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Re: B H 1874 Expedition

Posted by Larry Gibson on Sunday, 26 June 2016, at 3:17 p.m., in response to B H 1874 Expedition, posted by Keogh on Saturday, 25 June 2016, at 8:52 p.m.

While it is probably a pretty good assumption that most of the M1873s used during the 1874 expedition were the same ones used at the LBH the same can not be assumed of the men of the 7th, particularly the enlisted.

Researching They Rode With Custer, John M. Carroll we find that a great many of the enlisted were discharged after the '74 Expedition. Also a number of newly assigned officers were at the LBH that were not on the '74 Expedition. The records show that 34% of those with Custer at the LBH had less than 1 year service. Almost 10% had less than 6 months service. It should be noted that the winter of '75/'76 was one of the harshest on record. There was little to no training afforded to any of the soldiers during the winter. What little training they received (records indicate little training was done on the march from their departure in March to the arrival on the LBH on June 25th.

I'll mention that was not Custer's fault as that's just the way things were done in the Army then. Reno was the actual de facto commander on the plains during the winter until the arrival of Custer to take command just before the 7th departed on the campaign in March. A close scrutiny of actually what occurred on both battlefields at LBH show the lack of training of the soldiers and inexperience in fighting plains Indians of several key officers led to the tactical disintegration and subsequent catastrophes at both battlefields.

Larry Gibson


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