Not a single man among Custer's immediate command of five troops (companies) saw sunset that day. Included with Custer among the dead were two of his brothers, one of whom had won two Congressional Medals of Honor during the Civil War, a nephew and his brother-in-law. In all, nearly three hundred were killed.
The only significant, fatal error that day was Custer's usual disregard for common sense and charging head-long into a life-and-death struggle without knowing that, in effect, he was riding off the edge of a cliff into oblivion due to the sheer weight of his opponent's numbers.
I would like to know why my fascination with the Little Bighorn battle exists to the degree that it does, but that probably will always be as much of a mystery as are many of the unit and individual actions which took place within the battle itself. To see the battle, to know it, to understand it, to unravel the mysteries of each and every moment of it -- these form the reason it would be one on my list of three to reach back in time and to witness.
(Remember me? My name is not only Fram Actual, but Fram the Fortunate .... and, a few others, not the least of which is Fram the Curious. I wish to know what it was to hear the voices and to see the faces of the past; to smell the air of yesterday; to know how the sky looked when only birds possessed it; to feel the weight of an iron broadsword in my hand; to watch a midsummer night's dance .... well, to experience it all, I guess, but some things, like June 25 at the Little Bighorn, more than others.)
The Plains Indian Wars and the entire era of American Western history from about 1850 to the close of the Nineteenth Century have a firm grip on me, and a few other battles -- such as the Fetterman Fight in Wyoming and the Beecher Island Battle in Colorado -- lure me in almost as deeply. I have camped and slept overnight alone on those two battlefields, and would love to do so at the Little Bighorn if the federal government did not prohibit it. These nights have been mystical experiences.
Well, now I have marked the anniversary still one more year, as I am certain I will do for as long as I live. This time, you have been here to take note of it along with me. Thank you .... see you next year.