Custer Documentary On History Channel

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Shrapnel
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Custer Documentary On History Channel

#1 Post by Shrapnel » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:01 am

It has been decades of interest and a few years of work to get this story told. Craig Fellows and I have been chasing small threads of information for over 40 years just out of personal interest. It was only the last 10 years or so that Craig decided to step it up to the next level.

What has always been of great interest to us, finally got put into a small teaser that Craig presented to the right person that eventually captured the interest of the History Channel. We spent several weeks filming on location around the battlefield 2 years ago, and with more filming to fill in the holes, it seems that it is finally done and scheduled to air on the 28th of September.

I am reserved about how well it will be finished, as I have seen History Channel programs that weren't all that great. It is still gratifying to think that we were able to tell a story about something we have been interested in for decades, and that maybe it will resonate with others that have the same interests...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#2 Post by Griff » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:34 am

I will be looking forward to it.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#3 Post by earlmck » Sun Sep 16, 2018 10:48 am

Gotta' see that! Thanks for the "heads up" Shrapnel.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#4 Post by Larkbill » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:27 pm

Can't wait to see it. Started reading about it as a youngster and have never lost interest.

The Texas Ranger Hall of Fame, Shiloh Battlefield, and Corinth Interpretive Center all use History Channel films and are excellent. Probably lots more that I haven't seen. I'm betting yours will be good and hope someone picks it up after airing to use at a site like those.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#5 Post by Shrapnel » Sun Sep 16, 2018 1:41 pm

It will be called: Custer, The Final Mystery and aired at 8:00 AM Eastern time, September 28 on History Channel...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#6 Post by JerryB » Sun Sep 16, 2018 9:25 pm

Thanks, really looking forward to seeing it done with firearms knowledge behind it. I can't begin to think of how many books I have read about this.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#7 Post by rossim92 » Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:21 am

well, from from i have been reading from different sources, was that the ammo that custer was using was copper cased instead of brass. they were having trouble getting the empties to eject from being stuck in the the throat from expansion.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#8 Post by Shrapnel » Mon Sep 17, 2018 8:35 am

rossim92 wrote:
Mon Sep 17, 2018 2:21 am
well, from from i have been reading from different sources, was that the ammo that custer was using was copper cased instead of brass. they were having trouble getting the empties to eject from being stuck in the the throat from expansion.
We forget that Custer was armed with the latest in firearms technology of the day. The Trapdoor springfield was chosen over a repeating rifle for reasons that fit fighting Indians on the frontier and not in a movie. The actual failure rate of the copper cases was quite low, around 1% or so. Myths about Custer, the battle and the arms of both sides continue to grow and few people really know what or why the cavalry was armed as they were...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#9 Post by Ray » Mon Sep 17, 2018 7:13 pm

To me it all boils down to the question of opposing numbers and overwhelming odds.

I think Custer just bit off more than he could chew.

The mere presence of more repeating guns, even a gatling or two, on the bluecoat's side in face of such a disparity force would have only worked if the indians had been reluctant, cowardly, or unmotivated.

The enemy were certainly fierce warriors and excellent horsemen and probably better marksmen than popular legend admits.

No matter whose eyewitness account you believe or which post-battle investigation you follow, there is little doubt that Custer and his men died "game".
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#10 Post by piller » Tue Sep 18, 2018 6:42 am

From what little I know, it seems that George Custer and the 7th Cavalry got ambushed by well armed superior numbers and didn't get backup from another unit which was close enough to have arrived while the fight was still going. I could be misinformed.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#11 Post by Bill in Oregon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:10 am

I'm looking forward to anything that can shed new light on what happened at the Little Big Horn. Like so many American boys, I was raised with the conventional "comic-book history" view that Custer was the hero and the Indians the villains. I have since come to share Ernest Thompson Seton's view that he got what was coming to him, and that he paid the price for the hubris that underpinned the gospel of manifest destiny. That is, of course, Monday-morning quarterbacking from 142 years in the future, and what happened on the ground that day in June 1876 was pure tragedy.

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#12 Post by Shrapnel » Tue Sep 18, 2018 8:33 am

Bill in Oregon wrote:
Tue Sep 18, 2018 7:10 am
I'm looking forward to anything that can shed new light on what happened at the Little Big Horn. Like so many American boys, I was raised with the conventional "comic-book history" view that Custer was the hero and the Indians the villains. I have since come to share Ernest Thompson Seton's view that he got what was coming to him, and that he paid the price for the hubris that underpinned the gospel of manifest destiny. That is, of course, Monday-morning quarterbacking from 142 years in the future, and what happened on the ground that day in June 1876 was pure tragedy.
Seton's view is as wrong as many other misinformed people whether they were from Custer's era or today. Custer's story is bigger than many people realize and bigger than they would investigate even if they were compelled to. Custer didn't come to Montana on his own with the 7th Cavalry to harass Indians. He was part of a several pronged campaign to bring the "Hostiles" back under control and to their respective reservations.


Whether you like it or not, the Indians were considered hostile and the Department of War had told them as of 1 January 1876, they needed to get back on their reservations or they would be considered hostile and treated as such. Custer was a Lieutenant Colonel in the United Stated Army with command of the 7th Cavalry and was to approach the Little Bighorn as part of a total Indian campaign to put them back on reservations.

There were others involved, Terry, Gibbon and Crooke who was beaten by Crazy Horse a week earlier and went home to Fort Fetterman to go fishing and nothing was said of his actions.

It is easy to repeat other's testimonies because people like to do that. Seton is an idiot, and there are thousands like him that don't know squat about Custer or the Indian wars of the late 19th century, yet they comment not knowing any more than they do...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#13 Post by Bill in Oregon » Tue Sep 18, 2018 2:30 pm

Seton got to know Elizabeth Custer and had great admiration for her. He did not say anything negative about Custer while she was alive.
He also spoke in person with a number of men, white and Indian, who were present at the battle.

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#14 Post by piller » Tue Sep 18, 2018 9:48 pm

As with many historical situations, there is more to it than what is taught in High School. For all of us, it wouldn't be a bad idea to learn as much as we can from history. It seems as if we levergunners are soon to become the native Americans of our era. We had better pay attention and get involved to make sure that history doesn't try to repeat itself.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#15 Post by Pisgah » Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:34 pm

Custer outran his supply train in unfamiliar territory and, against a foe about which he had virtually no intelligence, divided his forces. What happened is what could be fully expected to happen.

Forget about which side was the good guys and which side was the bad guys. He was an arrogant jackass who thought he could whup the enemy no matter what. He was wrong.

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#16 Post by Shrapnel » Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:41 pm

Pisgah wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:34 pm
Custer outran his supply train in unfamiliar territory and, against a foe about which he had virtually no intelligence, divided his forces. What happened is what could be fully expected to happen.

Forget about which side was the good guys and which side was the bad guys. He was an arrogant jackass who thought he could whup the enemy no matter what. He was wrong.
Wow, what you don’t know would fill several libraries. You should cite sources of your knowledge of what happened or maybe be quiet as you don’t know what you are talking about...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#17 Post by BlaineG » Thu Sep 20, 2018 11:02 pm

Shrapnel wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:41 pm
Pisgah wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:34 pm
Custer outran his supply train in unfamiliar territory and, against a foe about which he had virtually no intelligence, divided his forces. What happened is what could be fully expected to happen.

Forget about which side was the good guys and which side was the bad guys. He was an arrogant jackass who thought he could whup the enemy no matter what. He was wrong.
Wow, what you don’t know would fill several libraries. You should cite sources of your knowledge of what happened or maybe be quiet as you don’t know what you are talking about...
Wow...how does your head fit through the front door when you go home at night?? :roll:
The sources you seem to be citing are......you and your friend. I don't know anything about Custer except he got his buttocks kicked bad. What I do recognize is strident bloviation. :wink:
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#18 Post by Shrapnel » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:09 am

Blaine,

When did Custer outrun his supply train? What were Custer’s orders from General Terry? When did Custer first see Indians? When did the Indians first see Custer? Where were they when these sightings happened? Why did Reno follow Indians to the Little Bighorn river? Where did Reno go with his 3 companies, Benteen with 3 companies, McDougall with the supply train and Custer with his 5 companies?

Few people have any idea what happened, but they all know Custer was a fool. I have researched this for many years and initially thought Custer was the fool that revisionist history made him out to be. After studying Custer and his Civil War record, you would be the fool to think so of Custer.

I am not here to make a hero of him, just to clear the air on who he wasn’t and what he accomplished. Like him or hate him, he was an amazing American that has been beaten up by people that know very little about him...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#19 Post by FWiedner » Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:40 am

I watched an interesting piece on Custer a while back that suggested that not only did the Indians have the advantage in number, but they were also better armed than Custer's cavalry. Custer's troops had Army issued single shot rifles and many of the Indians had repeating rifles. The cavalry couldn't compete with the overwhelming and superior firepower.

I believe it was said that when Custer followed the standard tactic of dismounting his troop to form a line the Indians simply overwhelmed the line and turned it into a running fight where Custer's men, now on foot, were chased, run down and slaughtered. I gathered that the location and activity of Custer's subordinate officers and their troops wasn't a factor in his part of the fight.

I'm not a historian and I don't play one on TV.

:lol:
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#20 Post by Shrapnel » Fri Sep 21, 2018 8:52 am

FWiedner wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:40 am
I watched an interesting piece on Custer a while back that suggested that not only did the Indians have the advantage in number, but they were also better armed than Custer's cavalry. Custer's troops had Army issued single shot rifles and many of the Indians had repeating rifles. The cavalry couldn't compete with the overwhelming and superior firepower.

I believe it was said that when Custer followed the standard tactic of dismounting his troop to form a line the Indians simply overwhelmed the line and turned it into a running fight where Custer's men, now on foot, were chased, run down and slaughtered. I gathered that the location and activity of Custer's subordinate officers and their troops wasn't a factor in his part of the fight.

I'm not a historian and I don't play one on TV.

:lol:

The reason for the Trapdoor Springfield was for how it was superior to repeating rifles of the day in regards to Indian fighting. Deployed as you said in a skirmish line, the Springfield was a formidable weapon. Even though it was a single shot, firing in volleys put the enemy at extreme peril. Add to that the range of the 45-55 was greater than Henys and 1866 repeaters and it could also put a horse down, which is another critical factor in fighting Indians. If you remember, Major Keogh’s horse Comanche was found alive at the battlefield even though he had sustained over 11 small arms wounds.

The Indians did have some repeating rifles, but it was probably less than 300 total. The main weapon was still the bow and arrow which was still deadly when raining arrows in on buttressed soldiers. After defeating Custer the Indians did use the rifles taken from the dead soldiers to fire on Reno and Benteen.

Custer was expecting support from Benteen which never happened although you can’t blame him from saving Reno on Reno hill. It is still reasonable to assume that Benteen could have come in support of Custer had he not taken so long on his oblique and taking too much time watering horses.

I would like to believe that Benteen could have saved Custer as he had two runners sent to him with urgent messages to come and support Custer but that didn’t happen and the rest is history...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#21 Post by Bill in Oregon » Fri Sep 21, 2018 9:32 am

A Sgt. John Ryan under Captain French in Company M had a new heavy Sharps chambered in the "government round" that he used to quiet deadly Indian fire coming from 600 yards away on Sharpshooter Ridge. The round certainly has superior long-range capabilities.
Looking forward to the show on the 28th.

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#22 Post by BlaineG » Fri Sep 21, 2018 10:15 am

Shrapnel wrote:
Fri Sep 21, 2018 7:09 am
Blaine,

When did Custer outrun his supply train? What were Custer’s orders from General Terry? When did Custer first see Indians? When did the Indians first see Custer? Where were they when these sightings happened? Why did Reno follow Indians to the Little Bighorn river? Where did Reno go with his 3 companies, Benteen with 3 companies, McDougall with the supply train and Custer with his 5 companies?

Few people have any idea what happened, but they all know Custer was a fool. I have researched this for many years and initially thought Custer was the fool that revisionist history made him out to be. After studying Custer and his Civil War record, you would be the fool to think so of Custer.

I am not here to make a hero of him, just to clear the air on who he wasn’t and what he accomplished. Like him or hate him, he was an amazing American that has been beaten up by people that know very little about him...
I'm not arguing your opinions, just the way you are treating other's and their opinions. We are among friends here. :) It's hard to look up to somebody when they are looking down at you.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#23 Post by Pisgah » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:18 am

Shrapnel wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 10:41 pm
Pisgah wrote:
Thu Sep 20, 2018 7:34 pm
Custer outran his supply train in unfamiliar territory and, against a foe about which he had virtually no intelligence, divided his forces. What happened is what could be fully expected to happen.

Forget about which side was the good guys and which side was the bad guys. He was an arrogant jackass who thought he could whup the enemy no matter what. He was wrong.
Wow, what you don’t know would fill several libraries. You should cite sources of your knowledge of what happened or maybe be quiet as you don’t know what you are talking about...

Well, since your research will be on History Channel -- tell us -- were ancient aliens to blame?

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#24 Post by JerryB » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:07 am

Like I said in the post on Seton, really looking forward to seeing the show Friday nite so we all will have excellent quotable knowledge !!!!!!!!
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#25 Post by jeepnik » Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:23 am

Just curious, will this cover his entire life, his military career, or just his last acts? Sadly everything I've seen and read tears apart one poor decision, but ignores the things he did right to become America's youngest general during the Civil War.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#26 Post by piller » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:35 pm

I am working on Friday evening and have set my DVR to record it.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#27 Post by BlaineG » Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:51 pm

Sadly, I don't have cable TV....History Channel is one of the very few features I miss about cable.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#28 Post by piller » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:06 pm

BlaineG wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:51 pm
Sadly, I don't have cable TV....History Channel is one of the very few features I miss about cable.
It is one of 3 simple reasons why we keep cable. The other two are for the internet and the PBS channel's documentaries. Internet with cable at my house runs about 70 mps versus AT&T DSL at 4 mps. Verizon claims my neighborhood is a dead zone with no access. I could get some sort of internet access by way of the cell phone signal, but no one gets more than 3 bars at my house no matter which provider they have. Usually 1 bar is all anyone gets. T Mobile gets the best service in my area. Verizon drops calls about every 3 to 5 minutes.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#29 Post by BlaineG » Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:40 pm

piller wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 1:06 pm
BlaineG wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:51 pm
Sadly, I don't have cable TV....History Channel is one of the very few features I miss about cable.
It is one of 3 simple reasons why we keep cable. The other two are for the internet and the PBS channel's documentaries. Internet with cable at my house runs about 70 mps versus AT&T DSL at 4 mps. Verizon claims my neighborhood is a dead zone with no access. I could get some sort of internet access by way of the cell phone signal, but no one gets more than 3 bars at my house no matter which provider they have. Usually 1 bar is all anyone gets. T Mobile gets the best service in my area. Verizon drops calls about every 3 to 5 minutes.
Comcast provides me with High Speed Net only....crazy fast, 120+ for about 55 a month. I can stream about anything perfectly.
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#30 Post by Shrapnel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:27 pm

piller wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:35 pm
I am working on Friday evening and have set my DVR to record it.
It is on at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard time...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#31 Post by Sixgun » Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:56 pm

8 A.M.???? That's weird. I see it's 3 hours long. Wow! 8 A.M.......that's a couple of hours before I normally get up........I have not been up that early since I retired. Gonna have to set the alarm clock for this one.-----6
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#32 Post by Shrapnel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:01 pm

jeepnik wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:23 am
Just curious, will this cover his entire life, his military career, or just his last acts? Sadly everything I've seen and read tears apart one poor decision, but ignores the things he did right to become America's youngest general during the Civil War.
This is not specifically about Custer but what happened to all the personal effects of Custer and his troopers after the battle. We found claims of Indians that they had cached those items not far from the battlefield.

We also discovered accounts of 2 soldiers that got away from the battle but died or were killed by Indians. We found artifacts that support those accounts, back toward the Lone Teepee area.

The battle has been debated and continues to divide people about what happened and who was wrong. It isn’t our purpose to continue that debate but to show new evidence of the existence of the 2 soldiers and also to try to find the cache of personal items.

What Custer did during the Civil War is so little known by today’s society and they don’t realize what a disaster it was for a war hero to have died at the hands of savages. If more people knew of Custer’s amazing contributions to the Civil War, there would be less name calling and judgemental comments about who and what Custer really was...

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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#33 Post by jeepnik » Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:19 pm

Shrapnel wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 4:01 pm
jeepnik wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 9:23 am
Just curious, will this cover his entire life, his military career, or just his last acts? Sadly everything I've seen and read tears apart one poor decision, but ignores the things he did right to become America's youngest general during the Civil War.
This is not specifically about Custer but what happened to all the personal effects of Custer and his troopers after the battle. We found claims of Indians that they had cached those items not far from the battlefield.

We also discovered accounts of 2 soldiers that got away from the battle but died or were killed by Indians. We found artifacts that support those accounts, back toward the Lone Teepee area.

The battle has been debated and continues to divide people about what happened and who was wrong. It isn’t our purpose to continue that debate but to show new evidence of the existence of the 2 soldiers and also to try to find the cache of personal items.

What Custer did during the Civil War is so little known by today’s society and they don’t realize what a disaster it was for a war hero to have died at the hands of savages. If more people knew of Custer’s amazing contributions to the Civil War, there would be less name calling and judgemental comments about who and what Custer really was...
So, being talented enough to do a documentary, why don't you do one on his success'?
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#34 Post by Shrapnel » Sat Sep 22, 2018 5:30 pm

Being talented is one thing, timing, having a story and a potential audience is more important. We were able to find the last 3 ingredients to get this project accomplished. I haven’t seen the finished product and I am a bit concerned with how they will show it...

piller
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Re: Custer Documentary On History Channel

#35 Post by piller » Sat Sep 22, 2018 7:12 pm

Shrapnel wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 2:27 pm
piller wrote:
Sat Sep 22, 2018 12:35 pm
I am working on Friday evening and have set my DVR to record it.
It is on at 8:00 AM Eastern Standard time...
I had to go back and look. It does start at 7 AM Central Standard Time. I am still going to record it. I probably will not get up in time to see the start.
D. Brian Casady
Quid Llatine Dictum Sit, Altum Viditur.
Advanced is being able to do the basics while your leg is on fire---Bill Jeans
Don't ever take a fence down until you know why it was put up---Robert Frost

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