Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 29

Thread: Req.: Mutilations in Little Bighorn

  1. #1
    Senior Member miguelencanarias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canary Islands, Spain
    Age
    44
    Posts
    3,624

    Default Req.: Mutilations in Little Bighorn

    In the limited bibliography available in my country about Little Bighorn I cannot find details of the exact nature of the mutilations made to the bodies of the fallen, only mentions of how 'savage' they were. Could somebody versed in this episode of American history tell me what kind of mutilations those were, and if there was any ritualistic meaning to them? I heard some gruesome reference to an arrow in Custer's *****, but I am not sure that is a fact.

    Difficult as it is to believe, this question is not born out of ghoulish interest, but as a connection with the mutilations made in a different part of the world at around the same time, which had indeed a meaning behind. I am talking of the disembowelment of the dead bodies of the soldiers of the 24th Warwickshire at Isandlwana, made to 'release the spirit of the dead'.

    I was wondering if there was some meaning behind in the case of the Indians or if it was just cruelty.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Hisroyalhighness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Finishing my time in Tartarus.
    Posts
    10,116

    Default

    Here is one:
    http://www.bluegraymagazine.com/lbh/lbh2.html
    Pretty Gruesome, no one should ever have their bodies mutilated.

    It was believed that mutilating the corpse would handicap the victim in the afterworld. Women actively participated in mutilations.

  3. #3
    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    21,686

    Default

    Yes, Custer had an arrow shoved up his shlong. His brother Tom was so disfigured that they had to identify the body by a tattoo.

    I have read that the North American Plains Indians mutilated their victims so their spirits would not be able to extract revenge in the afterlife.

    However, there was definitely an element of cruelty and disrespect involved. In the Fetterman Massacre, the only victim who was not disfigured was the detachment's bugler, who was said to have fought bravely, killing several Indians with his bugle before falling. They wrapped his body in a buffalo hide.

    There's a good reason it was advised to "leave the last bullet for yourself".

  4. #4
    Senior Member LineDoggie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    38S MB 3661/8351
    Posts
    32,708
    Last edited by LineDoggie; 08-07-2011 at 08:25 PM.

  5. #5
    Senior Member miguelencanarias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canary Islands, Spain
    Age
    44
    Posts
    3,624

    Default

    Did you say he killed people with a musical instrument?

  6. #6
    Senior Member Hisroyalhighness's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2011
    Location
    Finishing my time in Tartarus.
    Posts
    10,116

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinsamurai View Post
    Yes, Custer had an arrow shoved up his shlong. His brother Tom was so disfigured that they had to identify the body by a tattoo.
    Wasn't Custer wearing a frontier's buckskins instead of the typical blue uniform of the 7th Calvary? Didn't the participating Indians clean his body instead of mutilating it? Didn't the Indians think he was just a innocent that got caught in the crossfire?

  7. #7
    ANZAC Moderator Ngati Tumatauenga's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Sitting at my desk, writing my memoirs.
    Posts
    6,236

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by miguelencanarias View Post
    Did you say he killed people with a musical instrument?
    His bugle was found bent and battered next to his body so it was assumed he'd used it to defend himself with. Whether or not he killed any Indians is a matter of conjecture as there were no witnesses to the final battle.

    One of the two civilian scouts, both armed with Henry repeating rifles and said to have been very effective with them during the battle, was reported to have been pierced by more than 200 arrows.

  8. #8
    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North of South Carolina
    Age
    57
    Posts
    795

    Default

    It is my understanding that many of the mutilations were perpetrated by Indian women after the fighting. There are pictures showing parts of the bodies, especially thighs, cut open and arrows in various parts of the bodies, but it's of course hard to tell when that occurred.

    It's long been agreed that George Custer's body was virtually untouched, besides the two bullet wounds, either of which could have killed him. This has often been attributed to the Indians' respect for him, although it's also questionable whether they would have recognized him. His long blond hair had been cut short before he left Ft. Abraham Lincoln and he was wearing a buckskin jacket, not a miltary tunic. I have also read that his eardrums were pierced by some sort of long pins, which supposedly symbolized the fact that he didn't listen and would now "hear better" in the afterlife. It's only been in more recent books that George Custer's *******s have been mentioned.

    On the other hand his brother, Tom Custer, was horribly mutilated, so much so that he could only be identified by some sort of tattoo on his body.

    There was a black interpreter, Isaiah Dorman, who was killed in Reno's retreat. He was mutilated, including his *******s being cut off, although it's not known if there was a specific reason he was mutilated. IIRC it may have been because he had an Indian wife, which was known to the Indians at the Little Bighorn.

  9. #9
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Posts
    1,271

    Default

    pardon my ignorance but the mutilatiosn where made while alive or after death?

  10. #10
    Proby? Wud dat? LongShot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Age
    32
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    You can also search for "The battle of Greasy Grass" which is what the natives called it...





  11. #11
    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    21,686

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Hisroyalhighness View Post
    Wasn't Custer wearing a frontier's buckskins instead of the typical blue uniform of the 7th Calvary? Didn't the participating Indians clean his body instead of mutilating it? Didn't the Indians think he was just a innocent that got caught in the crossfire?
    Yes, he was supposed to have been wearing buckskins instead of the issued blue army uniform. I don't think Indians made a distinction between "combatants" and civilians. It was a racial war, with all Whites, as well as Indian guides and interpreters from different tribes, considered enemy and fair game for death and mutilation.

    Quote Originally Posted by SpeedyHedgehog View Post
    It is my understanding that many of the mutilations were perpetrated by Indian women after the fighting. There are pictures showing parts of the bodies, especially thighs, cut open and arrows in various parts of the bodies, but it's of course hard to tell when that occurred.

    It's long been agreed that George Custer's body was virtually untouched, besides the two bullet wounds, either of which could have killed him. This has often been attributed to the Indians' respect for him, although it's also questionable whether they would have recognized him. His long blond hair had been cut short before he left Ft. Abraham Lincoln and he was wearing a buckskin jacket, not a miltary tunic. I have also read that his eardrums were pierced by some sort of long pins, which supposedly symbolized the fact that he didn't listen and would now "hear better" in the afterlife. It's only been in more recent books that George Custer's *******s have been mentioned.

    On the other hand his brother, Tom Custer, was horribly mutilated, so much so that he could only be identified by some sort of tattoo on his body.

    There was a black interpreter, Isaiah Dorman, who was killed in Reno's retreat. He was mutilated, including his *******s being cut off, although it's not known if there was a specific reason he was mutilated. IIRC it may have been because he had an Indian wife, which was known to the Indians at the Little Bighorn.
    Agreed about Dorman. However, Multiple accounts I have read say Custer was horribly mutilated.

  12. #12
    Hellfish Junior gaijinsamurai's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    21,686

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RJMC View Post
    pardon my ignorance but the mutilatiosn where made while alive or after death?
    Both. If you died in battle, your remains were cut up and innards & organs, especially eyes and *******ia, were separated from the body. If you fell captive, you died a horrible, painful death. Often at the hands of the women, as stated in previous posts.

  13. #13
    Senior Member miguelencanarias's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Location
    Canary Islands, Spain
    Age
    44
    Posts
    3,624

    Default

    Tom Custer's mutilations are mentioned. What were they, exactly? And what were those horrible mutilations that some accounts make about Gen. Custer's body?

  14. #14
    Proby? Wud dat? LongShot's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Atlanta, Ga
    Age
    32
    Posts
    4,416

    Default

    There has been some debate of late on the subject, it being contended that Custer may have borne some mutilation with an arrow, which, due to its delicate nature, was not disclosed out of concern for the feelings of Mrs. Custer. The speculation is based on an alleged comment by Edward Godfrey to Custer historian Charles F. Bates. Godfrey's official description, however, was that Custer had been shot in the left temple and left breast. "There were no powder marks or signs of mutilation." In an 1892 article in Century Magazine, "Custer's Last Battle," Godfrey repeats his assertion that Custer was not mutilated, "All the bodies, except a few, were *****ped of their clothing. According to my recollection nearly all were scalped or mutilated, but there was one notable exception, that of General Custer, whose face and expression were natural; he had been shot in the temple and in the left side."

    Mrs. Custer was not completely innocent of the horrors that might be visited upon one captured by Indians. In her Boots and Saddles she described a gruesome discovery while she and her husband were on a stroll:


    The body of a white man was staked out on the ground and disembowelled. There yet remained the embers of the smouldering fire that consumed him. If the Indians are hurried for time, and cannot stay to witness the prolonged torture of their victim, it is their custom to pinion the captive and place hot coals on his vitals. The horror and fright this gave us women lasted for a time, and rendered unnecessary the continued warnings of our husbands about walking outside the line of the pickets.


    The contemporaneous newspaper reports did not spare the families of those killed the gory details of the revenge exacted on the bodies. The Bismark Tribune reported that some of the more obscene mutilations were visited upon the soldiers while still living. Nor was Mrs. Custer spared the details of what happened to other members of her family. Yet all of the newspaper accounts including those written by those there, indicate that Custer was not mutilated. Thus, the conclusion must be that the early reports were accurate and later reports may be regarded as unverified.

    ten charcters.

  15. #15
    Member SpeedyHedgehog's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    North of South Carolina
    Age
    57
    Posts
    795

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by gaijinsamurai View Post
    Agreed about Dorman. However, Multiple accounts I have read say Custer was horribly mutilated.
    Are you talking about George Custer, or his brother Tom? Tom was terribly mutilated, to the extent that, along with some others, it was very difficult to ID the body. George Custer's bullet wounds were easily identified (implying that his body was relatively intact) and his ear drums were pierced by an awl. I've only read in relatively recent books about his *******s. I guess it may depend on how you define "horribly mutilated". There's some feeling that initial reports left out some of the more gruesome aspects, out of respect for Elizabeth Custer, George's wife.

    There were initial accounts in the Bismark Tribune, claiming that many of the more grotesque mutilations were conducted on soldiers who were still alive, although I have no idea who they used as sources.

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •