The 133th anniversary of Custer's Last Stand is coming. custerwest.org gives you an exclusive guide to what you are expected to hear about the event: the same old "Must have been" crowd.
THE SAME OL' RUBBISH
the easy propaganda : Custer was arrogant, ambitious (for people who never read a book and remember watching "Little Big Man" or some TV shows). As it is said, "people just do not read books".
the archaeological joke: It won't be easy for the LBH battlefield to acknowledge that the archaeologists are probably the most incompetent searchers on the battle ever. You can accept the "theory" of "no Last Stand" if you have never, ever, read any book on the event.
the politically correct bumper-sticker: Invented by the otherwise competent Robert Utley, it says that "Custer lost because the Indians won" - please move on. The advantage of this theory is that it needs no knowledge of the battle, and Utley invented it because the controversy over Benteen's betrayal was becoming embarrassing for historians.
the "Uh..." answer: Very popular among historians and specialists when essential questions on the battle are being asked. If you visit the LBH battlefield, look at the face of the ranger when you ask questions on Benteen and Reno. Embarrassment, "uuuh.." and a quick need to change the subject. Or the need to suddenly say that we do not know how many Indians there was... and these Indians, My God, they were so different than usual, almost invincible, Custer had no chance at all, Benteen and Reno just understood it before the battle began! This kind of garbage is frequent.
the "against all odds" propaganda: You can read it in the current LBHA newsletter, where Frederic Wagner III shamelessly says that Benteen and Reno never lied, and that they were courageous heroes (the credibility of the LBHA really sinks with that kind of outrageous joke!). Only the most ignorant LBH buff can buy this propaganda. You must never, ever read a book on the battle, and never have any interest (it is very important) in the Reno Court of Inquiry of 1879.
the patriotic answer: "We will never know what happened". Very diplomatic, this no-answer is great because no one has to dig in the case. Please, do not seek the truth, because, well, it is a mystery, man! The problem is, we know what happened. There has never been any mystery. People can repeat and repeat this lie again and again, but the truth is:
133 years do not commemorate only Custer's heroic Last Stand, but 133 years of a nasty, shameful cover-up of acts of high treason by Captain Benteen and Major Reno.
If you want to know...
... why Custer is the only general whose successful career is explained with "luck" (totally ridiculous notion for historians and officers), it is because of the cover-up.
... why it is so important for people to focus on Custer's 210 men instead of speaking about the 647 men of the 7th cavalry, and especially Benteen's and Reno 400+ men, it is because of the cover-up.
... why historians (who have never rightly done their job) rely on spirituality (Sitting Bull's sun dance!), destiny (the falling guidon) or whatever stupidity they could find to explain the defeat, it is because of the cover-up.
... why the fictionous "big village" and "thousands of warriors" are so important for novels and history books, it is because of the cover-up.
... why documentaries are still relying on some Indian guy to explain the defeat (he does not know a clue about the event, but hey! All the Texans are able to correctly explain the Alamo! Let's find one for the next PBS documentary!), it is because of the need to ignore historical facts and rely to basic folklore and long-time lies. Because of the cover-up.
... why you will always see faces of embarrassed historians, National Park Service rangers and military officers when you ask serious questions on Custer's Last Stand, it is because of the cover-up.
The same old rubbish. Since June 25, 1876.
The battle MUST have been short.
Custer MUST have been incompetent.
The warriors MUST have been thousands.
Indians casualties MUST have been low.
The National Park Service, some members of the Little Big Horn Associates, the American folklore, some Indians found on the way to Little Bighorn and some historians say it.
They do not say it happened that way on June 25, 1876.
They say it MUST have happened that way
Otherwise... You have acts of high treason.