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Posted by Jim Meredith on Saturday, 25 June 2011, at 6:58 a.m., in response to Re: Custeriana, posted by Victor on Wednesday, 10 December 2008, at 9:48 a.m.
This Custeriana thread was started over two years ago. At that time we discussed some of the personal weapons that may have been carried by Custer at the Little Big Horn,such as his 50/70 trapdoor and his Remington rolling block. One thing not discussed was Custer's pistols, which are still a mystery. Since then I have done a little research on this subject and now believe he carried two self-cocking Engish Bulldogs of the Webley design, both in .442 caliber. One was the larger 6 shooter, which was photographed in Custer's study, named the RIC (Royal Irish Constabulary). It had a walnut grip, blued finish, and a lanyard ring. Webley started production of it in 1867. The other was the smaller version of the RIC, "THE BRITHISH BULL DOG" with a 5 shot cylinder. This smaller double action pocket gun also had walnut grips, but was nickel plated, and had no lanyard ring. It was first introduced by Webley in 1872 and Custer could have got it on his trip to DC in the spring of 1876. I believe that Custer, mounted on his sorrel horse with four white socks, led the charge of the gray horse company across the LBH River, (at Medicine Tail Coulee, 59022), exactly as he had told Reno he would do. Only a few Indian warriors were there to oppose him. One of them, probably the Sioux warrior, White Cow Bull, with his repeater, got lucky and dropped Custer with a shot to the right chest. The Indians were amazed when the troopers stopped in the middle of the river to pick up their fallen leader, (minus the RIC), and make an unorginized retreat back up into the hills 4 miles NW of Reno. The smaller pistol in Custer's pocket did get used that day by someone and was in the process of being reloaded when it was dropped and driven into the ground, probably by a horse hoof which cracked the frame and broke off the loading gate. It remained buried at the battleground until 1948 when a Montana Boy carelessly found the rusty relic and hung it on his wall, un-published and lost to history. When Custer's body was found on June 27, 1876, by Benteen's men, there was one small peculiar brass shell case nearby that the soldiers assumed belonged to Custer's pistol. This burial party also commented about the heavy hoof prints all around. June 25 is the 135th anniversary of this historic battle. Jim
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