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After exhaustive testing — including comparisons to domestic and foreign single-shot and repeating rifles — the Army Ordnance Board whose members included officers Marcus Reno and Alfred Terry authorized the Springfield as the official firearm for the United States Army. The Springfield, manufactured in a.

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British historian Mark Gallear maintains that US government experts rejected the lever-action repeater designs, deeming them ineffective in the event of a clash with fully equipped European armies, or in case of an outbreak of another American civil conflict. Gallear's analysis minimizes the allegation that rapid depletion of ammunition in lever-action models influenced the decision in favor of the single-shot Springfield.

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The Indian War , in this context, appears as a minor theatre of conflict, whose contingencies were unlikely to govern the selection of standard weaponry for an emerging industrialized nation. The Springfield carbine is praised for its "superior range and stopping power" by historian James Donovan, and author Charles M. Robinson reports that the rifle could be "loaded and fired much more rapidly than its muzzle loading predecessors, and had twice the range of repeating rifles such as the Winchester, Henry and Spencer.

Gallear points out that lever-action rifles, after a burst of rapid discharge, still required a reloading interlude that lowered their overall rate of fire; Springfield breechloaders "in the long run, had a higher rate of fire, which was sustainable throughout a battle. The breechloader design patent for the Springfield's Erskine S. Allin trapdoor system was owned by the US government and the firearm could be easily adapted for production with existing machinery at the Springfield Armory in Massachusetts.

The question as to whether the reported malfunction of the Model Springfield carbine issued to the 7th Cavalry contributed to their defeat has been debated for years. That the weapon experienced jamming of the extractor is not contested, but its contribution to Custer's defeat is considered negligible. This conclusion is supported by evidence from archaeological studies performed at the battlefield, where the recovery of Springfield cartridge casing, bearing tell-tale scratch marks indicating manual extraction, were rare.

The flaw in the ejector mechanism was known to the Army Ordnance Board at the time of the selection of the Model rifle and carbine, and was not considered a significant shortcoming in the overall worthiness of the shoulder arm. Gallear addresses the post-battle testimony concerning the copper. Field data showed that possible extractor failures occurred at a rate of approximately firings at the Custer Battlefield and at a rate of at the Reno-Benteen Battlefield.

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Historian Thom Hatch observes that the Model Springfield, despite the known ejector flaw, remained the standard issue shoulder arm for US troops until the early s. Soldiers under Custer's direct command were annihilated on the first day of the battle except for three Crow scouts and several troopers including John Martin Giovanni Martino that had left that column before the battle; one Crow scout, Curly , was the only survivor to leave after the battle had begun , although for years rumors persisted of other survivors. Over men and women would come forward over the course of the next 70 years claiming they were "the lone survivor" of Custer's Last Stand.

The historian Earl Alonzo Brininstool suggested he had collected at least 70 "lone survivor" stories. Graham claimed that even Libby Custer received dozens of letters from men, in shocking detail, about their sole survivor experience. Frank Finkel , from Dayton, Washington , had such a convincing story that historian Charles Kuhlman [] believed the alleged survivor, going so far as to write a lengthy defense of Finkel's participation in the battle. Almost as soon as men came forward implying or directly pronouncing their unique role in the battle, there were others who were equally opposed to any such claims.

Theodore Goldin , a battle participant who later became a controversial historian on the event, wrote in regards to Charles Hayward's claim to have been with Custer and taken prisoner :. The Indians always insisted that they took no prisoners. If they did—a thing I firmly believe—they were tortured and killed the night of the 25th. As an evidence of this I recall the three charred and burned heads we picked up in the village near the scene of the big war dance, when we visited the village with Capt.

Benteen and Lieut. Wallace on the morning of the 27th I'm sorely afraid, Tony, that we will have to class Hayward's story, like that of so many others, as pure, unadulterated B. As a clerk at headquarters I had occasion to look over the morning reports of at least the six troops at Lincoln almost daily, and never saw his name there, or among the list of scouts employed from time to time I am hoping that some day all of these damned fakirs will die and it will be safe for actual participants in the battle to admit and insist that they were there, without being branded and looked upon as a lot of damned liars.

Actually, there have been times when I have been tempted to deny that I ever heard of the 7th Cavalry, much less participated with it in that engagement My Medal of Honor and its inscription have served me as proof positive that I was at least in the vicinity at the time in question, otherwise I should be tempted to deny all knowledge of the event. The only documented and verified survivor of Custer's command having been actually involved in Custer's part of the battle was Captain Keogh's horse, Comanche. The wounded horse was discovered on the battlefield by General Terry's troops, and although other cavalry mounts survived they had been taken by the Indians.

Comanche eventually was returned to the fort and became the regimental mascot. Connell noted in Son of the Morning Star : []. Comanche was reputed to be the only survivor of the Little Bighorn, but quite a few Seventh Cavalry mounts survived, probably more than one hundred, and there was even a yellow bulldog. Comanche lived on another fifteen years, and when he died, he was stuffed and to this day remains in a glass case at the University of Kansas. So, protected from moths and souvenir hunters by his humidity-controlled glass case, Comanche stands patiently, enduring generation after generation of undergraduate jokes.

The other horses are gone, and the mysterious yellow bulldog is gone, which means that in a sense the legend is true. Comanche alone survived. The site of the battle was first preserved as a United States national cemetery in to protect the graves of the 7th Cavalry troopers. In , it was re-designated as the Custer Battlefield National Monument , reflecting its association with Custer.

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In , Major Marcus Reno was re-interred in the cemetery with honors, including an eleven-gun salute. Beginning in the early s, there was concern within the National Park Service over the name Custer Battlefield National Monument failing to adequately reflect the larger history of the battle between two cultures. Hearings on the name change were held in Billings on June 10, , and during the following months Congress renamed the site the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument.

United States memorialization of the battlefield began in with a temporary monument to the U. In , the current marble obelisk was erected in their honor. In , marble blocks were added to mark the places where the U. Nearly years later, ideas about the meaning of the battle have become more inclusive. The United States government acknowledged that Native American sacrifices also deserved recognition at the site. The bill changing the name of the national monument also authorized an Indian Memorial to be built near Last Stand Hill in honor of Lakota and Cheyenne warriors.

The commissioned work by native artist Colleen Cutschall is shown in the photograph at right. On Memorial Day , in consultation with tribal representatives, the U. As of December , a total of ten warrior markers have been added three at the Reno—Benteen Defense Site and seven on the Little Bighorn Battlefield. The Indian Memorial, themed "Peace Through Unity" l is an open circular structure that stands 75 yards 69 metres from the 7th Cavalry obelisk.

Its walls have some of the names of Indians who died at the site, as well as native accounts of the battle. The open circle of the structure is symbolic, as for many tribes, the circle is sacred. The "spirit gate" window facing the Cavalry monument is symbolic as well, welcoming the dead cavalrymen into the memorial. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For the film serial, see Custer's Last Stand serial. Lakota Dakota Northern Cheyenne Arapaho. United States Crow scouts Arikara scouts.

George A. Little Big Horn Battlefield. Great Sioux War of This section needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. Hurrah boys, we've got them! We'll finish them up and then go home to our station. This Helena, Montana newspaper article did not report the June 25 battle until July 6, referring to a July 3 story from a Bozeman, Montana newspaper—itself eight days after the event.

The New York Times also appears to have first reported the event on July 6. The earliest journalistic communication cited in the Times article was dated July 2—a full week after the massacre. Plenty Coups Edward Curtis Portrait c When the Crows got news from the battlefield, they went into grief. Crow woman Pretty Shield told how they were "crying In the end, the army won the Sioux war. Crow chief Plenty Coups recalled with amazement, how his tribe now finally could sleep without fear for Lakota attacks.

Crow warrior Two Leggings joined the U. Two Belly had given him and nearly 30 other Crows a lecture and explained how the Sioux had taken the hunting grounds of the Crow.

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Red Horse pictographic account of dead U. Main article: Black Hills land claim. See also: Cultural depictions of George Armstrong Custer. Sheridan Company L , the brother of Lt.

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