filled the tank of their car with off-road-grade diesel fuel Sunday, police said.
An employee of Beer & Slabaugh spotted the men on the company property near Nappanee, about 20 miles southeast of South Bend, as they were siphoning fuel out of a car's tank, Elkhart County deputies said.

The two told the employee that a friend had put the wrong fuel into the tank and they were trying to empty it, authorities said. The employee noticed that the fuel was the distinctive red color of off-road diesel.
He called deputies, who arrested McKinley Chase, 21, and Dajuan L. Lord, 19, both of Gary, on preliminary charges of felony. They acknowledged the theft by explaining their mistake and saying their car would not run.
Lord remained in the Elkhart County Jail on Tuesday. Chase was released on bond, a jail spokeswoman said.


Thought for the day :
"The trouble with jogging is that the ice falls out of your glass."
Martin Mull


15 posted on 08/18/2005 6:26:19 AM PDT by Valin (The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.)
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Professional Engineer; Samwise; PhilDragoo; radu; alfa6; All

Good morning everyone.

16 posted on 08/18/2005 6:48:59 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: snippy_about_it; SAMWolf; Iris7; Valin; PAR35; U S Army EOD; alfa6; Professional Engineer; ...
MORNING GLORY FOLKS!


17 posted on 08/18/2005 7:33:34 AM PDT by w_over_w (Just found out a Gyroscope is not a device for looking at tiny Greek sandwiches.)
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To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; Peanut Gallery; Wneighbor
Good morning ladies. Flag-o-Gram.


18 posted on 08/18/2005 8:26:27 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: PzLdr

I knew you'd have a difference of opinion with Mr. Leonards' view. ;-)


19 posted on 08/18/2005 9:53:31 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
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To: Valin
1812 USS Constitution encounters HMS Guerriere about 750 miles out of Boston. 55-minute battle leaves 101 British dead, Guerriere rolled helplessly in the water, smashed beyond salvage. Constitution suffered little damage and only 14 casualties. USS Constitution nicknamed "OLD IRONSIDES"


20 posted on 08/18/2005 10:03:50 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: Valin
1930 Eastern Airlines begins passenger service

Air Rickenbacker

21 posted on 08/18/2005 10:05:49 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: bentfeather

Hi miss Feather


22 posted on 08/18/2005 10:08:49 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: SAMWolf

Hiya Sam.

Long time no see.


23 posted on 08/18/2005 10:09:56 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: Professional Engineer

Snippy let me out of the dungeon for a few minutes this month. ;-)


24 posted on 08/18/2005 10:53:54 AM PDT by SAMWolf (Someday, we'll look back on this, laugh nervously and change the subject.)
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To: SAMWolf

Gonna have to talk with her boss about that


25 posted on 08/18/2005 10:59:45 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: Professional Engineer

Hi PE,

Have you had your surgery yet?? I have forgotten when you said it was scheduled.


26 posted on 08/18/2005 11:46:30 AM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: snippy_about_it

Good afternoon Snippy, Sam and ALL.


27 posted on 08/18/2005 1:33:48 PM PDT by GailA (Glory be to GOD and his only son Jesus.)
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To: bentfeather

The gut sucking commences at 11:00am next Tuesday


28 posted on 08/18/2005 2:29:13 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: Professional Engineer

UGH!! Same day surgery, right?


29 posted on 08/18/2005 2:30:12 PM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: bentfeather

That's the plan. I'll be laid up FReeping for a few days afterward.


30 posted on 08/18/2005 2:35:49 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: GailA

Good afternoon Gail.


31 posted on 08/18/2005 3:09:57 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Professional Engineer
Laparoscopic cholecystectomy?

If you do FReep afterwards and are on Benzodiazepines with an opiate . . . well . . . we'll know! ;^)

32 posted on 08/18/2005 3:10:37 PM PDT by w_over_w (Just found out a Gyroscope is not a device for looking at tiny Greek sandwiches.)
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To: w_over_w

I'm sticking with vicodin and vodka.


33 posted on 08/18/2005 3:14:24 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: snippy_about_it
"Over there" GRRRRRRRR
Last nights show was so full of fallacies I don't even know where to begin.

I will start with the General coming to seeking them out to volentell them for the duty.
That type of job would be given to scout snipers.

Then the mission itself, trucks full of toilets? whatever, it wouldn't happen.

Then the portrayal of the General as the backassward pseudo roughneck with a room temperature IQ.
Although there are some not so bright officers out there, most are given administrative tasks to keep them out of operational decisions that may cost lives. Some not so bright ones get sent to oversee detention facilities and the like, not resulting in casualties just embarrassment.
Now if there was a real problem with the mortar attacks then the tubes themselves would have been located (easily) and destroyed (counter battery, air strike, ect).

If the spotter was thought to be held up in a house then it is a easy matter to roll down and check the house.

There was way more discussion about the morals of the mission then what would ever happen.
The squad leader would dictate, based on mission parameters of what action should be taken.

The Gals.........Grrrrrrrr, if I was a female in the military I would be pissed off (my wife is seeing red).

The ladies being sent off to draw fire, this is so far fetched I cant believe they really passed this crap off.
This would not happen, it is one thing to be ambushed on a convoy, but to be purposely send them to draw fire, that commander would be relieved faster then they could say equal opportunity.

There are to many other inaccuracies to list, I just wanted to vent on a few.
Overall, the troops are just not being portrayed accurately, the writers should be ashamed.
Grrrrrrr, that was the worst one yet, but not by much!
34 posted on 08/18/2005 3:24:04 PM PDT by USMCBOMBGUY (You build it, I'll defeat it!)
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To: USMCBOMBGUY

LOL. Thanks for the response. Sam was saying basically the same thing last night.

Tactics don't change that much from war to war! Heck, even I identified a few things I knew couldn't be portrayed correctly and I'm no soldier, just an armchair viewer with some common sense!


35 posted on 08/18/2005 3:44:08 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: Professional Engineer; SAMWolf; Valin
Gonna have to talk with her boss about that

I see Sam has gone to the Valin school of thought...blame someone else. :-)

36 posted on 08/18/2005 3:45:40 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: SAMWolf
Great read, I think Benteen's attributes were discussed here before, I believe he was a solid commander, he had flaws but most commanders do.
The Little Bighorn debate will continue on as it has for decades. My take on it is that that Benteen acted responsibly, he saved what he could of the unit and choose defendable ground to stand on. If he would of blindly followed Custer his troops would have been slaughtered right along with Custer. The largest mistakes were made by Custer in his rush to engage.
37 posted on 08/18/2005 3:46:29 PM PDT by USMCBOMBGUY (You build it, I'll defeat it!)
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To: USMCBOMBGUY
What "rush to engage"? It's the Cavalry for Chris' Sake!. Custer struck a hot trail, and he followed it. He was under orders to make sure any hostiles [read all Indians not on reservations] did not escape. Custer intended to lay low on the 25th and attack at first light on the 26th. Reason for the change of plan? His rear elements made contact with some Sioux in the AM of the 25th . Custer thought they were warning the village. In point of fact, they were returning to a reservation after hunting buffalo with their relatives. [The Army's estimate of 800 warriors was accurate until late Spring when a lot of Sioux jumped the reservation for the summer hunt - a fact the Indian agents knew, but didn't pass on.]That left him with his orders - not to let them escape.

Custer conducted a combination meeting engagement, reconnaissance in force. Of the the three prongs in that operation, two failed in their mission, and based on John Gray's work, it is probable that Custer feinted at Medicine Coulee to take pressure off Reno. He succeeded too well. Neither Reno, nor Benteen did anything, including a feint, to take any pressure off Custer subsequently. They left that to Cpt. Weir.

I've always thought it odd that all the commentators who castigate Custer for attacking early never mention that Gibbon and Terry, who were to rendezvous with Custer on the 26th, showed up a day late. So if Custer had attacked on the 26th, as he planned, and in expectation of the other two columns from the north, he still would have gone in alone.
38 posted on 08/18/2005 4:07:44 PM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: snippy_about_it; bentfeather; Samwise; Peanut Gallery
While getting her bath tonight, Bittygirl was experimenting with putting one finger after another, then her fist into the faucet to watch what happened. I didn't do this until I was five or so.

It would appear BG has the Knack

39 posted on 08/18/2005 7:32:15 PM PDT by Professional Engineer (You wanna suck my guts out? Cool beans!)
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To: Professional Engineer

LOL and so she will be.


40 posted on 08/18/2005 7:35:47 PM PDT by Soaring Feather
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To: Professional Engineer
It would appear BG has the Knack

LOL. Don't blame yourself. :-)

41 posted on 08/18/2005 9:59:43 PM PDT by snippy_about_it (Fall in --> The FReeper Foxhole. America's History. America's Soul.)
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To: PzLdr; SAMWolf
You obviously are very passionate about the subject and I feel I need to clarify my statement.

I stand by my view that Custer rushed in, I believe his plan was doomed from the start. While it was proper to pursue the "war party" to prevent the alerting of the village, it was not prudent to launch the attack on the village without Gibbon and Terry, without reconnaissance of the routes, without reconnaissance of the village, and without messaging Terry and Gibbon. While it is true that he was under orders to make sure all the Indians were destroyed, he was also under orders to attack WITH Terry and Gibbon.
As you say its the "Cavalry", and as a Calvary officer Custer should have known the terrain that his units can operate in, and what terrain will impede them. The area surrounding Little Big Horn is a mesh of ravines and bluffs, not terrain conducive to cavalry operations. The Indians chose this area because it was easily defendable and had the resources they needed to survive. As I see it, even if the estimate of 800 warriors turned out to be true, the Seventh would have still have had a bloody battle on their hands.
Hindsight is 20/20, and it is our duty learn from history, we are expected to apply this knowledge to future decisions, Custer failed in this, lets not forget Custer had charged in before and had been surprised.
There were many contributing factors to Custer's defeat, their were many heroic acts and many mistakes and not all made by Custer. Custer had many successes but he was not infallible, his decisions made at Little Big Horn did unquestionably lead to the Sevenths defeat. I do not see Custer as a villain or as an incompetent commander, nor do I see Benteen as an incompetent commander, I believe both acted honorably.
42 posted on 08/19/2005 2:03:46 PM PDT by USMCBOMBGUY (You build it, I'll defeat it!)
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To: PzLdr; SAMWolf
You obviously are very passionate about the subject and I feel I need to clarify my statement.

I stand by my view that Custer rushed in, I believe his plan was doomed from the start. While it was proper to pursue the "war party" to prevent the alerting of the village, it was not prudent to launch the attack on the village without Gibbon and Terry, without reconnaissance of the routes, without reconnaissance of the village, and without messaging Terry and Gibbon. While it is true that he was under orders to make sure all the Indians were destroyed, he was also under orders to attack WITH Terry and Gibbon.
As you say its the "Cavalry", and as a Calvary officer Custer should have known the terrain that his units can operate in, and what terrain will impede them. The area surrounding Little Big Horn is a mesh of ravines and bluffs, not terrain conducive to cavalry operations. The Indians chose this area because it was easily defendable and had the resources they needed to survive. As I see it, even if the estimate of 800 warriors turned out to be true, the Seventh would have still have had a bloody battle on their hands.
Hindsight is 20/20, and it is our duty learn from history, we are expected to apply this knowledge to future decisions, Custer failed in this, lets not forget Custer had charged in before and had been surprised.
There were many contributing factors to Custer's defeat, their were many heroic acts and many mistakes and not all made by Custer. Custer had many successes but he was not infallible, his decisions made at Little Big Horn did unquestionably lead to the Sevenths defeat. I do not see Custer as a villain or as an incompetent commander, nor do I see Benteen as an incompetent commander, I believe both acted honorably.
43 posted on 08/19/2005 2:06:41 PM PDT by USMCBOMBGUY (You build it, I'll defeat it!)
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To: Professional Engineer

Oh, no! Not the knack! Anything but that!


44 posted on 08/19/2005 4:34:45 PM PDT by Samwise ("You have the nerve to say that terrorism is caused by resisting it?")
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To: USMCBOMBGUY
Custer planned to recon the village on the afternoon/evening of the 25th, while the 7th rested in their bivouac area. Being spotted by the Agency bound Indians forced him to move without the recon [His orders NOT to let the Indians escape]. That is why I believe he used the plan, and the formation, he did.

The Indians were going to move the village on the 25th or 26th. It was too big to stay in one place more than a few days. If Custer waits for Gibbon and Terry, the Indians escape, since Gibbon and Terry were a day later than the plan, and Custer's understanding called for. And the Indian village was in the area the Army thought it was, and where Gibbon and Terry were to rendezvous with Custer [which explains their arrival on the 27th] Custer would again have been in disobedience of his orders. And remember, Gibbon and Terry NEVER made contact with the Indians for the remainder of the summer and autumn of 1876.

Finally, Custer's orders left him the latitude, if he found the Indians, to attack on his own, or do what he thought best. He did. He lost. He died. Benteen dawdled. Benteen halted. Benteen survived, while three miles away 211 of his comrades didn't. While I don't think Benteen was incompetent - I reserve that sobriquet for that craven, Marcus Reno; I think he was dishonorable. We'll just have to disagree on this.
45 posted on 08/20/2005 8:42:17 AM PDT by PzLdr ("The Emperor is not as forgiving as I am" - Darth Vader)
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To: PzLdr
You gave me some great stuff to think about. Although I don't agree about Benteen I do about Reno. I am looking forward to our next discussion.
46 posted on 08/22/2005 11:02:51 AM PDT by USMCBOMBGUY (You build it, I'll defeat it!)
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