Comanche the Horse
July 4, 2007 12:07 AM   Subscribe


I do not have permission to access this document.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 12:18 AM on July 4, 2007

You know who else didn't have permission to access the document? General Custer.
posted by Joeforking at 12:23 AM on July 4, 2007

I do not have permission to access this document.

Huh. They're all fine for me on all my broswers. Have you commited any terrible karmic crimes against horses in this or in a previous life?
posted by homunculus at 12:27 AM on July 4, 2007

I love the subject, and I had a great time stopping at Little Bighorn last year when I drove across the country, but my god, that is the purplest of prose I've ever encountered.

But really, it's a fascinating subject. What the fuck was Custer thinking? He didn't just divide his force, he put his own section out of reach of any possible reinforcement (and eventually, rescue).
posted by bardic at 12:49 AM on July 4, 2007

bardic, he though he was going to be greeted as a liberator. Flowers, candy; you know the drill.
posted by chuckdarwin at 1:15 AM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

No permission for the first two links here in central Japan, either. (Firefox2.04/OSX.4.10.)

I don't know about any karmic smudges where equi are concerned, but I was so not the girl who drew pictures of pretty ponies to hang on my bedroom walls...horses have always kinda freaked me out.
posted by squasha at 1:30 AM on July 4, 2007

What the fuck was Custer thinking?

One can assume Custer wasn't much for thinking. He graduated last in his class at West Point and his entire military career consistedof one reckless calvary charge after another. At Gettysburg, Custer's calvary brigade suffered more casualties than any other Union brigade (but he did break Stuart's assault on the Union rear during Pickett's charge.) At Little Big Horn, this aggressiveness did not serve him as well.
posted by three blind mice at 1:49 AM on July 4, 2007

Interesting that, in Harry Turtledove's world, Custer ends up being the inventor of the blitzkrieg through his throuroughly reckless tactics of lumping tanks together and letting them charge en masse.
posted by maus at 1:59 AM on July 4, 2007

I remember going to see Tonka in the theater. Apparently, Comanche survived because he really belonged to White Bull (Sal Mineo). (Unless the movie lied to me)
posted by MtDewd at 3:26 AM on July 4, 2007

Sounds interesting, but alas, I do not have permission to view this document.
posted by MrMustard at 5:01 AM on July 4, 2007

Custer's problem? Poison from the goonads.
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:25 AM on July 4, 2007

Today, Comanche is here.
posted by wallstreet1929 at 6:09 AM on July 4, 2007

I also found it very interesting to visit the site of the battle. It gives you a completely different picture of what happened than what is depicted in movies.
posted by rcavett at 6:24 AM on July 4, 2007

(...whistling "Garryowen" as I read the FPP link....)

Yeah, Tonka -- read the short story (very early reader) long before The Wonderful World of Disney got around to showing it as a two-parter on successive Sunday nights. Back then, I alternated between wanting to be US cavalryman and a Sioux warrior.

Then later I saw (and even later read) Little Big Man, which has its own sort of take on the Battle of Little Bighorn. (And didn't want to be a bluecoat or a brave; I just wanted Mrs. Pendrake to give me a nice hot bath.)
posted by pax digita at 6:43 AM on July 4, 2007

This was pretty good: Battlefield Detectives Custer's Last Stand. I'm no expert on the history but I do enjoy seeing the CGI reconstructions. It makes things seem more real.
posted by srboisvert at 6:43 AM on July 4, 2007

rcavett, could you pls E me some details of your visit if it's not too much trouble? This sounds like a good spring/early summer road trip.
posted by pax digita at 6:44 AM on July 4, 2007

Oh hey cool.. I've seen Comanche in person at the natural history museum at the University of Kansas, my alma mater. He is a very zen horse, didnt move or anything.
posted by jlowen at 8:11 AM on July 4, 2007

I live about six blocks from the Natural History Museum where Comanche is located. A couple years ago they moved him from the glass case where he used to be located, and put him in a new exhibit on a different floor.
posted by sp dinsmoor at 8:34 AM on July 4, 2007

The reenactment takes place every year near the site of the actual event, about an hour away from my door.

There is also a second re-enactment, told from the Crow perspective, which takes place on land owned by the Real Bird family. This land is said to be the actual battleground.

I've seen the reenactment once. I do recommend it, but once is enough. (You missed it for this year, though.)

And interesting side-note is that (disclaimer: just from my conversations with native Americans and others living in the area) the Crow are still looked down upon by other tribes as a result of their serving as scouts for Custer.
posted by The Deej at 9:01 AM on July 4, 2007

June 25 was my parents' wedding anniversary...because it's the anniversary of the Custer massacre*. As they were driving from Ft. Riley, home of Comanche, toward the Black Hills the news came on the radio that the Korean War started. They called in but got to have their honeymoon. 49 years later, to the day, my mom signed her divorce papers.

I grew up with a cardboard version of this picture and always kind of thought of Captain Keogh's horse, and a meadowlark that liked a certain fence pole in Kansas, as my talismans.
posted by taosbat at 10:19 PM on July 4, 2007 [1 favorite]

Cool! What did you think of the article? At the bottom of Part 1 a couple of comments really rip into the author's research.
posted by homunculus at 11:46 AM on July 5, 2007

Hmmm...I hadn't read the critics.

The first one starts right off on "creasing." I had a little trouble with that kind of stuff, too. The whole bit about Comanche's journey from the range to the 7th Cav. isn't this horse's history; rather, it's an attempt to paint Comanche into the history of such horses (as much as we know about it).

It could have mentioned "creasing" without trying to paint our hero as, "a survivor, one of thousands of horses who lived through a creasing (at least without visible damage) and was then sold to the army."

It looks like hyperbole to me. That's just foolish.

The cavalry needed war horses. They were riding to find and fight peoples who had horses of their own. I'm sure a captain had some say in the selection of his mounts.

I'll have to look further into the report after Captain Myles Keogh and Comanche got together. I just scanned that first link again and looked through the comments a bit...

Much of that looks pretty real. &, I see comments like:

"Just little things, but they might as well be correct as not ...
By Nylene, 6-26-07"

But, you know, I was kind of amazed by how much I learned on the first read. I'll look at it again.
posted by taosbat at 10:31 PM on July 5, 2007

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