PILGRIMAGE TO CUSTER
by Jackie Jura, 2023
(my commentary in blue)
(you can listen using text-to-speech on your device)
8.STATUES OF PRESIDENTS & CUSTER
...cont'd from 7.CUSTER GOLD BLACK HILLS & RUSHMORE
We drove east down from the Black Hills to Rapid City from where we planned to head north back up into Canada. From my reading on Mount Rushmore I knew that Rapid City played a huge role because this is where 60-year-old Gutzom Borglum arrived by train for the first time after being hired to sculpt a mountain -- but which one was not yet decided. Many people connected to making the sculpture a reality converged here over the years for consultation and publicity. After hitching the horsepower we headed to the tourist office for maps and, on every corner, in all directions, saw life-size statues which, upon seeing closer, were Presidents of the United States. It was an extremely pleasant surprise -- like bumping into someone famous and they stopping to have a friendly chat. We came upon the President Info Center and they explained how the sculptures came to be and gave us a brochure. Their slogan was, "From the mountain to Main Street, you have seen four presidents at Mount Rushmore. Now, come to Rapid City and see the rest of the family".
Godcidently, the Presidents I took photos of and posed with were not only my favourite presidents, for historical reasons, but also had connections directly and indirectly to George Armstrong Custer. Here are the storyboards of those six presidents, after which I'll explain how they relate to Custer.
"...This statue of Washington portrays him as a general in full military dress attire. Before he was known as a politician and, subsequently president of the United States, Washington was a military commander: At 6'2", Washington was a tall man for his time in history and, like all the other presidential statues, is shown as life-sized. Depicted in a prideful military stature, he is shown at possiblly his finest hour. Sculptor, Treeby
"...Jackson was a man of strong will with a notable military background. He was a firebrand, a duelist and an Indian fighter. He is depicted as a man of defiance, a characteristic that dominated his lifestyle. With his military uniform billowing and arms folded sternly, the true attitude of the man is shown. Sculptor, Maher
"...This sculpture is an attempt to give insight to the burdens that the 16th president bore for the country. Lincoln's sons were a joy and respite from the strain of war. He is shown holding a telegram informing him of the great numbers of casualties at the battle of Cold Harbor. Lincoln reflects upon the crushing cost of war and the loss of so many sons of the nation while his own son, Tad, with a boy's innocent fondness for uniforms and the accoutrements of the soldier, plays with a toy cannon at his father's feet. Sculptor, Maher
"...This statue features a young Roosevelt in his Rough Rider uniform with the signature blue polka dot kerchief around his neck. The Black Hills owe much of its preservation to Roosevelt's conservative efforts during his visits. He was one of our most robust presidents and the sculptor artfully captured his larger-than-life personality. Sculptor, Lopez
"...Taft was a very good athlete in his youth, even drafted to play professional baseball. He went to Yale Law School instead, where he won the heavyweight wrestling title. He was the first president to throw out the opening pitch of the major league season. The artist shows him, ever the competitor, shaking off the catcher's sign and preparing to throw the "heater". Walk around to the back of the statue to see Taft's grip on the ball. Like all good athletes, he still thought of himself in his prime, regardless of those few extra pounds. Taft was our heaviest president. Sculptor, Leuning & Treeby
"...The sculptor chose to show Kennedy with his son, John Jr. He is handing John-John one of his favorite toys, an air fighter plane. This moment in time takes place at the White House after the president is winding down following a cabinet meeting. This is a very popular image of Kennedy during one of his happier moments with a member of his family. Sculptor, Lopez
~ end quoting City of Presidents brochure ~
As explained in earlier essays on ORWELL TODAY, I'm a history buff including American history from explorers to colonization to the Revolution, Independence, War of 1812, Civil War, Indian Wars, WWI, WWII and ongoing wars and current events. My study into the life and death of John F Kennedy led to the life and death of Abraham Lincoln which led to the Civil War which led to the life and death of Custer. As the old saying goes, "Those who don't learn from history are doomed to repeat it" or, as Orwell said, "Who controls the past controls the future: who controls the present controls the past". I also enjoy history as escapism and a way to time-travel back from the present, which to the past was the future.
George Washington, born 1732, died 1799, was the first president of the United States and the first statue of a president I took a photo of that day in Rapid City. He's also "first in war, first in peace and first in the hearts of his countrymen" to quote a eulogy at Washington's funeral.
"...George Washington in the American Revolution (1775-1783), by James Flexnor, published 1967: ...We see a Virginia officer catapulted...into the command of an amateur army opposing an experienced European force under elite leadership.... Yet even as we share the anguish of his unsuccessful battles -- and the political unrest and uncertainty that marked the Revolution -- we understand the slow but sure process by which Washington taught himself, through trial and error, to become the clear master of his English foes...".
"...Alexander Hamilton: America's Bold Lion, by John Rosenburg, published 2000:... Hamilton was one of the greatest American patriots and statesmen of his time. He played a key role in the American Revolution and a critical part in the creation and adoption of the Constitution... His visionary financial and economic plans...set the young United States on a course that enabled it to become the most prosperous, powerful, and important nation in the world. For these reasons, next to George Washington, Alexander Hamilton was arguably the nation's most important Founding Father...".
Custer's connection to George Washington is through his patriotic duty to the preservation of the Union during and after the Civil War, 1861-1865. During Reconstruction, in 1866, Custer was a delegate to the Philadelphia Convention (as had been Washington). And Custer was also connected to Washington through Custer's indirect connection to Alexander Hamilton -- one of Washington's most valuable fellow Founding Fathers. Below are excerpts from books explaining:
"...While Sheridan's plans -- which included Custer -- were being developed, Custer was active in reconstruction measures. While so engaged, he was bitterly assailed by some of the newspapers. In a letter to the Secretary of the United States Senate, August 30, 1866, these are Custer's words:
'...A few of the most extreme Radical journals, prominent among these the organ controlled and edited by yourself, have pretended to discover an inconsistency between my view expressed before the Reconstruction Committee, last March, and my present action as delegate to the Philadelphia Convention, and supporter of the principles enunciated in the resolutions adopted by the illustrious national and patriotic body, composed of representatives from every State and Territory in the Union -- the first truly national assembly in our country during the past six years... Along with the victories won on many a hard-contested field by our noble and patriotic armies, and in which I am proud to have been an humble participant, I place, as crowning victory, the assembling of that Convention of men, for years opposed in principle and policy, but who, casting aside personal feeling and prejudice, came together for one purpose -- to secure prosperity and preservation of the country, inspired by one sentiment -- Union, Concession and harmony. Everything for the cause. Nothing for men.... You know with what earnestness I engaged in the late struggle, fought till it was ended, victory won. With that same earnestness I desire Peace -- that peace for which our armies contended. The platform and principles adopted by the Convention may be stated in six words: National Integrity, Constitutional Liberty, Individual Rights.... Our Union has withstood attacks from front, rear, without, within... I do not believe the adoption of either plan of Reconstruction can destroy it. Whatever plan put forward, adopted, Union will be the result. For that purpose the North went forth to fight, and only that object will satisfy the people...'".
Alexander Hamilton was born in 1755 and died in a duel in 1804. Alexander and his wife Elizabeth had eight children. His first child, Philip was born in 1782 and died in a duel in 1801, age 19. Alexander's 8th child, born in 1802, was also named Philip after his older brother who had died while Philip #2 was in utero. Philip was the father of Louis, born in 1844 and died in 1868 while serving under Custer in the 7th Cavalry.
"...Louis McLane Hamilton was a grandson of Alexander Hamilton, Washington's Secretary of the Treasury. His maternal grandfather, for whom he was named, was Louis McLane, US Senator, Ambassador to Great Britain, and Secretary of the Treasury and Secretary of State in President Jackson's Cabinet. He enlisted in the army for the Civil War before he was 18 years of age, and before he was 19 was commanding a company in battle. At the time of his death in the battle of the Washita he was the youngest officer of his rank in the regular army..."
The above description is from Custer's book MY LIFE ON THE PLAINS and below are excerpts focusing on Louis Hamilton.
"...Soon after arriving at camp a small party of Indians was reported in sight in a different direction. Captain Louis Hamilton, a lineal descendant of Alexander Hamilton, was immediately ordered to take his troop and learn something of their intentions. The Indians resorted to their usual tactics. There were not more than half a dozen to be seen -- not enough to appear formidable. These were there as a decoy. Captain Hamilton marched his troop toward the hill on which the Indians had made their appearance, but on arriving at its crest found that they had retired to the next ridge beyond. This manoeuver was repeated several times, until the cavalry found itself several miles from camp. The Indians then appeared to separate into two parties, each going in different directions. Captain Hamilton divided his troop into 2 detachments, sending one detachment, under command of my brother, after one of the parties while he, with 25 men continued to follow the other.... Suddenly dashing from a ravine, as if springing from the earth, 43 Indian warriors burst out upon the cavalry, letting fly their arrows and filling the air with their wild war-whoops. Fortunately Captain Hamilton was an officer of great presence of mind as well as undaunted courage. The Indians began circling about the troops, throwing themselves upon the sides of their ponies and aiming their carbines and arrows over the necks of their well-trained war-steeds. Captain Hamilton formed his men in order to defend themselves against the assaults of their active enemies. The Indians displayed unusual boldness, sometimes dashing close up to the cavalry and sending in a perfect shower of bullets and arrows. Fortunately, their aim, riding as they did at full speed, was necessarily inaccurate.... We had advanced in this manner probably two miles, when we discerned in the distance the approach of Captain Hamilton's party. They were returning leisurely to camp, after having succeeded in driving off their assailants and inflicting upon them a loss of two warriors killed and several wounded. The Indians could only boast of having wounded a horse belonging to Captain Hamilton's party...
"...Before proceeding to narrate the incidents of the pursuit which led us to the battle of the Washita I will refer to the completion of our hasty preparations to detach ourselves from the encumbrance of our immense wagon train... The train was to be left behind under the protection of an officer and 80 cavalrymen, with orders to push after us, following our trail in the snow as rapidly as the teams could move... Under existing orders the guard for the protection of our train was each day under the command of the officer of the day, the tour of duty of the latter continuing 24-hours, beginning in the morning. On that day the duties of officer of the day fell in regular routine upon Captain Louis McLane Hamilton, 7th Cavalry, a grandson of Alexander Hamilton. Of course, this detail would require him to remain behind with the train while his squadron, one of the finest in the command, would move forward to battle under charge of another. To a soldier of Hamilton's pride and ambition to be left behind in this inglorious manner was galling in the extreme. He foresaw the situation at once, and the moment that intelligence of the proposed movement reached him he came galloping up from the rear in search of me. I was busily engaged at the time superintending the hurried arrangements for commencing the pursuit. Coming up to me with a countenance depicting the most earnest anxiety, his first words were to frame an inquiry as to whether I intended him to remain behind.
"...Fully appreciating his anxious desire to share with his comrades the perils of the approaching conflict, and yet unable to substitute, without injustice, another officer for him unless with the consent of the former, I could not give him the encouragement he desired. The moment that the plans for pursuit were being formed I remembered that the accidents of service were to deprive the pursuing column of the presence and aid of one whose assistance in such an emergency could always be confidently relied upon. Some of his brother officers had bethought themselves of the same, and at once came to me with the remark that "we ought to have Hamilton with us". My only reply was that while my desires were all one way my duty prescribed that Hamilton should remain with the guard and train, it being his detail, and it also being necessary that some officer should remain upon this important duty. I answered his repeated request, that while I desired him in command of his squadron, particularly then of all times, I was powerless to have it so without being unjust to some other officer. While forced to admit this to be true, he added, 'It seems hard that I must remain'. Finally I said to him that all I could do would be to allow him to get some other officer to willingly take his place with the train, adding that some officer might be found in the command who from indisposition or other causes did not feel able to undertake a rapid and tiresome pursuit, such as we would probably have, and under such circumstances I would gladly order the change. He at once departed in search of some one who would assume his duties with the train and leave him free to resume his post at the head of his splendid squadron -- that squadron in whose organization and equipment he had displayed such energy and forethought, and whose superior excellence and efficiency long bore the impress of his hand. I am thus minute in detailing these circumstances affecting the transfer of Captain Hamilton from one duty to another as the sad sequel will show how intimately connected the destiny of one of the parties was with the slight matter of this change. Hamilton had been absent but a few minutes when he returned overflowing with joy and remarked that an officer had been found who consented to take his place, ending with the question: 'Shall I join my squadron?' To this I gladly assented and he galloped to another part of the field, where his men were, to hasten and superintend their preparations for the coming struggle...
"...The general plan was to employ the hours between then and daylight to completely surround the village and at daybreak to attack the Indians from all sides. The command, numbering about 800 mounted men was divided into 4 nearly equal detachments.... By this disposition it was hoped to prevent the escape of every inmate of the village. That portion of the command which I proposed to accompany consisted of A,C,D and K troops, 7th Cavalry, the Osages and scouts, and Colonel Cooke with is 40 sharpshooters. Captain Hamilton commanded one of the squadrons, Colonel West the other. After the first 2 columns had departed for their posts -- it was still 4 hours before the hour of attack -- the men of the other 2 columns were permitted to dismount, but much intense suffering was unavoidabe. The night grew extremely cold towards morning...
"...At last faint signs of approaching day were visible and I proceeded to collect the officers, awakening those who slept. We were standing in a group near the head of the column when suddenly our attention was attracted by a remarkable sight and for a time we felt that the Indians had discovered our presence. Directly beyond the crest of the hill which separated us from the village and in line with the supposed location of the latter we saw rising slowly but perceptibly, up from the village and appearing in bold relief against the dark sky as a background, something which we could only compare to a signal rocket, except that its motion was slow and regular.
"...All eyes were turned to it in blank astonishment... Slowly and majestically it continued to rise above the crest of the hill, first appearing as a small brilliant flaming globe of bright golden hue... It had risen perhaps to the height of half a degree above the horizon when, lo! the mystery was dispelled. Rising above the mystifying influences of the atmosphere, that which had appeared so suddenly before us and excited our greatest apprehnsions developed into the brightest and most beautiful of morning stars....
"...All were ordered to get ready to advance; not a word to officer or men was spoken above undertone... Colonel West's squadron was formed in line on the right, Captain Hamilton's squadron in line on the left, while Colonel Cooke with his 40 sharpshooters was formed in advance of the left, dismounted... The plan was for each party to approach as closely to the village as possible without being discovered and there await the approach of daylight. The regimental band was to move with my detachment and it was understood that the band should strike up the instant the attack opened... In this order we began to descend the slope leading down to the village... We had now reached the level of the valley and began advancing in line toward the heavy timber in which and close at hand we knew the village was situated.
"...Immediately in rear of my horse came the band, all mounteed and each with his instrument in readiness to begin playing the moment their leader, who rode at their head and who kept his cornet to his lips, should receive the signal. I had previously told him to play Garry Owen as the opening piece. We had approached near enough to the village now to plainly catch a view here and there of the tall white lodges as they stood in irregular order among the trees... A single rifle shot rang sharp and clear on the far side of the village from where we were. Quickly turning to the band leader, I directed him to give us Garry Owen. At once the rollicking notes of that familiar marching and fighting air sounded forth through the valley and in a moment were re-echoed back from the opposite sides by the loud and continued cheers of the other detachments, who, true to their orders, were there in readiness to pounce upon the Indians the moment the attack began....
watch Gary Owen from "They Died With Their Boots On" listen
"...In this manner the battle of the Washita commenced. The bugles sounded the charge and the entire command dashed rapidly into the village. The Indians were caught napping; but realizing at once the dangers of their situation they quickly overcame their first surprise and in an instant seized their rifles, bows, and arrows, and sprang behind the nearest trees, while some leaped into the stream, nearly waist deep, and using the bank as a rifle-pit began a vigorous and determined defense. Mingled with the exultant cheers of my men could be heard the defiant war-whoop of the warriors, who from the first fought with a desperation and courage which no race of men could surpass. Actual possession of the village and its lodges was ours within a few moments after the charge was made, but this was an empty victory unless we could vanquish the late occupants, who were then pouring in a rapid and well-directed fire from ther stations behind trees and banks...
"...We had gained the center of the village and were in the midst of the lodges, while on all sides could be heard the sharp crack of the Indian rifles and the heavy responses from the carbines of the troopers... Slowly but steadily the Indians were driven from behind the trees, and those who escaped the carbine bullets posted themselves with their companions who were already firing from the banks... Fortunately, affairs took a favorable turn in the combat in which we were then engaged, and the firing had almost died away. Only here and there where some warrior still maintained his position was the fight continued.... In the meanwhile our temporary hospital had been established in the center of the village, where the wounded were receiving such surgical care as circumstances would permit. Our losses had been severe; indeed, we were not then aware how great they had been. Hamilton, who rode at my side as we entered the village and whose soldierly tones I heard for the last time as he calmly cautioned his squadron, 'Now, men, keep cool, fire low, and not too rapidly', was among the first victims of the opening charge, having been shot from his saddle by a bullet from an Indian rifle. He died instantly. His lifeless remains were tenderly carried by some of his troopers to the vicinity of the hospital..."
"...The last camp before we reached Camp Supply was on Wolf Creek, about ten miles from General Sheridan's headquarters... From this point I sent a courier to General Sheridan soon after going into camp, informing him of our whereabouts and the distance from his camp, and that we would reach the latter at such an hour in the forenoon, when the officers and men of my command would be pleased to march in reveiw before him and his staff as we finished our return march from the opening of the winter campaign. Officers and men, in view of this, prepared to put on their best appearance.... In approaching Camp Supply by the route we were marching a view of the camp and depot is first gained from the point where the high level plain begins to descend gradually to form the valley in the middle of which Camp Supply is located... In this order and arrangement we marched proudly in front of our chief, who, as the officers rode by giving him the military salute with the saber, returned their formal courtesy by a graceful lifting of his cap and a pleased look of recognition from his eye which spoke his approbation in language far more powerful than studied words could have done. In speaking of the review afterwards, General Sheridan said the appearance of the troops, with the bright rays of the sun reflected from their burnished arms and equipments as they advanced in beautiful order and precision down the slope, the band playing, and the blue of the soldiers' uniforms slightly relieved by the gaudy colors of the Indians, both captives and Osages, the strangely fantastic part played by the Osage guides, their shouts, chanting their war songs, and firing their guns in air, all combined to render the scene one of the most beautiful and higly interesting he remembered ever having witnessed..."
"...We had brought with us on our return march from the battle-ground of the Washita the remains of our slain comrade, Captain Louis McLane Hamilton. Arrangements were at once made upon our arrival at Camp Supply to offer the last formal tribute of respect and affection which we as his surviving comrades could pay. As he had died a soldier's death, so like a soldier he should be buried. On the evening of the day after our arrival at Camp Supply the funeral took place. A little knoll not far from camp was chosen as the resting place to which we were to consign the remains of our departed comrade... In addition to the 11 companies of the 7th Cavalry the regular garrison of Camp Supply, numbering several companies of the Third Regular Infantry, the regiment in which Captain Hamilton had first entered the regular service, was also in attendance. The body of the deceased was carried in an ambulance as a hearse, and covered with a large American flag. The ambulance was preceded by Captain Hamilton's squadron, commanded by Brevet Lieutenant-Colonel T.B. Weir, and was followed by his horse, covered with a mourning sheet and bearing on the sadde -- the same in which Captain Hamilton was seated when he received his death wound -- the saber and belt and the reversed top-boots of the deceased. The pall-bearers were Major-General Sheridan, Brevet Lieutenant-Colonels J Schuyler Crosby, W.W. Cooke, Beebe, Lieutenant Joseph Hall, and myself...."
~ end quoting My Life on Plains by Custer ~
Before leaving the topic of Alexander Hamilton it's godcidental that, during our visit to Rapid City in June 2016, and my subsequent discussion about Hamilton's connection to Georges Washington and Custer, there was a rap musical on Broadway -- played by all-black or people-of-colour actors -- based on the life of Alexander Hamilton. At that time it was receiving world-wide acclaim in all the reviews and in these intervening years has been nominated and won every award possible.
"...Hamilton is a sung-and-rapped-through musical composed by Lin-Manuel Miranda, based on the 2004 book Alexander Hamilton by Ron Chernow. The musical [opened on Broadway January 2015] tells the story of American Founding Father Alexander Hamilton. Composed over a seven-year period from 2008 to 2015, Miranda says Hamilton was originally a hip hop concept album in his head. The show draws heavily from hip hop, as well as R & B, pop, soul, and traditional-style show tunes. It casts non-white actors as the Founding Fathers of the United States and other historical figures. Miranda described Hamilton as about "America then, as told by America now"...[Wikipedia]
"...Hamilton is a phenomenon... In regards to Lin-Manuel Miranda's compelling re-imagining of the American Revolution it's true. By blending rap and hip-hop rhythms with jazz and Broadway melody, and the history of America's founding with a diverse cast of marginalized demographics who for centuries were overlooked or omitted by history's eyes, Miranda created a work that endured beyond its Tony and Pulitzer prizes..."
In January 2009, the first black-man president of the USA -- as opposed to all previous presidents being white-men -- was selected and installed in the White House where he remained until January 2017. During his 8-year term as president, Barack Obama advanced the Black Power agenda that had been surfacing for decades disguised as Civil Rights. Then it became, as I write this in 2023, a full blown anti-white, anti-democratic, admittedly Marxist movement rallying behind the slogan BLACK LIVES MATTER. The United States is being demonized as a nation founded on racism where whites are supreme and privileged and should pay reparations to blacks for wrongs suffered under slavery. Statues of America's historical heroes are being desecrated, beheaded and mutilated. It's even been suggested that the faces on Mount Rushmore should be blown to smithereens. See WHITE LIVES DON'T MATTER
First president of US George Washington statue vandalized
with red paint, Black Lives Matter markings and anti-police statements
(calls to remove similar statues of prominent slave owners across the country)
During Obama's presidency, in October 2011, a massive made-in-China statue of Martin Luther King, Jr was erected on the Washington Mall in Washington, DC next to the Washington Monument. Can you imagine what would happen to Whites if they vandalized that statue in any way or attempted to topple it? Not that it would be possible -- the 30-foot MLK statue is more than 10 feet taller than the 19-foot statue of Thomas Jefferson in the Jefferson Memorial and the 19-foot-6-inch statue of Abraham Lincoln in the Lincoln Memorial. It's half the height of the 60-foot faces on Mount Rushmore!
"...One reason for the inability to face facts could be that President Obama is scheduled to preside over the official unveiling of the King memorial in Washington, D.C. on October 16, 2011 an event that will lead to tons of coverage about King and his legacy. Telling the truth about King could ruin journalism careers. Conservative media figures could find themselves accused of racism for talking about the black civil rights leader's personal indiscretions and far-left associations. The MLK memorial is already mired in controversy because $10 million in taxpayer funds (out of the $120 million cost) and four acres of federal land were donated for a 30-foot tall communist-type statue of King made in communist China by a Chinese artist with Chinese granite. It would appear that another scandal over King himself has to be avoided so the event can go forward without further embarrassment. One can be sure that slanting the news will be in full swing leading up to the King memorial dedication, and Obama and his media allies will strive to make sure that any mention of King's communist connections and adultery is stricken from the public record. See JACKIE SAYS KING COMMUNIST ADULTERER
The next statue I took a photo of in Rapid City was of President Andrew Jackson, born 1767, died 1845, about who I've been singing along-to most of my life -- well, at least it seems that way. I'm talking about the song THE BATTLE OF NEW ORLEANS which was a mega-mega hit when I was a kid in the sixties. Then in the 80s my kids learned to love it too and on road trips we'd blast it all the time on cassette, and now CD. My favourite line is "Ole Hickory said we could take 'em by surprise". And with Bob being British -- born and raised in England -- we'd sing extra loud at "we caught the bloody British".
watch Battle of New Orleans, by Johnny Horton listen
December 1814: British forces led by Sir Edward Pakenham landed at the bottom of the Mississippi River.
American Colonel Andrew Jackson set up a defense in the nearby town Chalmette.
January 8, 1815: British troops attacked, losing 2,036 out of more than 10,000 men.
The Americans, led by Andrew Jackson, lost 71.
I loved the song even more after reading up on Old Hickory in The Life of Andrew Jackson, by Marquis James, published in 1938.
Custer's connection to Andrew Jackson is through his father, Emanuel, who was a patriotic Jacksonian Democrat and also through the War of 1812 where Indians, fighting for the British, massacred American militia in Monroe, Michigan, Custer's home town. The battle cry "Remember the Raisin" -- as famous as "Remember the Alamo" -- originated in Monroe. Custer bought a farm, with his brother Nevin, on the Raisin river.
"...George Armstrong Custer was born in the peaceful little village of New Rumley, Ohio, on December 5, 1839. The clang of steel was early in his ears for his father, Emanuel Custer, was the village blacksmith. Emanuel's grandfather fought in the Revolution as a member of the Philadelphia County Militia. The mother of this grandfather was Sara Martha Ball, a cousin of the mother of General Washington. Like most of his neighbors, Emanuel was a member of the militia. Whenever he drilled, George Armstrong, or 'Autie' as he called his small son, accompanied him wearing a small militia uniform. After the New Rumley Invincibles had completed their drill it was a common occurence to have the 4-year-old go through the Scott's manual of arms with his toy musket. It was around this time that his father heard him repeat the line one of his older brothers was committing to memory for school: 'My voice is for war'.... Though Autie's interest in military affairs began at an early age, his interest in horses developed at the same time. His father divided his time between farming and blacksmithing. Since horses were predominant in both endeavors, the lad had ample opportunity to be around them. Being the oldest his father gave him the responsibility of many small tasks around the farm and the blacksmith shop. To these early chores can be attributed the development of his love of animals and his powerful body...
"...About the time that Autie had reached the age of ten, his half-sister, Lydia, married David Reed of Monroe, Michigan. Monroe was a town of 3,500 population; equal parts French, English and German... Since it was impractical to travel by horse and buggy the 200 odd miles to New Rumley, it was decided to send young Autie to live with her until she became adjusted and acquainted with her new surroundings. This adventure was quite acceptable to the youngster. Monroe had had a remarkable experience in 1813, just 36 years earlier. The second oldest settlement in Southern Michigan, it had undergone a horrible Indian massacre during the time the British General, Proctor, had offered a bounty to the Indians for American scalps. On the dawn of January 22nd, 400 persons lay dead in the ashes of Monroe; 650 were injured or missing. Autie heard much of this as there still were many survivors always willing to tell newcomers and eager youngstsers of their experiences. After 2 years in Monroe, Autie returned to New Rumley to assist his father on the farm. This must have had its drawbacks for Emanuel recognized the educational advantaages in Michigan and sent Autie back to Monroe at the end of 2 years. A good father, he wanted his children to have every advantage. Thus, at the age of 14 Autie entered Alfred Stebbins' Young Men's Academy, which he attended until it closed 2 years later... His major interest was reading military novels for even then he had made up his mind to go to West Point. The Mexican War had just closed and most of the heroes had been West Pointers. It was enough to excite any military-minded boy....
"...Dad Custer was a staunch old Jacksonian Democrat. He had cast his first vote for General Jackson and, as he stated, 'fought it out on that line ever since'. It is no small wonder that he was amazed when his son announced he had received an appointment to West Point from the Whig Representative John A Bingham. Years later, Mr Bingham related how he had received a letter from Custer, then attending school at Hopedale College. 'Its honesty captivated me', he said. 'It was written in a schoolboy style. In it he said that he understood it made no difference with me whether he was a Whig boy or a Democrat boy -- that he wanted me to understand he was a Democrat boy. I replied, if his parents consented, I would procure it for him'... In the summer of 1857 Autie landed on the wharf at West Point...."
~ end quoting The Custer Album by Frost ~
The third photo I took at Rapid City was the statue of President Abraham Lincoln, born 1809, died 1865, who Custer had personally met when Lincoln would visit the troops at camps and battlegrounds.
Custer's wife Libbie, who lived in Washington while Custer was away fighting, had met Lincoln as well when she'd attended a party at the White House. When she was in the receiving line at a huge reception in the East Room, and the line-up wound through the Blue Room, and she'd finally reached the President to shake his hand, he'd called her back when he heard the name "Custer" so he could talk about her courageous husband who "goes into a charge with a whoop and a shout". Custer had been the first Union soldier to capture a Confederate flag and it had been presented to Lincoln in a ceremony. Libbie told Lincoln that if wives of soldiers could vote she'd cast her ballot for him. In her letters she told Custer she'd observed Lincoln in the presidential box at the theater and he had "the most careworn face" she'd ever seen. Libbie was in attendance at Lincoln's 2nd Inaugural Address and just as Lincoln could quote Shakespeare, so could Custer quote Lincoln and often did in letters and conversation. And, of course, Custer's last home and 7th Cavalry base was Fort Abraham Lincoln.
By the time Gutzon Borglum, born 1867, died 1941, came to carve Mount Rushmore in 1927 he considered himself one of the best sculptors in the world and was always self-promoting so as not to suffer the fate of many artists who toil away in obscurity and poverty. In his thirties, after studying in Europe, Borglum opened his own studio in New York City and competed for commissions. In 1908 Borglum carved a bust of Lincoln directly from a block of marble without a clay model to copy from. Borglum read everything he could about Lincoln and studied photos to get a sense of his character so as to capture him in stone. In 1911 Borglum carved a bronze statue of Lincoln sitting on a bench contemplating, as was his habit to do in the White House garden after bad and sad news from the war. During a visit to Mount Rushmore in late 80s I snapped a photo of my sons sitting on Lincoln's lap on that statue.
Referencing again the book The Carving of Mount Rushmore, below is an excerpt explaining how Borglum's marble bust of Lincoln resulted in the friendship and mutual respect between himself and Theodore Roosevelt.
"...Also, there seems to have been a similar mix-up over a Monroe, Michigan contract for a statue of George Armstrong Custer, with the result that neither Borglum received the assignment... Meanwhile, unbeknownst to Solon [Borglum's brother, also a sculptor] Gutzon actually was 'making a Lincoln'. He was doing it on his own rather than on a contract... From a block of marble in his studio Gutzon was carving a massive bust of the Great Emancipator. When the piece was finished it was exhibited in a 5th Avenue store window in New York, where it was an instant success. Meanwhile, Borglum had written asking President Theodore Roosevelt if he would allow the bust to be displayed in the White House during the February, 1909, celebration of the centennial of Lincoln's birth. The president agreed, and once again the bust was a great success. It was then purchased and presented to the United States by Eugene Meyer, Jr, and it was placed in the rotunda of the Capitol where it still may be seen today. It is a magnificent piece of work. In fact, when Lincoln's son Robert first saw it he exclaimed that it was 'just like seeing Father again'. As the first of Borglum's many Lincolns, it did much to establish him as a leading sculptor, and it was proof that he, indeed, was able to capture 'the real soul of that great man'...
"...On April 9, 1912, Mary bore their first child, a son whom they named James Lincoln de la Mothe, and called 'Lincoln'. In 1912, also, Borglum became involved in national politics. Specifically, he became a key worker in Theodore Roosevelt's campaign against Woodrow Wilson for the presidency.... Borglum had met Roosevelt many years earlier, and during the 1909 White House showing of the Lincoln bust had visited with him again. Borglum liked Roosevelt and all that Roosevelt stood for. Accordingly, he now became the Stamford chairman of Roosevelt's new Progressive "Bull Moose" Party... Roosevelt lost the election, but future events would show Borglum's time to have been far from wasted. For out of this experience he had gained a valuable understanding of a man whose face he one day was to carve upon the granite cliff of Mount Rushmore..."
The 4th of six statues of presidents I photographed was Theodore Roosevelt, born 1858, died 1919. When Roosevelt was 6 years old he watched from a window as President Lincoln's funeral procession passed by on the street below. Who would ever have imagined that sixty-some years later they'd be enshrined together on a mountain. There are many reasons for Roosevelt deserving to be on Mount Rushmore but the monumental one was his purchase of the isthmus of Panama to build the Panama Canal -- it's written in granite on Mount Rushmore:
History of the United States of America
...In 1904, the Panama Canal Zone was acquired for our people
to build a navigable highway enabling the world's people to share
the fruits of the earth and of human industry.
"...Borglum's plan for the Entablature, carved in 3-foot high letters, on a background the shape of the territory gained on the Louisiana Purchase...
When I saw the statue of Roosevelt in Rapid City I definitely took a photo of him because I needed to tell him about the USA giving away the Panama Canal. But, not wanting to be seen talking to a statue, I went on a tirade about it to Bob who'd heard it all before.
In the early 90s I had my awakening to the Orwellian world the powers-that-be -- Big Brother -- were planning and setting up for the Western World. This culminated in my creating the ORWELL TODAY website in 2000. The vitally important thing I learned was that the Capitalists and Communists (what Orwell called Oligarchical Collectivism) were in bed together screwing we the people. One of the most important books I read at the time was about the USA government's plan to hand the Panama Canal over to the enemy -- Communist China. See USA GAVE CHINA PANAMA CANAL & USA APPLAUDS CHINA TAKE CARRIBEAN
Another incredibly shocking thing I learned is that the handover of the Panama Canal began happening immediately after JFK's death once Lyndon Johnson was in office. At that time the people of Panama -- the masses (the Orwellian proles) -- were being riled up by the communist-installed government and press with anti-American hate and demanding USA "give the canal back to us because we own it and you stole it" (the usual). But JFK was not about to part with the Panama Canal under any stretch of the imagination. Instead, JFK responded kindly and reassuredly to the people over some of their appeals but his orders were ignored by the departments in charge of carrying them out. This sparked their excuse to riot and insurrect (the Brotherhood's time-worn modus operandi: "ordo ab chao" -- setting up their New World Order out of chaos).
Here's the explanation from The National Archives in records declassified in August 2014 on the 100th anniversary of the construction of the Panama Canal by the United States. The Canal was officially opened to shipping in August 1914, a few weeks before the start of WWI.
"...1964 saw more riots and mob violence. The riots revolved around not allowing the Panamanian flag to fly next to the U.S. flag at the Balboa High School. Even though an agreement had been reached sometime in 1962 under President John F. Kennedy to allow the Panamanian flag to be flown alongside the American flag at civilian locations, this order was not carried out. Therefore, on January 9, 1964, with the Panamanian flag still not being flown next to the U.S. flag at Balboa High School, some of the Panamanian students decided to march to the entrance of the Canal Zone to show their displeasure. What resulted were three days of riots, destruction of two million dollars' worth of property, and at least 20 people killed. Panama broke off relations with the U.S. and accused them of aggression and appealed to the Organization of American States and the United Nations. The incident was used as a rallying cry among Panamanians against U.S. authority in the Canal Zone. To defuse the rioting, on December 18, 1964, President Johnson issued a statement announcing that the United States would proceed with plans for a sea level canal and would negotiate with Panama a new treaty to replace the Treaty of 1903...."
"...This book should be must reading for every citizen concerned with the security, prosperity, and world image of the United States. It relates in detail just how the Panama Canal treaties came into being and what impact these unconstitutional treaties have had and will have on the future of our country. There's plenty here the public should know abnout, particularly after the incursion into Panama by that budding maritime superpower, Communist China, as is detailed in this book...
"...Principals in the swindle: A few of the principals involved in forcing unconstitutional treaties on the American people include President Carter, treaties co-negotiator Sol Linowitz, Secretaries of State Henry Kissinger and Cyrus Vance, President Lyndon Johnson and Republican Senator Howard Baker from Tennessee.
"...President Lyndon Johnson was apparently badly frightened after the 1964 Flag Riots in Panama and announced on September 24, 1965, that the basic 1903 Hay-Bunau-Varilla treaty would be abrogated and that U.S. rights of sovereignty in the Canal Zone would be relinquished. Thus Johnson threw away all bargaining chips for negotiations. He assumed authority he did not have and demonstrated pathetic ignorance of constitutional procedures..."
~ end quoting Death Knell of Panama Canal by Evans ~
Every president since Johnson, up until its official handover in 1999 (666) and since, played along in advancing the agenda of the give-away of the Panama Canal to Communist China. It was probably one of the main reasons 'they' had JFK eliminated -- he was standing up against China. In his last press conference, ten days before his assassination, JFK had said "the USA will not trade with Red China" (let alone hand them the Panama Canal). See JFK ON COMMUNIST CONQUEST OF CHINA
Theodore Roosevelt was connected to Custer through his admiration for everything Custer stood for and he considered Custer a role model for future generations of boys and men. Libbie Custer wrote President Roosevelt and thanked him for defending her husband against the lies history was trying to perpetuate against him. Roosevelt had lived the life of a hard-working frontiersman for awhile and had a ranch in Dakota near the Black Hills -- and he had written books about the opening of the West.
"...Along with Thomas Jefferson, Roosevelt was the most well-read of all American presidents... As an editor of The Outlook, Roosevelt had weekly access to a large, educated national audience. In all, Roosevelt wrote about 18 books (each in several editions), including his autobiography, The Rough Riders, History of the Naval War of 1812, and others on subjects such as ranching, explorations, and wildlife. His most ambitious book was the four volume narrative The Winning of the West, focused on the American frontier in the 18th and early 19th centuries. Roosevelt said that the American character -- indeed a new "American race" -- had emerged from the heroic wilderness hunters and Indian fighters, acting on the frontier with little government help...." [Wikipedia]
watch Theodore Roosevelt and the Western Experience listen
(examines the 26th president of the United States)
In furthering my study of America's Indian Wars I recently acquired THE WINNING OF THE WEST by Theodore Roosevelt, published in 1905 while he was president. It's a fascinating 615-page read I'm slowly ploughing my way through, with no table of contents or index. Examples of Roosevelt's philosophy and writing style are scanned in the pages above. Custer was 20 years old when Roosevelt was born in 1858 at the outbreak of the Civil War and Roosevelt lived another 43 years after Custer's death in 1876 -- long enough to see the end of the Indian Wars and the settling of the West.
The fifth statue of a president I photographed was Willan Howard Taft, born 1857, died 1930. Taft, a close colleague and Roosevelt's vice-president, fulfilled many of TR's policies when he became President. Taft dedicated the statue of Custer that Libbie and Custer's fellow-soldiers had worked on devotedly for decades.
"...Elizabeth could hardly believe 'that my dream of so many years was a reality before me', as she pulled the yellow ribbon to unveil the Custer statue in Monroe, Michigan, on June 4, 1910. President William Howard Taft stands behind her.... The Custer Monument in Monroe, Michigan, won Elizabeth's wholehearted endorsement for it shows no rash and reckless charger. Instead, the 23-year-old general has just sighted Jeb Stuart's Invincibles on July 3, 1863. He quickly assesses the scene before winning national glory at the Battle of Gettysburg...."
"...President Taft, while noting Custer's Civil War contributions, preferred to remember him as a western hero. By doing so, he underscored the soldier's appeal to the entire country, for all Americans celebrated their common pioneering heritage in the trans-Mississipi West. Custer had been, the president told his audience, 'one of the small band of 25,000 men constituting the regular army of the United States, without whose service, whose exposure to danger, whose loss of life and whose hardships and trials, it would not have been possible for us to have settled the great west'.
"...Governor Fred Warner, speaking for the state, presented the statue, not to Monroe, but 'to the world'. The monument would serve as 'a sacred inspiration to generations yet unborn'. Nations must honor their heroes, he warned, so that young people learned 'the people are not ungrateful, but rather hold in fond and lasting remembrance and reverence those who strive and sacrifice for the betterment of humanity and the preservation of the nation'. In this way 'are our youth inspired to lives of rectitude and honorable service to mankind'. The ceremony ended with the placing of wreaths on the statue and the singing of 'The Old Brigade' and 'America'...."
~ end quoting Elizabeth Custer Making of Myth by Leckie ~
As I write this in 2023 it's 113-years after Libbie Custer and President Taft unveiled and dedicated the statue of Custer to the world. Now, in America, with the dominance of anti-white Black Lives Matter and its merger with Indiginous and other people of color -- BIPOC -- the natives are pounding the war drum again for Custer's "yellow hair" to dangle on the scalp pole. I've written extensively about the Indian racket whereby, as in Custer's day, the powers-that-be have weoponized Indians against the white-man. See I WON'T ACCEPT INDIAN BLAME
"...Battle continues over Monroe statue of George Armstrong Custer, October 11, 2022: Monday marks Indigenous People's Day. Started as an alternative to Columbus Day, it brings recognition to native peoples' histories. Indigenous groups and their allies around the country are doing important work to educate and eliminate what they say are remnants of racism... Custer is offensive to native American people... Custer is known as 'the Indian killer'... All federally recognized tribes in the U.S. have issued anti-Custer resolutions -- completely unanimous about wanting the statue gone...
"...Vandals paint 'we scalped' on George Custer monument in Monroe, October 11, 2022: ...A controversial Union Army officer's monument was vandalized... General Custer's legacy has remained a controversial discussion well after his death in 1876. Custer, Monroe's most famous former resident, is celebrated as a Civil War hero for his valor fighting with the Union of the Battle of Gettysburg, but his accomplishments in the Civil War have been blemished for his role on behalf of the U.S. government in the Indian Wars of the 1800s. According to Indian County Today...regards Custer, most widely known as 'The Indian Killer', as a war criminal for leading deadly attacks on Native Americans before being killed at the Little Big Horn. In the last couple of years, people have voiced support for the removal of the statue in downtown Monroe. 'The statue is a symbol of oppression for Indigenous and African people'..."
The next best thing to seeing JFK in the flesh -- as millions of people did during his visits to every state in the Union many times during his 17 years in political office -- as congressman, senator, president -- was seeing him resurrected life-like in bronze that day in Rapid City. Searching for truth in the murder of John Fitzgerald Kennedy, born 1917, died 1963, was where my research into Orwellian conspiracies began. See JFK TRUTHS & UNTRUTHS and JFK ASSASSINATION PUZZLE PIECES
I loved that the sculptor of the JFK statue included his son in the portrayal because John-John, like his father, is indelibly etched in the minds and souls of we the people. No one will ever forget his perfect military salute to his father when he was only 3 years old. See JFK'S HOME LIFE AT WHITE HOUSE & LITTLE SOLDIER JOHN-JOHN SALUTED JFK
The four presidents carved in granite on Mount Rushmore are indisputably there because of their contributions to the advancement of civilization and the building of a nation -- the United States of America. No other president since, with the exception of one, qualifies to be on Mount Rushmore -- because every president, except one, has contributed knowingly or unknowingly (as a puppet) to the destruction of civilized living and the dismantling of the United States. The exception is President John F Kennedy who, had he lived, would have advanced America in the direction its founders and framers intended in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
John F Kennedy, Jr probably felt the same about his father belonging on Mount Rushmore when, not long before his disappearance in 1999 (666), he climbed Mount Rushmore and modelled for the carving.
George Armstrong Custer had affinity with Presidents Washington, Jackson, Lincoln, Roosevelt and Taft as explained through the photos I took of their statues in Rapid City. President Kennedy had Custer affinity too -- one reason being that JFK was a Civil War buff and visited Civil War battlefields, including Gettysurg where Custer won it for the Union. See LINCOLN & KENNEDY AT GETTYSBURG
On a higher level JFK and Custer are connected through the shared tragedies suffered by their parents. Custer's parents lost three sons -- George, Thomas, Boston; one grandson, Autie Reed; and one son-in-law, James Calhoun -- to violent controversial death -- all on the same day. Custer, like JFK, was extremely close and loving to his parents and family and friends. JFK's parents lost three sons -- Joseph Jr, John, Robert (and indirectly Edward); and a grandson, John Jr -- to violent controversial death.
Additionally to the explanation of Custer's connection to founding father Alexander Hamilton through Custer's close relationship with his grandson, Louis Hamilton, I came across the beautiful story of Custer's official burial and how Louis Hamilton posthumously played a role in laying Custer to rest in full military honour -- just as Custer had done for Louis. Custer's funeral, a memorial service, had taken place a year-and-a-half previously: "On August 13, 1876, a stifling Sunday afternoon, Monroe citizens crowded into the Methodist Church to hear eulogies and prayers in honor of the six fallen men. The service started with a roll call of the dead... Much of the ceremony glorified Armstrong, whose photograph, encircled with evergreens, the symbol of life everlasting, stood at the alter...."
"...Sunday, June 25, 1876. The late afternoon sun beat down mercilessly on the hill which rose to the east of the Little Big Horn River, Montana Territory.... The time between Custer's death on June 25, 1876 and his reburial at West Point on October 10, 1877, presents quite a story. The precise moment and place of Custer's death cannot be pinpointed.... Custer remained with the larger force and proceeded north toward what is today called Custer Hill. Evidence includes expended ammunition from his Remington rifle found around and under his body. This fact seems to indicate that Custer was firing until just before he fell...with the presence of Tom Custer, his brother with him on Custer Hill... The body of Custer's Canadian-born adjutant, Lieutenant William W Cooke was found near Custer. This indicates that Custer himself was alive and in command until the end, because Cooke would be near the field command.... Because of the evidence of the spent ammunition found around and under George Custer, it seems most likely that he was one of the last surviving cavalrymen at the battle. His body was found just below the north end of the ridge, a few yards from the area now marked by a wrought iron fence. There were two identified wounds, a bullet hole in the left side near his heart, and a bullet hole to the left temple.... 'We dug a shallow grave about 15-18 inches deep at the foot of a hillock. We laid the General in as tenderly as a soldier could with his brother along side of him, covering the bodies with pieces of blankets and tents and spread earth on top, spreading it as well as we could making it look as near a mound as possible. We then took a basket of an Indian 'Travois' placing it upside down over the grave and pinning it to the ground with stakes, placing large stones around it to keep the wolves from digging it up...
"...Thus the battlefield was left in solitude -- between June 1876 and the return of the army in July 1877 for exhumation detail.... The Army decided to mount an expedition to recover the remains of the officers. It seems that General Phil Sheridan was the moving spirit behind this undertaking.... Custer's remains were on their way, first to Fort Lincoln, then via United States Express to Libbie. She soon discovered a problem, however, in the speed of the dispatch. General John Schofield, the West Point superintendent, had at Libbie's behest picked out a site for Custer's burial in the post cemetery. However, he alerted Libbie to a new danger in her campaign to keep the memory of George Armstrong Custer alive. If the remains arrived during the summer of 1877 and were interred then, the academy would be all but deserted. As this would not do, Libbie temporarily lodged the remains in Poughkeepsie, New York, in a vault owned by Philip Hamilton. Hamilton's son, Captain Louis Hamilton, had been killed at the Washita in 1868 and was in the family vault. Thus, old campaigning partners, Hamilton and Custer were housed side by side until the West Point services occurred. On October 10, 1877, the remains were transferred to the Mary Powell, which was draped in bunting as it made its way up the Hudson River to West Point. The casket was covered by the very flag which had been carried by Captain Hamilton at the Washita fight and was decorated with two stars of tuberose against a field of geraniums, shaped like Custer's epaulets. Flags along the route flew at half-mast, ships in the river dipped their pennants and crowds lined the shore. After arrival at West Point at 10:30am, the casket was carried on a hearse drawn by four black horses and draped in black crepe up to the Academy chapel, where the remains lay in state until the funeral began around 3:00pm. Custer's sword and hat were nearby. Libbie arrived, accompanied by General Schofield, and was seated with other family members to the right of the aisle. Custer's father and sister, Maggie Custer Calhoun, who had recently buried her husband at Fort Leavenworth was there, as were more distant Custer relatives and a brace of friends. Dr John Forsyth, chaplain, began with sections of the Episcopal funeral service. Psalms 39 and 90 were said, then cadets carried the coffin to the waiting caisson. The traditional riderless horse, with boots reversed in the stirrups, followed the caisson as the group moved to the post cemetery... As the procession moved from the chapel to the cemetery, a special funeral march was played. 'Custer's Funeral March' had been composed by Williams Willing and set the tone for the mournful journey.... The casket was lowered into the grave, dirt was sprinkled on it, and Chaplain Forsyth spoke. The graveside portion of the service was ended with the firing of three volleys."
~ end quoting Custer's Two Burials by Pennock ~
...cont'd at 9.CUSTER'S GETTYSURG ON THE PLAINS
1.JOURNEY TO CUSTER'S LITTLE BIG HORN
2.CUSTER ALT-HISTORY BIG HORN VICTORY
3.LAST WORD ON CUSTER FROM FRONT
4.CUSTER MASSACRE AT GATES OF HELL
5.HOMAGE TO CUSTER AT LAST STAND
6.CUSTER ON BOZEMAN & DEADWOOD
7.CUSTER GOLD BLACK HILLS & RUSHMORE
8.STATUES OF PRESIDENTS & CUSTER
9.CUSTER'S GETTYSBURG ON THE PLAINS
10.CUSTER & SITTING BULL NOT EQUALS
11.CUSTER AT HOME AT FORT LINCOLN
~ an independent researcher monitoring local, national and international events ~