From the Editor's Desk

With best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy & Prosperous New Year. Peter Russell

  • Tuesday,  5 December 2017   –   Happy 178th Birthday George Armstrong Custer 


  • Men of the 7th U.S. Cavalry born in the island of Ireland who were killed at the Battle of Little Big Horn 25-26 June 1876
  • Name – Age – Rank – Company – County – Personal Description
  1. Atcheson, Thomas – 41 – Private – F – Antrim (N.I.) – 5’5¼”, hazel eyes, dark hair, dark complexion
  2. Barry, John – 27 – Private – I – Waterford – 5’7¾”, grey eyes, dark hair, ruddy complexion
  3. Boyle, Owen – 33 – Private – E – Waterford – 5’6″, grey eyes, dark hair, fair complexion
  4. Bruce, Patrick – 31 – Private – F – Cork – 5’7″, blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion
  5. Bustard, James – 30 – Sergeant – I – Donegal – 5’6½”, hazel eyes, light hair, fair complexion
  6. Carney, James – 33 – Private – F – Westmeath – 5’4¼, grey eyes, black hair,dark complexion
  7. Cashan, William – 31 – Sergeant – L – Queen’s (Laois) – 5’9″, blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  8. Connor, Edward – 30 – Private – E – Clare – 5’8½”, hazel eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion
  9. Considine, Martin* – 28 – Sergeant – G – Clare – 5’7½”, blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  10. Cooney, David   28 – Private – I – Cork – 5’5¾”, grey eyes, dark hair, fair complexion (died of wounds, Fort Abraham Lincoln, 20 July 1876, name not on battle monument)
  11. Downing, Thomas Patrick – 24 – Private – I – Limerick – 5’8¼”, blue eyes, sandy hair, florid complexion
  12. Drinan, James* – 23 – Private – A – Cork – 5’7½” – grey eyes, light brown hair, dark complexion
  13. Driscoll, Edward C. – 25 – Private – I – Waterford – 5’6″, hazel eyes, light hair, light complexion
  14. Farrell, Richard– 25 – Private – E – Dublin – 5’8¾”, grey eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  15. Finley, Jeremiah– 35 – Sergeant – C – Tipperary – 5’7″, grey eyes, brown hair, light complexion
  16. Golden, Patrick M.*– 26 – Private – D – Sligo – 5’9¼”, blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  17. Graham, Charles – 39 – Private – L – Tyrone (N.I.) – 5’6¾”, blue eyes, brown hair, florid complexion
  18. Griffin, Patrick – 28 – Private – C – Kerry – 5’9″, black eyes, dark hair, ruddy complexion
  19. Hagan (Eagan), Thomas P. – 28 – Corporal – E – Not known – 5’5½”, grey eyes, sandy hair, light complexion
  20. Henderson, John – 37 – Private – E – Cork – 5’7¾”, grey eyes, light hair, fair complexion
  21. Hughes, Robert H – 36 – Sergeant – K – Dublin – 5’9″, blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  22. Kavanagh, Thomas – 31 – Private – L – Dublin – 5’11¼”, grey eyes, red hair, ruddy complexion
  23. Kelly, Patrick – 35 – Private – I – Mayo – 5’5″, grey eyes, sandy hair, fair complexion
  24. Kenney, Michael – 26 – 1st Sergeant – F – Galway – 5’7¼”, grey eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  25. Keogh, Myles Walter – 36 – Captain – I – Carlow – 6’0½”, blue eyes, brown hair, florid complexion
  26. McElroy, Thomas – 31 – Trumpeter – E – Not known (N.I.?) – 5’5½”, blue eyes, dark hair, ruddy complexion
  27. McIlhargey, Archibald – 31 – Private – I – Antrim (N.I.) – 5’5″, brown eyes, black hair, dark complexion
  28. Mahoney, Bartholomew – 30 – Private – L – Cork – 5’10”, hazel eyes, dark hair, sallow complexion
  29. Martin, James* – 28 – Corporal – G – Kildare – 5’5″, grey eyes, brown hair, fair complexion
  30. Mitchell, John Edward – 34 – Private – I – Galway – 5’6¼”, blue eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion
  31. O’Connell, David J. – 32 Private – L – Cork – 5’7½”, dark eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion
  32. O’Connor, Patrick Edward – 25 – Private – E – Longford – 5’5½”, blue eyes, light hair, fair complexion
  33. Smith, James – 34 – Private – E – Tipperary – 5’6″, hazel eyes, brown hair, ruddy complexion
  34. Sullivan, John* – 25 – Private – A – Dublin – 5’6¼”, grey eyes, brown hair, medium complexion
  • Note (*)  Killed in the valley or hilltop fight.  (N.I.) denotes ‘Northern Ireland’ post-1922.
  • Donnelly, Timothy – 19 – Private – F – County Durham, England (of Irish Catholic parents thought to be from County Roscommon) – 5’6″, blue eyes, dark hair, fair complexion (would have considered himself to be Irish)

Detail from the Donnelly family headstone in the Catholic Cemetery, Spencer, Worcester County, Massachusetts. Note: The inscription reads 'BURIED IN S. DAKOTA', when, of course, it should say 'Montana'. Photograph courtesy of Patricia Glennon Wiener.

  • Friday, 17 November 2017
  • English by Birth, Scottish by Blood was published by The English Westerners’ Society to mark the 140th anniversary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn and also celebrates the life of gambler John Stuart Stuart Forbes who fought, and died, as Private John S. Hiley in Company ‘E’ of the 7th United States Cavalry.
  • This meticulously-researched account, which is well illustrated with accompanying notes and sources, was compiled by Peter Russell in collaboration with Edinburgh-based historian, Leslie Hodgson.
  • A review of this excellent booklet can be found on the ‘Book Reviews’ page of this website.
  •  Only 3 copies left!!
  • This publication is priced at £6:00 to addresses within the UK and £9:00 (or $12 US currency notes only) to all other destinations. Prices include mailing costs.  
  • Please send Sterling cheques, made payable to ‘P. G. Russell’ (or currency notes), to: 18 Iverhurst Close, Bexleyheath, DA6 8HY, UK.
  • ____________________________
  • Tuesday, 31 October 2017
  • A diversionary tale! Though not Custer-related the extraordinary story of Hauptman Wilhelm Schramm, the first German airship captain to be shot down in WW1, may be of general interest to visitors to this website. Schramm was actually born less than half a mile from The Valley, home of Charlton Athletic F.C., a team this writer has supported for over seventy years, and just a short drive from his home in Bexleyheath, Kent.

Hauptmann Wilhelm Schramm pilot of Airship SL11.

World War One recruitment poster - 1916.

  • In command of SL11 was Hauptmann Wilhelm Schramm, an experienced airship captain who knew the area he was to bomb better than most of his colleagues. He had been born at Old Charlton, Kent, and lived in England until the age of 15 when on the death of his father, the London representative of the Siemens electrical firm, he returned to Germany and joined the army. He was given his first command in December 1915.”*
  • But is this frequently quoted statement entirely correct? Notes based on research from primary sources and compiled by Peter Russell.



  • 1846    [Father] Otto Carl Schramm born 17 October 1846 in Magdeburg, Sachsen (Saxony), Germany. Parents: Frederich Wilhelm and Mother: Wilhelmine Charlotte Schramm. Baptised at the Lutheran Church 8 November 1846. Saxony, Prussia, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1760-1890.
  • 1860    [Mother] Joseva Caroline Marie Amalie Elise Emma Hofmeister, born 18 September 1860 in Emden, Hanover, Germany. Parents: Heinrich Ludwig and Marie Louise Hofmeister. Baptised at the Lutheran Church 28 October 1860. Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1518-1921.
  • 1868    Otto Schramm first arrives in England.
  • 1871    Otto Schramm, age 24, an unmarried Telegraph Engineer, living at 22 Offerton Road, Clapham, Surrey (London since 1889), in the home of Thomas Norton Grimes, 43, a Town Traveller, from Colchester, Essex. Census of England & Wales.
  • 1872     Otto Schramm, “Who has held the position of an Assistant Telegraph Engineer with Messrs. Siemens Brothers for many years” was proposed by existing member L. Loeffler, for admission to the Society of Telegraph Engineers.1 His application, submitted on 28 February 1872, which was approved by William Siemens himself and three others. He was advanced to full membership on 2 June 1877. UK, Electrical Engineer Membership Forms, 1871-1901. Note (1): The Society of Telegraph Engineers and Electricians (1880), and the Institution of Electrical Engineers (1887).

22 Offerton Road, Clapham, London SW4, formerly in the county of Surrey, (Author's photograph)

127 Victoria Way, Charlton, London SE7 - formerly 9 Victoria Road, Old Charlton, Kent. (Author's photograph)

  • 1882    [Parents] Otto Schramm and Joseva Hofmeister are married in Germany around this time.
  • 1883    [Sister] Harriett M. C. A. Schramm born. Birth registered September Qtr, 1883, Woolwich, Kent.
  • 1884    Living at 9 Victoria Road, Charlton. Parish of Charlton, Poor Rate Book, 26 March 1884-29 September 1884. Greenwich Heritage Centre, Woolwich.
  •  1885     Wilhelm Emil Eugen Ludwig Schramm born 11 December 1885 at 9 Victoria Road, Charlton, Kent.2 Birth registered March Qtr, 1886, Woolwich, Kent.  Note (2): Charlton was incorporated into the London County Council in March 1889 and has been part of the Greater London Authority since 2000.  No. 9 Victoria Road was re-designated 127 Victoria Way, Charlton before 1935.
  • 1887    [Brother] Otto Schramm born at 9 Victoria Road. Birth registered September Qtr 1887, Woolwich, Kent.
  • 1887    Otto Schramm, 9 Victoria Road, Old Charlton, Kent, a member. Institution of Electrical Engineers.
  • 1887    Otto Schramm, 9 Victoria Road, Old Charlton. Kelly’s Directory of Kent, 1887.
  • 1888    [Sister] Marie Julie M. Schramm born at 9 Victoria Road. registered December Qtr 1887, Woolwich, Kent Note (2): Charlton was incorporated into the London County Council in March 1889 and has been part of the Greater London Authority since 2000. No. 9 Victoria Road was re-designated 127 Victoria Way, Charlton before 1935.

Siemens Brothers factory at Charlton, 1874.

Siemens factory, Charlottenburg, near Berlin, 1900.

  • 1889    The Schramm family vacate 9 Victoria Road, Charlton which is evidenced by the General Rate Book for the period September 1889 – March 1890 being unpaid. It is not unreasonable to assume that they returned to Germany during this period.  Greenwich Heritage Centre, Woolwich.
  • 1890    Otto Schramm,3 9 Victoria Road, Old Charlton, Kent. UK, Electrical Engineer Lists, 1871- 1930.  Note (3): Louis Emil Schramm (aka Christopher Lewis), born Nuremburg, Bavaria,  in 1863, was not related to Otto’s branch of the family.
  • 1890    [Sister] Frieda Caroline Auguste Schramm born 19 October 1890 in Hannover (Hanover), Germany. Baptised at the Lutheran Church 7 May 1891. (Note: Mother’s first name recorded as ‘Johanne’ not ‘Joseva’.) Elbe-Weser Triangle, Germany, Lutheran Baptisms, Marriages, and Burials, 1574-1945.
  • 1891    No member of the Schramm family is recorded as living in England & Wales at the time of the decennial census which further adds at least circumstantial evidence that they had resided permanently in Germany prior to this date.
  • 1900    Otto Carl Schramm dies at 1 Deister-strasse, Hameln, Hannover (Hanover), Germany on 9 July 1900. Probate London 16 November to Robert Strange, merchant. Effects £6,838 6s, equivalent to over £750,000 in today’s money. England & Wales, National Probate Calendar (Index of Wills and Administrations), 1858-1966.
  • 1914-5    Wilhelm Schramm joins Germany Army. 
  • 1916    On the evening of Saturday the 2nd of September 1916 Germany launched the largest air raid of the Great War using a total of 16 airships. 14 aluminium-framed Zeppelins operated by the German Navy and 2 plywood-framed Schütte-Lanz craft operated by the German Army headed out across the North Sea to cross the English coast over East Anglia from where they then headed for targets in the North, the Eastern counties and London.
  • By mid 1916 England’s defences against these air raids had been considerably strengthened since the first big raid a year earlier. Searchlights and anti-aircraft batteries now ringed London; the Royal Flying Corps was flying regular patrols above 10,000 feet and their aircraft were equipped with a recently developed ammunition for their Lewis guns – a mixture of three types of rounds designed specifically to puncture an airship’s gas bags and then to ignite the released hydrogen gas.
  • The first of the airships heading for London that night, a German Army Schütte-Lanz airship, the SL-11, commanded by Wilhelm Schramm, arrived over St Albans at ten minutes past one in the morning of Sunday the 3rd of September. Schramm dropped bombs on the northern suburbs of London and while heading further south his airship was picked up by the searchlights at Finsbury Park and Victoria Park. Turning back to the north over Tottenham and Enfield, the SL-11 was spotted by Second Lieutenant William Leefe Robinson in his B.E.2c biplane. Leefe Robinson pursued and engaged the SL-11 and eventually with his third drum of ammunition succeeded in setting it on fire. The descent of the blazing SL-11 from a height of two miles to a field at Cuffley was not only seen by many Londoners, but also by the Navy Zeppelins then making their approach. Later that day thousands of sightseers flocked to Cuffley hoping to see the wreckage of SL-11 which was quickly removed by the authorities. On Monday, the newspapers carried extensive reports which focussed largely on the shooting down of the SL-11 – a victory to be contrasted against the grim news from the battlefields of the Somme. “A Great Air Raid. One Zeppelin (sic) Destroyed. Wonderful Spectacle in London. Slight Casualties” was the heading to the leading article in The Times. That evening an inquest into the deaths of the 16 crew of SL-11 was held at the Plough Inn, Cuffley, a short distance from the crash site. The coroner announced that the War Office had decided to give them a military funeral at the nearest cemetery and this took place two days later at Potters Bar cemetery.

Royal Aircraft Factory BE2c - Lt. William Leefe Robinson in the cockpit.

Wilhelm Schramm's coffin being carried by officers of the Royal Flying Corps.

  • 1916     Wilhelm Schramm and all 15 other members of the crew of SL114 were buried on 6 September 1916 with military honours in nearby Potters Bar Cemetery.
  • Note 4:    Name – SL11
  • Operator – German Army
  • Builder – Luftschiffbau Schutte-Lanz
  • Launched – 1 April 1916
  • Homeport- Spich (North Rhine-Westphalia)
  • Type – Airship
  • Tonnage – 21 tonnes
  • Displacement- 38,780 m2 of hydrogen
  • Length – 174 metres
  • Beam – 20.1 metres
  • Installed Power – 4 Maybach 960 hp/716 KW total
  • Speed – 57.38 mph
  • Complement – 16
  • 1916    Wilhelm Schramm and all 15 other members of the crew of SL11 buried on 5 September 1916 with military honours in the churchyard of St Mary the Virgin and All Saints, Potters Bar.
  • 1916    Death registered at Charlottenburgh,5 near Berlin, on 9 October 1916.  Wilhelm Emil Eugen Ludwig Schramm killed over Cuffley, Hertfordshire, 3 September. Berlin, Germany, Deaths, 1874-1920. Note (5): Siemens had a large factory at Charlottenburg and it could well be that Wilhelm Schramm worked there before joining the Army.
  • 1935    [Brother] Otto Schramm, an unmarried Physician, sailed from Bremen, Germany, to New York, USA, on 29 September 1935 aboard the SS Europa. New York, Passenger Lists, 1820-1957.
  • 1962    The bodies of all sixteen members of the crew of SL:11 were reinterred at Cannock Chase German Cemetery, Staffordshire.


  • Note (*): This writer has found no hard evidence to support the claims that (a) Wilhelm ‘returned’ to Germany – after all he had been born in Charlton, Kent; (b) That he was age 15 at the time of his father’s death – [i] He almost certainly left England at the age of four and [ii] In any event he was only 14 when his father died; (c) His father was simply one of countless thousands of German nationals working in the United Kingdom during the second half of the 19th Century, i.e.  not the “London representative of the Siemens electrical firm.”  In December 1880 a limited liability company named Siemens Brothers and Company Limited was formed in England, quite separate from its Germany roots. 

German Cemetery, Cannock Chase, Staffordshire.

  • Thursday, 21 September 2017
  • With Custer’s Cavalry by Katherine Gibson Fougera: From the memoirs of the late Katherine Gibson, widow of Captain Francis M. Gibson of the Seventh Cavalry, U.S.A. (Retired).
  • Illustrated with photographs.
  • I suspect that few 7th U.S. Cavalry–related books have attracted more favourable reviews or have been quoted as a reliable source of information by as many authors as Katherine Gibson Fougera’s With Custer’s Cavalry. However, while I found this little volume an enjoyable read it left me with a nagging feeling that something was amiss. For instance, would a relatively junior officer’s wedding have warranted taking place at Fort Lincoln with such ceremony on 30 August 1874, the same day that ten saddle-sore companies of the regiment returned from the Black Hills Expedition (p.192): a possibility perhaps, though somewhat unlikely?
  • One collateral piece of damning evidence is the truly outrageous claim that “[at the wedding] … Major Reno and his wife congregated in the corner of the crowded room (p.197),” when he had yet not returned from escort duty with the Northern Boundary Survey Commission and his poor wife, Mary Hannah Ross, had died over six weeks before. A second blunder, which appears on the following page, places Captain Myles Keogh among the officer corps present even though it is well documented that this Wild Irish Rover was thousands of miles away visiting family and friends in his beloved Emerald Isle.

  • That aside, my doubts were soon validated by an entry in the register of Kansas Marriages, for Leavenworth County (1811-1911), which shows that 23 year-old Frank (Francis) Gibson (stationed at Fort Scott) and 19 year-old Katie (Katherine) Garrett (from Washington, D.C.) were duly wed on 19 November 1870, that is, nearly four years earlier than Fougera leads us to believe. So, what influenced her to invent such an easily disputable piece of misinformation? The answer to this question was simple to find. On her second marriage, to Edmond Fougera, Katherine Gibson (widow of Frederick Lewis) reduced her age by a full nine years to match that of a much younger husband, which computes to 1882 as the year of her birth, and it is this year that has been near-universally accepted by Custer scholars ever since.
  • Katherine (Fougera), the only child of Frank and Katie Gibson, was most likely born at Fort Lincoln, Dakota Territory, on 11 December 1873,* which is supported by a report in the Bismarck Weekly Tribune, 18 October 1876, that reads: “A party consisting of Mrs. Col. Benteen and son, Mr. and Mrs. Lt. Gibson and daughter, Mrs. Lt. De Rudio and children ….came up [from Fort Rice] on the C. K. Peck and paid Bismarck a flying but welcome visit.” So much for 1882! With Custer’s Cavalry was first published in 1940, and as Edmond Fougera lived until 1953, the author was left with little choice other than to falsify the chronological sequence of events to conceal her true age from her husband.
  • First and foremost Fougera was a newspaper journalist, not an historian, and I submit that she deliberately delayed publishing this amazingly dubious account of her mother’s life on the Frontier until every person featured in the story, not least Elizabeth Custer (to whose memory the book is dedicated), was long dead. Unless my research is found wanting then somehow her apocryphal tale did remarkably well to go largely unchallenged for over 75 years** until, that is, the intrusion of and the inquisitive mind of a Little Big Horn enthusiast living on the other side of the Atlantic!

Katherine Gibson Fougera (right)

  • If an author can blatantly commit one lie to paper, why stop there – Katherine Gibson Fougera certainly didn’t!  As With Custer’s Cavalry appears to be littered with so many factual inaccuracies and half-truths how much faith should one place in Fougera’s version of the famous buffalo hunt, her mother’s incredulous premonition shortly before the battle, and much more? All will be revealed in an analysis of the book by this writer, which is scheduled to be published in the next issue of the Custer Association of Great Britain’s annual journal, The Crow’s Nest, and later posted on this website. It promises to make for some very interesting and illuminating reading.
  • Seventy-two photographic images, including a group of mounted photographs prepared as illustrations for With Custer’s Cavalry, are held at Yale University and this material is available for research. Lastly, I hasten to add that I haven’t actually seen Katherine Garrett Gibson’s memoirs, which I understand are gathering dust in the archives at the battlefield (my enquiry is pending) and they may well hold a vital clue to unravelling more aspects of this mystery.
  • Peter Russell
  • Notes:
  • (*) The place and date of birth are taken from the U.S. Social Security Applications and Claims Index, 1936-2007, but have not been substantiated by an independent primary source.
  • (**) To his credit  Charles K. Mills, in the Bibliography of his excellent Harvest of Barren Regrets: The Army Career of Frederick William Benteen, 1834-1898, Arthur H. Clarke, Glendale, CA, 1985, states that Fougera’s book was “based (loosely) on her mother’s diary (sic) and notes; there are some errors of fact,” though none was identified.

Elizabeth "Libbie" Bacon Custer, widow of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer (above). Hattie Dose Garlick Ackerman in later life (right).

  • Tuesday, 19 September 2017
  • BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIG HORN, 25 & 26 June 1876
  • ‘WIDOWS AND ORPHANS’ of those killed in the battle
  • Name of Deceased-Rank-Company-Country of Birth-Name of Spouse-Name of Children
  • Allan, Fred E*-Private-C-England-Mary Hamilton Fletcher-Harry
  • Baker, William H-Private-E-USA-Nancy E Broadway (divorced)-Minnie
  • Bloody Knife-Guide-Quartermaster-USA (Dakota Territory)-She Owl-a son
  • Bobo, Edwin, 1st Sergeant-C-USA-Missouri Ann Wycoff-Charles; Frank
  • Bob Tail Bull-Private-Indian Scouts-USA (Dakota Territory)-Bear Woman-3 children
  • Bouyer, Mitch-Interpreter-QMD-USA (Dakota Territory) Magpie Outside-Mary: Thomas
  • Botzer, Edward-Sergeant-G-Germany-“Mrs Brushes’ dau”-None
  • Butler, James-1st Sergeant-L-USA-Mary ?-None
  • Calhoun, James-1st Lieutenant-C-USA-Margaret “Maggie” Emma Custer-None
  • Crisfield, William B-Private-L-England-Mary Blanchton-Edward; Albert; Paul
  • Custer, George A-Lieutenant Colonel-Staff-USA-Elizabeth Bacon (see above)-None
  • Custer, Thomas W-Captain-C-USA-Not married-Thomas (putative)
  • Darris, John-Private-E-USA-Mary E Topping-2 children
  • DeWolf, James M-Acting Assistant Surgeon–Staff-USA-Frances “Fannie” J Downing-None
  • Dorman, Isaiah-Interpreter-Quartermaster-Unknown-Visible-None
  • Dose, Henry-Trumpeter-G-Germany-Anna Elizabeth Hahn (aka Fettis)-Hattie (see above), Charles
  • Finley, Jeremiah-Sergeant-C-Ireland-Ellen E Boyer-Mary Ellen; William; Jeremiah
  • Gilbert, William H-Corporal-L-USA-Mary Kittinger-Rudy
  • Harrington, Henry-2nd Lieutenant-C-USA-Grace Bernard-Grace
  • Hohmeyer, Frederick-1st Sergeant-E-Germany-Mary ?-Lizzie; William; Lena; Nellie
  • Hughes, Francis T-Private-L-USA-Mary Jane Madden-William; Francis; Charles
  • Hughes, Robert H-Sergeant-K-Ireland-Annie ?-Maggie (step-daughter); Miles; Thomas.
  • Kellogg, Marcus H-Civilian Reporter-Staff-Canada-Martha Robinson (dec’d); Cora; Martha
  • Kelly, John-Private-F-USA-Not known-3 children
  • Kelly, Patrick-Private-I-Ireland-Ellen Flynn-Susan; Ellen (step-daughters)
  • Klein, Gustav-Private-F-Germany-Not known-Anton; Catharina; Mathias; Franziska
  • Kramer, William-Trumpeter-C-USA–Elnora ?- Oren
  • Little Brave-Private-Indian Scouts-Not known-Not known
  • McElroy, Thomas F-Trumpeter-E-Ireland-Nora ?-Thomas
  • McIlhargey, Archibald-Private-I-Ireland (Northern)–Josie ?-Archibald; Rosie
  • McIntosh, Donald-1st Lieutenant-G-Canada-Mary “Mollie” Garrett-None
  • Meador, Thomas-Private-H-USA-Eliza ?-None
  • Mitchell, John E-Private-I-Ireland-Catherine Agnes Clemens-Anna; Catherine
  • Porter, James E-1st Lieutenant-I-USA-Eliza Frances Westcott-David; James
  • Post, George-Private-I-USA-Maggie ?-None
  • Rogers, Walter B-Private-L-USA-Emma ?-None
  • Selby, Crawford-Saddler-G-USA-Mary Elizabeth Beck (divorced)-None
  • Smith, Algernon E-1st Lieutenant-A-USA-Henrietta “Nettie” Bowen-None
  • Staples, Samuel F-Corporal-I-USA-Annie ?-None
  • Symms, Darwin-Private-I-Canada-Isabell Smith-None
  • Warner, Oscar T-Private-C-USA-Sarah ?-None
  • Way, Thomas N-Private-F-USA-Rebecca ?-None
  • Wells, Benjamin J-Farrier-C-USA-Sarah ?-Charles
  • Wild, John-Corporal-I-USA-Annie Dawson-None
  • Wilkinson, John K-Sergeant-F-USA-Anna Howard-None
  • Yates, George W M-Captain-F-USA-Annie Gibson Roberts-George; Bessie; Milnor
  • (*) Real name: Alfred Ernest Allen
  • 46 Husbands/Fathers and 54 Children/Step Children/incl. 1 Putative Child
  • Note: The author wishes to establish an accurate database of the widows and the children made fatherless as a result of the Battle of the Little Big Horn.  As stated in the Introduction, any amendments, corrections or additional information to the above list would be most gratefully received, via the ‘get in touch’ form on the Contact page.
  • Thomas D. Godman, Company A, 7th U.S. Cavalry
  • In the disastrous defeat of Gen. Custer on the [Little] Big Horn he belonged to Benteen’s command and helped bury the dead the next day.The Semi-weekly Interior Journal, Stanford, Kentucky, 9 April 1895.
  • The above sentence in a late 19th century Kentucky newspaper immediately caught my eye as previously I had not even heard of Thomas D. Godman let alone suspected he was with Captain Frederick Benteen at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. However, thanks to an article by Dan Bird, entitled ‘Answering an old Question,’ I soon discovered that while Godman’s enlistment dated from 3 February 1876 he wasn’t transferred from the General Mounted Service to the 7th Cavalry until 12 July 1876 and, in turn, didn’t join Company A in the field at the Rosebud Camp until as late as the twenty-ninth of the same month. That being said, unlike so many other LBH imposters he certainly proved to be no ordinary trooper and worthy of further investigation.
  • The self-styled ‘Captain’ Thomas David Godman was a direct descendant of the appropriately-named Rembrandt Peale, who painted probably the best known portrait(s) of George Washington; a grandson of Dr. John Davidson, the early 19th century author and naturalist; and son of Major Stuart Adair Godman, adventurer, author and editor of the innovative South Carolina weekly journal the Illustrated Family FriendBorn in Abbeville, South Carolina, in 1847 or possibly during the later months of 1846, to a slave-owning father, Thomas was orphaned at six-years-old and raised by an aunt and uncle in Louisville, Kentucky.  He enlisted in the 15th Kentucky Volunteer Infantry (Union) at the age of 14; was wounded at the battle of Resaca, Georgia in 1864; discharged on grounds of disability; served no less than seven enlistments in the regular army, twice deserting and three more times being discharged on disability. Godman was wounded in the fight with the Nez Perce at Bear Paw Mountain in 1877; discharged with the rank of sergeant in January 1878; styled himself as Captain; served four years as the Superintendent at the Vicksburg National Cemetery, Mississippi; co-authored an illustrated guide book to Vicksburg; and for two years was clerk to fellow Civil War veteran, Kentucky U.S. Congressman, Colonel Silas Adams. He married a girl of Irish descent from Vicksburg in 1890; moved to Washington, D.C. where they had six children; only two of which survived infancy. Thomas Godman died in his sleep of a heart attack in 1896 at the relatively young age of forty-nine. His remarkable story can be found  under the ‘Miscellaneous Items’ page – Thomas D. Godman.
  • Monahsetah, Southern Cheyenne
  • Monahsetah: The Life of a Custer Captive, by Peter Harrison, edited by Gary Leonard, English Westerners’ Society, London, UK (2014).
  • The first edition of Monahsetah is the subject of an excellent and comprehensive review in the current issue of CBHMA’s The Battlefield Dispatch, Spring 2015, by Rev. Vincent Heier and Editor, Lee Noyes, who end by saying: “We can think of no more fitting tribute to her legacy and memory.” High praise indeed. Please find a copy of the CBHMA’s review attached.  For further information about the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association follow the link to
  • I was privileged to have been closely associated with the publication of both the first and second editions which has been generously acknowledged by the Editor, Gary Leonard, who on page xvi writes: “My special thanks must go to Peter Russell who not only diligently read through several drafts of the manuscript but also provided numerous corrections and made a significant contribution to the editing of the text. I am most grateful that Peter’s continuing interest and attention to detail has equally enhanced the quality of this [second] volume.” Gary Leonard, Southampton, February 2015.
  • Copies can be purchased from Sandy Barnard at AST Press and Gary Leonard via email at
  • Lastly, I thank Brian Kennedy and his team at Electric Design, Drighlington, near Leeds, Yorkshire, for their continuing technical website support which makes all (well most) things possible.
  • Editor

& The Small Print

© Men With Custer 2013. Author Peter Groundwater Russell. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this website’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Peter Russell and the ‘Men With Custer’ website with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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