This coming summer my wife and I are planning on taking an extended car trip visiting a number of points of interest in our western states.
Over the years with my work I was fortunate to have visited most all the states in the union but my wife has not been to some of the western states. Some of the places we plan to visit while traveling are the Dakotas, The Badlands, Mt. Rushmore, Montana, Wyoming, etc. And I would like to again visit the area known as the Battle of Big Horn where General George Custer and his men met their final fate.
I have always found two characters associated with the west to be of interest, Buffalo Bill and George Custer. Two very interesting characters from our country's history. Often we have heard it said, "take care of the small things and the big things will take care of themselves." TCB seems to have been a weakness many associated with Custer.
I do find it interesting how writers of history often reference various ones in our country's history. Most all historians will tell one that " Custer finished last in his class at West Point." Hey, first of all West Point was not some diploma mill or a place in which one would be embarrassed to have graduated. Also, I find interesting especially today is the use of the word "massacre." About two hundred men were killed with Custer in what history uses words like "Last Stand." I don't make light of the number of two hundred, but today in one of our most noted American cities we have over two hundred people being killed..... a month and little said of such in the media but in a military battle that number is noted quite differently. Or the other day I noticed as of this date 318 people have lost their lives on Tennessee highways.
Custer did have a rather noted past. He served in the Civil War and it is said he played an important part in the engagement culminating Lee's surrender at Appomattox Court House. To such that Lee is said to have given Custer the surrender flag. Also, one historian noted that some have said that Custer made off with the table on which Grant and Lee signed their agreement of surrender. Can you imagine today showing up on Roadway Antiques and getting a quote as to the value?
Evidently Custer did have a bit of an ego. He often wore an unauthorized black velvet uniform which he had designed for himself. That appears a bit strange and it was adorned with gold braids. It was said he could be "selective" in his judgment as he once ordered the execution of twelve solider's for desertion and he later absented himself without leave to visit his wife. For this he was court-martialed and his punishment was suspension of his duty for one year without pay. (Kinda reminds me of a once very successful college basketball coach, "rules apply to my players, but not to me.") Evidently he knew the practice of taking care one one's relatives as in his command was his brother, a captain, his sister's husband, another brother and his nephew.
Most historian say that Custer failed to pay attention to a detail of preparation before he engaged his enemy on that faithful day in June of 1876. The failure of dividing his forces without accurate knowledge of the enemy, its strength and its exact location. A small detail one might say, not so. Maybe Custer once again had relied on what many had come to call "Custer's Luck" and it ran out. A good lesson for everyone is that attention to detail is very important.
"Rather more serious was his inclination to pursue objectives without paying due regard to the details by which they were to be achieved."
Last Stand--Bryan Perrett
"Pursue objectives without paying due regard to the details." Far too often a formula for failure.
What is they say "take care of the little things and the big things will take care of themselves."
March 1, 2017