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Pym, James

Place of Birth: Oxfordshire

Date of enlistment: 11 December 1874

Age given at enlistment: 22

Rank: Private

Company: B

Location on 25 June 1876: Pack train escort & hilltop fight

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James Pym: No Ordinary Trooper

Bearing in mind the wealth of biographical information freely available on the internet and elsewhere Private James Pym, Company B, 7th U.S. Cavalry, has not been well served by Little Big Horn ‘historians,’ past or present, which is very disappointing. Surely, a brave trooper who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroic actions on the second day of the battle deserves better?

Editor’s Note:  As the story of James Pym’s extaordinary life is currently under consideration as a ‘possible researched paper’ to be presented at the Custer Battlefield Museum & Historical Association’s 30th Annual Symposium on 23 June 2017, at the Centre Cinema, Hardin, Montana, USA, it has temporarily been withdrawn from this website. 

St Mary's Church Garsington, with a Norman tower and 13th and 14th century side aisles, stands on a raised hilltop site with sweeping views across the Thames Valley. Author's collection.

Garsington Village School. James Pym was a pupil here. Author's photograph.

Medals of Honor on display at the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument. Photograph courtesy of Scott Nelson.

 

 

Ed Saunders, Laurel, Montana, is to be congratulated on his sterling effort to replace James Pym’s existing weathered grave marker in the Custer County Cemetery, 1010 Main Street, Miles City, with a pristine new headstone. 

 

 

It was rather disappointing, however, as with the similar case of Private Abram B. Brant, that no-one involved in this most worthy of projects thought it prudent to check that the inscription to be engraved on the new headstone was factually correct. James Pym had only one given name, the second initial ‘J’ clearly standing for “Jim,” a shortened version of James, and should not have been duplicated.  James “Jim” Pym however would have been acceptable. Also, this trooper was born in 1847, not 1852 as erroneously appears in his enlistment papers.

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