Another response to the Stereotype of the Month entry on The "Official Website" of George A. Custer. Xavier Cornut, brother of the site's owner, writes again:
Do you remember me I guess. You treated me as a racist because my brother built a website about the general Custer.
I'm not expecting an answer from you, I just wanted to send you informations about the battle of the Washita, the true one I mean.
So... On 1867-68, warriors of Black Kettle massacred men, women and children on the Saline and Solomon river. 200 Cheyennes and 4 Arapahoes, returning from a raid against Pawnees, stopped at a farm and massacred the family who was in. On August 12th, Ripley's farm is burnt and their inhabitants killed. In two days, Cheyennes massacred 12 people and kidnapped 6 children. In Texas, 22 children are kidnapped. 14 will be killed. Three (Mac Illroy's children) will die from cold. In Kansas two girls are raped. In Colorado, some carriages are besieged and burnt by Indians. Witnesses saw Black Kettle burning a farm with his warriors in Walnut Creek.
Edward Wynkoop made an interview of chief Little Rock who acknowledged the murders and told that the warriors were from Black Kettle's tribe. A member of the captured civilisans of the future battle said the same. 353 people killed, 100 houses burnt during the Summer 1868. White scouts Comstock and Grover are invited in Black Kettle's camp for investigating. When warriors from the Kansas massacre came into camp, they shot the two scouts. Grover, wounded, escaped and would be able to tell the story at Fort Hays.
Black Kettle has 8 hostages in his camp, including three women and two children. Some are known, Miss Crocker, Miss Blinn, his son Willy, two years old... An interpret passing in Black Kettle camp gave her writing material and she wrote to the army : "please come for my beloved son Willy. He is so thin!". Indians don't give their hostages much food. Black Kettle tried to negociate with Hazen at Fort Cobb. Hazen told Black Kettle to release the hostages. Black Kettle refused. The negocitations didn't go further.
On November 26 1868, at a night party,the sister of Black Kettle reacted and told his brother to move away from the responsibles of the Solomon and Saline River massacres. She was afraid of the reaction of the army. Black Kettle didn't hear.
Custer attacked at dawn. He attacked from several positions. The campement of Black Kettle wasn't peaceful at all. The battle was over after four hours of hard fighting. Lt Cooke had to fight Indians warriors hidden in ravines. The osages scouts killed Black Kettle near the river, and six squaws fileeing in the river. Custer prevented that scouts killed squaws in a lodge and rode by himself to stop his soldiers who were aiming flleeing civilians.
Miss Blinn and his son were killed by fleeing indians civilians. Another hostage, a little boy, was killed by a squaw who wouln't surrender to the soldiers.
Wynkoop wrote : "I have heard that columns of the army are near the Washita. I know that the soldiers are under control of their command, but there are also volunteers and osages scouts in this column, who will kill without distinction."
The scouts killed civilians. Volunteers of the 19th Kansas were refused by Custer, who was afraid they will act like they did in Sand Creek.
After the battle, soldiers lost 21 men. About Indians, 53 were captives. Those prisonners gave back in the Fort the name of 11 war chiefs killed in the camp. That shows how much warriors were in the Washita camp. Custer wrote a report of 103 dead, but we all know this report was false and written in bad conditions. Cooke saw 75 bodies in the ravine. Ben Clarks said more than 100. Custer wrote on december "Indians admitted the death of 140 warriors". Today, we can think Indians lost about 140 warriors. 11 chiefs war dead is enormous, when we know that one war chief is commanding 10-15 warriors.
For the civilians, George Bent investigated and found 17 civilians dead. The Kiowas coming after the battle on the area of the village gave the number of 18. Other testimonies confirmed 18 civlians dead, including the 6 squaws killed by osages scouts.
Custer ordered to give 200 poneys to the captives for the retreat back to Camp Supply and ordered to shoot the 600 others. It could seem hard, but during the Civil War Union and CSA cavalry did already do that. That is logical.
Sorry for you, but that is the real battle of the washita. No flag of Black Kettle (you are confusing with Sand Creek), and if they have been civilians losses, the soldiers received orders to save the civilians. It was not a massacre at all. The Black Kettle's camp was not peaceful at all.
Why is the battle of the Washita so misunderstood today ? Edward Wynkoop made business with Indians, but bad busniness. He commanded supplies from the army, and instead of giving them to the Indians, he sold them in Denver. When Custer denounced this to the army officials, Wynkoop invented a false story and gave the testimony of John Leavenworth (who said it was an horrible massacre, and that soldiers killed Miss Blinn) who has never been in the battle or even on the area.
I just wanted to send you real informations. And to invite you not to believe in anything you can read in Dee Brown. That's is useless also to treat people of racists if they are just pointing the historical facts. You don't have to assume them, just admit.
You can check out. I invite you to do it. That's why the US government will never call the area "Massacre of the Washita" but "Battle of the Washita".
I could ask you to delete the page about the Custer's website controversary. As you can see, I'm looking for facts and I don't want to deny a genocide. But history is not a game. That the reason too this website about the General Custer was built. Because a majority of what is is said about Custer is false.
Even the Indians admired him. Why aren't you wondering why they admired a man if they thought he massacred an Indians camp ?
The Battle of the Washita, by Stan Hoig
Battle of the Washita, NPS archives (you can read them on the web)
>> Do you remember me I guess. You treated me as a racist because my brother built a website about the general Custer. <<
I remember you and David. I don't believe I called you racist. I said your site was stereotypical because it claimed the Army massacred Indians only because Indians massacred settlers first. This is a misreading of US history.
>> Edward Wynkoop made an interview of chief Little Rock who acknowledged the murders and told that the warriors were from Black Kettle's tribe. <<
Unless these warriors belonged to Black Kettle's camp, and were in his camp at the time, this statement doesn't justify the massacre. Nor is there any reason to take Little Rock's claim as gospel. These vague allegations may have been reasons to investigate the "crimes," but they weren't reasons to launch a surprise attack.
>> On November 26 1868, at a night party,the sister of Black Kettle reacted and told his brother to move away from the responsibles of the Solomon and Saline River massacres. <<
What is this...guilt by association? Kill Black Kettle and his followers because they were near the Indian raiders? Needless to say, this is morally invalid. You don't kill people because they happen to know alleged criminals.
>> Custer wrote a report of 103 dead, but we all know this report was false and written in bad conditions. Cooke saw 75 bodies in the ravine. Ben Clarks said more than 100. Custer wrote on december "Indians admitted the death of 140 warriors". Today, we can think Indians lost about 140 warriors. 11 chiefs war dead is enormous, when we know that one war chief is commanding 10-15 warriors. <<
So Custer's count may have been low, not high. In other words, his offense may have been worse than people think.
>> Sorry for you, but that is the real battle of the washita. No flag of Black Kettle (you are confusing with Sand Creek) <<
I haven't confused anything. I didn't mention Washita in my initial response because I was reacting to your site in general. I mentioned it later to inform David what happened there, since he didn't seem to know. Custer was guilty of killing Indians at Washita—not Sand Creek—and I told him so.
What you've confused is why I criticized your site in the first place. Here it is again, straight from the original posting:
The problem with your Indian page isn't listing the Indian massacres. It's listing them without context. The context is that Indians were fighting for their lives, in self-defense, after invasions, assaults, and broken treaties—as well as massacres—instigated by whites, including Custer.
Nowhere is this apparent on your "Indian Offences" page. This page makes Custer look like a savior rather than a killer. Perhaps it'll appear in the next version, eh?
>> if they have been civilians losses, the soldiers received orders to save the civilians. <<
Did they? Cite and quote a source on that point, if you can.
The way to save "civilians" is not to launch a surprise attack on a sleeping camp. If you have people you consider enemies surrounded and at your mercy, you don't start shooting. You demand their surrender and give them a chance to do so.
>> It was not a massacre at all. The Black Kettle's camp was not peaceful at all. <<
How do you define "massacre"? Killing women and children definitely matches the definition. So does killing warriors in their sleep without giving them fair warning.
People thought it was a massacre at the time as well as afterward. This isn't just something Indians have invented to be "politically correct."
>> Why is the battle of the Washita so misunderstood today ? <<
I don't know. Because you keep spreading misinformation about it?
Whenever I write something about Washita, I give people the sources so they can check them themselves. See The "Official Website" of George A. Custer for examples. As I told that correspondent, "If you find any mistakes in these postings, let me know."
>> I just wanted to send you real informations. And to invite you not to believe in anything you can read in Dee Brown. <<
Why shouldn't I believe it? Do you have any proof that it's wrong?
I invite you not to believe anything in "The Battle of the Washita," by Stan Hoig, or whatever your source is. Brown's book is highly respected in historical circles. I haven't heard anyone claim it's mistaken.
Besides, Hoig called Washita a massacre also. See the accompanying postings for details.
Just the facts, ma'am?
>> That's is useless also to treat people of racists if they are just pointing the historical facts. <<
David didn't post any facts about why the Indians fought back against the settlers until I and others pressed him. The site was devoid of facts about what happened at Washita. That was my main criticism of him—that he refused to acknowledge that Custer was guilty of killing Indians.
I'll tell you again why I criticized the site:
The problem with your Indian page isn't listing the Indian massacres. It's listing them without context. The context is that Indians were fighting for their lives, in self-defense, after invasions, assaults, and broken treaties—as well as massacres—instigated by whites, including Custer.
>> You can check out. I invite you to do it. That's why the US government will never call the area "Massacre of the Washita" but "Battle of the Washita". <<
The US government may never call it a massacre, but that doesn't tell us much. Our government doesn't like to take positions on controversial subjects. It has to answer to non-Indians who deny the truth as well as Indians who demand the truth. Since the former outnumber the latter, agencies often obscure the facts to protect themselves and their funding.
In short, if they call the conflict a battle rather than a massacre, it's probably for political rather than historical reasons. It's not necessarily an accurate reflection of what actually happened.
>> I could ask you to delete the page about the Custer's website controversary. <<
You could ask, and I could refuse. My criticism was valid at the time, even if you later reworked the offending page or took it down. Since the stereotyping happened, my page will remain as a permanent record of how people continue to disparage Indians. If you correct the offensive pages, I'll note that as well.
>> As you can see, I'm looking for facts and I don't want to deny a genocide. But history is not a game. <<
You're the one who's playing games by glorifying Custer. Most historians have mixed or negative views of him, but you think he's a golden idol. You're as fawning and uncritical of him as his supporters were at the time.
David appears to be closer to the facts than you are. He eventually admitted that a massacre did occur at Washita. As he put it, "on 1868: The 7th of cavalry of Custer massacres 103 people, women and children on the river Washita."
Now you're contradicting him. So which is it? Did Custer lead a massacre or didn't he? Why don't you two get your stories straight and then get back to me?
If you're not denying genocide, you sure seem to be denying that Custer did anything wrong. How about his unprovoked attack against the Indians at Little Big Horn? Do you see anything wrong with that?
>> That the reason too this website about the General Custer was built. Because a majority of what is is said about Custer is false. <<
I haven't written much about Custer, but everything I write about him comes from well-documented sources.
>> Even the Indians admired him. Why aren't you wondering why they admired a man if they thought he massacred an Indians camp ? <<
That Indians admired Custer is another claim without documentation. Where does this come from?
I believe I know what most Indians thought and think about Custer. From what I've seen and heard, they consider him almost as bad as Andrew Jackson.
At the time, Indians may have admired Custer for being a fierce and uncompromising warrior. People often admire or respect their enemies. That doesn't mean they liked him. And much of the admiration may have come before Washita.
>> Battle of the Washita, NPS archives (you can read them on the web) <<
I've read the NPS's official account of the battle. I suggest you read it. It's online at
The Story of the Battle of the Washita
There's nothing here about Black Kettle doing anything wrong. Nothing here that would justify an attack on a peaceful camp before dawn. About the only thing it says regarding guilt or innocence is:
On the Southern Plains, the work of the Commission culminated in the Medicine Lodge Treaty of October 1867. Under treaty terms the Arapahos, Cheyennes, Comanches, Kiowas, and Plains Apaches were assigned to reservations in the Indian Territory. There they were supposed to receive permanent homes, farms, agricultural implements, and annuities of food, blankets, and clothing. The treaty was doomed to failure. Many tribal officials refused to sign. Some who did sign had no authority to compel their people to comply with such an agreement. War parties, mostly young men violently opposed to reservation life, continued to raid white settlements in Kansas.
So some tribal officials didn't sign and weren't bound by the treaties. Others didn't have the authority to compel their people to comply with the treaties. And as we know, the US government never fulfilled the terms of the treaty. The US violations of the treaty gave the Indians the right to violate it also.
If some troublemakers—i.e., people who never agreed to give up their ancestral land—were in Black Kettle's camp, Custer had no right to kill them. The proper procedure would've been to arrest those people and put them on trial. The proper procedure was not to kill everyone who defended themselves against a surprise attack.
As for the so-called "NPS archives," give me a URL for something you want me to read and I'll read it. A quick Google search suggests there's no such thing as an "NPS archive" online.
The facts for Washita deniers
Here are the facts you want, straight from the source documents. First, Wynkoop wrote that Black Kettle was innocent and Custer's attack was "wrong and disgraceful":
The Battle Of The Washita
An Indian Agent's View
The following is Major Wynkoop's letter in its entirety:
Philadelphia, January 26, 1869.
Sir: In reply to your request to be furnished with all the information I have received relative to the battle of the Washita, I have the honor to state that all the information I have in regard to that affair has been gleaned from the public reports of the same, and in two letters I have received from Mr. James S. Morrison, who was formerly in the employ of my agency; one of his letters I herewith enclose, the other is in possession of Colonel L. T. Tappan, of the Indian peace commission.
I am perfectly satisfied, however, that the position of Black Kettle and his immediate relations at the time of the attack upon their village was not a hostile one. I know that Black Kettle had proceeded to the point at which he was killed with the understanding that it was the locality where all those Indians who were friendly disposed should assemble; I know that such information has been conveyed to Black Kettle as the orders of the military authorities, and that he was also instructed that Fort Cobb was the point that the friendly Indians would receive subsistence at; and it is admitted by General Hazen, who is stationed at Fort Cobb, that Black Kettle had been to his headquarters a few days previous to his death. In regard to the charge that Black Kettle engaged in the depredations committed on the Saline river during the summer of 1868, I know the same to be utterly false, as Black Kettle at the time was camped near my agency on the Pawnee Fork. The said depredations were undoubtedly committed by a party of Cheyenne Indians, but that same party proceeded with the Sioux Indians north from that point, and up to the time of Black Kettle's death had not returned to the Arkansas River. They have been Indians deserving of punishment, but unfortunately, they have not been those who received it at the hands of the troops at the battle of the Washita. Black Kettle's village at the time of the attack upon it was situated upwards of 150 miles from any travelled road, in the heart of the Indian country. The military reports state that the ground was covered with snow and the weather intensely cold. It is well known that the major portion of the village consisted of women and children, and yet the military reports are that they were engaged in hostilities, and excuse the attack for the reason that evidence was found in the camp that the said Indians were engaged in hostilities. How did they know that those evidences existed previous to the attack? Mr. Morrison states that there were 40 women and children killed. That fact needs no comment; it speaks for itself. I do not know whether the government desires to look at this office in a humane light or not, and if it desires to know whether it was right or wrong to attack the village referred to, I must emphatically pronounce it wrong and disgraceful.
With much respect, your obedient servant,
Late United States Indian Agent
Let me repeat the key quotes here:
I am perfectly satisfied, however, that the position of Black Kettle and his immediate relations at the time of the attack upon their village was not a hostile one.
In regard to the charge that Black Kettle engaged in the depredations committed on the Saline river during the summer of 1868, I know the same to be utterly false, as Black Kettle at the time was camped near my agency on the Pawnee Fork.
I do not know whether the government desires to look at this office in a humane light or not, and if it desires to know whether it was right or wrong to attack the village referred to, I must emphatically pronounce it wrong and disgraceful.
Even the military believed Custer was wrong to attack Black Kettle's camp:
More Of Custar And Black Kettle.
Conversation with the military men now in Chicago—we mean those in active service—goes far toward proving that the late attack upon Black Kettle by Custar was nothing but an unwarranted massacre, pure and simple. In an exchange of views with an officer on General Grant's staff, on Monday evening, the writer was enlightened, in substance, as follows: "There is a strong feeling among military men, at Washington, that Custar has made a serious mistake; and that his attack is simply a repetition of the Chivington affair. Colonel Wynkoop is a man who is thoroughly reliable, and his assertion of the pacific character of Black Kettle and his band can be relied on. His statement in this respect, is indorsed by General Palmer, who is thoroughly familiar with matters on the plains. I think that Gen. Custar was, in a measure, forced into making the attack. After marching the long distance that he did, his men probably, demanded and would have blood."
This opinion is undoubtedly that of General Grant, and it most assuredly is that of General Sherman, whose quick, clear brain readily distinguishes between right and wrong.—Chicago Times.
Unknown, "More of Custar and Black Kettle," The Daily Kansas State Journal, Lawrence, Kansas, Thursday Morning, 23 December 1868, Vol. IV, No. 135, p. 1, col. 2.
Hoig, whom you cited as your source, called Washita a massacre. So did many sources at the time:
Genocide on the Great Plains
With the background of the battle delineated, I will attempt to answer whether the Washita attack was a battle or a massacre. I will first review what historians have concluded about the attack on Black Kettle's village.
One of the most balanced analysis of the attack and the events surrounding it is Stan Hoig's The Battle of the Washita: the Sheridan-Custer Indian campaign of 1867-79. Several references have already been made to it. He recounted that Generals Sherman and Sheridan formulated the idea of a winter campaign as a strategy of attacking the hostile Indians while they were off guard. A winter campaign, he reasoned, had the element of surprise. Moreover, the weather prohibited the Indians from raiding and from easily fleeing escape. Winter also reduced the strength of the Indians' horses, which relied on grass, as opposed to military horses, which could be fed grain. Grain had the advantage of being portable and could be transported by the military.
Hoig described the establishment of Camp Supply and the recruitment of Osage scouts for the purpose of following the trails of hostile war parties, stating that the intent was to find a trail in that region made by a war party, to follow the trail to the hostile village and to attack that village.
Hoig stated in his introduction that the battle was, in actuality, a massacre. That the event was a massacre "is hardly deniable by any accepted use of the word 'massacre,'" he noted, defining massacre as an attack that "utilized the element of complete surprise against a people who did not consider themselves to be at war and in which troops, who had orders to kill anyone and everyone before them, made no attempt to allow surrender." Hoig said that despite this observation, the incident had come down through history as the "Battle of the Washita" and that he would use this term in his title "in deference to long-standing use." (p. xiii)
When news of the attack reached the East, numerous sources decried it as a massacre. According to Hutton, Superintendent of Indian Affairs Thomas Murphy said that "innocent parties have been made to suffer for the crimes of others." Samuel F. Tappan, a member of the peace commission, demanded an end to the present war policy against the Plains Indians. William Griffenstein, a Fort Cobb Indian trader, told Custer he had attacked friendly Indians on the Washita, resulting in Sheridan ordering him out of Indian Territory, threatening to hang him if he returned. James S. Morrison, a scout, wrote Wynkoop that twice as many women and children as warriors had been killed. The New York Times published a letter describing Custer as taking "sadistic pleasure in slaughtering the Indian ponies and dogs" and alluded to killing innocent women and children. (p. 96)
Hoig stated in his introduction that the battle was, in actuality, a massacre. That the event was a massacre "is hardly deniable by any accepted use of the word 'massacre,'" he noted.
Any questions? Thanks for playing, Xavier. Better luck next time.
The debate continues (8/31/05)....
>> Because I'm not a man to give up I have some more infos for you. My brother does not call the Washita a massacre on his website, if you look at it and if you know French to check out. www.custer.tk <<
I don't speak or read French. One of the problems with David's site was that he didn't call attacks like Washita "massacres." The problem was that he should have called them massacres because they were massacres.
>> Sources which say Washita was not a massacre. Consider that all are the most respected historians of the American West, much more than Stan Hoig has ever been.... Consider also their studies are modern, when Hoig's one is 30 years old... <<
You're the one who cited Hoig, not me. Now that I've demolished your citation of him, you say he's outdated? Why did you bring him up in the first place if you didn't think he was reliable?
>> Historian Jerome Greene found the majority of the civilians losses were made by Osages scouts, who killed Black Kettle and his wife, and many squaws (GREENE, Jerome A., Washita 1868: The Army and the Southern Cheyennes, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2004, pp.190-191). Greene found civilians losses were less than 20. <<
I'm not sure what you mean by "civilian losses." Unless Congress declared war against an Indian tribe with a formal resolution, every Indian not in the US Army was a civilian.
Is Greene saying the Osage scouts, rather than Custer's troops, killed most of the Indians at Washita? If so, the scouts were still working for Custer, weren't they? Who pulled the triggers doesn't matter so much as who gave the orders.
According to someone at the poll you linked to, "Greene gives a coherent answer: massacre is when people in arms kill civilians, especially women and children." That's his definition, not the dictionary one. The standard definition of "massacre" is:
mas·sa·cre Audio pronunciation of "massacre" ( P ) Pronunciation Key (ms-kr) n.
1. The act or an instance of killing a large number of humans indiscriminately and cruelly.
Note that it says nothing about killing women and children rather than men. And nothing about killing unarmed "civilians" rather than armed warriors. The only factors that matter are how many were killed and how they were killed.
So Greene states that Washita wasn't a massacre only because he used a made-up definition of "massacre," not the real one. Now that I've told you what the real definition is, perhaps you'll understand why I'm right and you and Greene are wrong.
>> The best historian of the american west, M. Robert Utley, stated most of the civilians losses were unvoluntar (UTLEY, Robert. M, Custer, Cavalier in buckskin, Norman, University of Oklahoma Press, 2001, pp.74-75). <<
Yes, most of the Indians killed at Washita didn't volunteer to be killed. I don't know what your point is here.
And I don't concede that Utley was the "best historian of the American West." You need to justify such a claim before I'll take it seriously.
>> Historian Paul Hutton, that you have quoted, wrote that Washita was not a massacre, but a battle, and Indians were not peaceful at all. (HUTTON, Paul A., The Custer reader, Lincoln, University of Nebraska Press, 1992, p.102) <<
I quoted someone who quoted Hutton. As that person wrote, "According to Hutton, Superintendent of Indian Affairs Thomas Murphy said that 'innocent parties have been made to suffer for the crimes of others.'"
Not a massacre? Even though innocent parties suffered for the crimes of others? Okay, if that's Hutton's opinion. This opinion is 13 years old, so it's hardly recent. And a book titled The Custer Reader is likely to be pro-Custer (just like your site), hence biased (just like your site).
Are you sure you didn't mean someone in Hutton's Custer Reader? Because Hutton was the editor of the book, not the writer. If you're sticking with your claim, quote what Hutton said. I don't have the book and I don't trust your interpretation of his words.
I quoted people who were at Washita at the time or who investigated it soon thereafter. They said Custer's actions were unnecessary, a crime, and a massacre. Until you can refute those claims, I wouldn't waste much time with the opinions of historians 125 years after the fact.
>> I also invite you to take the point of view of the Little Bighorn Associates, an association of specialists of the battle of the Washita, Little Bighorn, Custer and the Indians Wars. <<
Little Bighorn Associates don't necessarily know anything about Washita, which happened at a different time and place. Besides, many historical associations have a pro-Western, anti-Indian bias.
Do you know anything about examining sources critically? If so, I haven't seen a sign of it. You believe anything a pro-Custer supporter says and nothing anyone else says.
>> Here is a poll about the question "Was Washita a massacre or not" : http://lbha.proboards12.com/index.cgi?board=Queries&action=display&thread=1113579658&page=1 <<
Do you know anything about polling, especially online polling? This poll gives us an opinion, not a fact or the "truth." In addition, all online polls are biased toward the conservative position. And a third of the mainly conservative respondents said Washita was a massacre anyway.
>> I don't know if you are really interested in seeking the truth, but you have now the infos to do.... <<
I've demolished your version of the "truth" and given you a better one. You haven't made a single claim that I haven't been able to destroy. Keep trying, son, but you're losing this debate badly.
The debate continues (8/1/06)....
I'm finally getting to your old messages, so....
>> Stan Hoing is old right now <<
Hoig was younger when he called Washita a massacre. You're the one who brought him up, and he supported my case, not yours.
>> the best analysis written ( and accepted by the National Park Service) is Jerome Greene's "Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869 Oklahoma Press". Conclusion of the main historian at the Washita Battlefield in this book published in 2004 : the Washita cannot be called a massacre <<
I already disputed Greene's flawed definition of "massacre." I don't care who he is. If he doesn't understand the dictionary definition, he's unqualified to express an opinion on the subject.
>> Plenty of testimonies of Indians and soldiers indicate that it was not a massacre. And Greene wrote that "soldiers and Indians had almost the same view of the battle". <<
Naturally the soldiers weren't going to say it was a massacre. But if there's that much testimony from Indians, quote some of it. I'm seeing a lot of your opinions but little hard evidence.
>> Only the present Cheyennes are speaking of massacre, testimonies gathered from survivors (Julia Face, Hagone, White Pretty Buffalo, Ma-Wi-Sah...). <<
Huh? What are you talking about? I quoted the sources that listed some of the people who thought it was a massacre at the time. Wynkoop collected information from witnesses and was an Indian agent who was considered reliable at the time. General Palmer endorsed Wynkoop's view at the time. There was "a strong feeling among military men, at Washington, that Custar has made a serious mistake" at the time. (That's military men, plural.) The Daily Kansas State Journal endorsed the massacre claims at the time. Hoig wrote that "when news of the attack reached the East, numerous sources decried it as a massacre" at the time. And Hoig himself called Washita a massacre.
I've never heard of the Cheyennes you listed. I haven't cited a single present-day Cheyenne who has called Washita a massacre. Again, numerous non-Indian sources called Washita a massacre at the time, soon after it happened. Sadly, you can't seem to grasp this basic point.
>> I don't have the time to write all the references right now but I invite you to read Greene. <<
If Greene is your new best source, not Hoig, I invite you to quote Greene's book. Type in a few key passages so I can see his exact words, not your interpretation of them. With your imprecise English, I'm not sure you're conveying his thoughts accurately.
>> Many points are clear : Black Kettle was not peaceful at all <<
That's not what this review of Greene's book says:
Custer, Black Kettle, and the Washita
And were Black Kettle and his villagers linked to recent depredations elsewhere? Sheridan certainly believed so, his annual report listing a series of items found in Indian camps that winter. Others noted the discovery of the bodies of a slain white woman, Clara Blinn, and her two-year old son, Willie, found downstream from Black Kettle's village. Greene, however, suggests an alternate explanation. The evidence referred to in Sheridan's report, along with the bodies of the Blinn family, had probably come from one of several Indian villages located nearby. Probably only a "few" of Black Kettle's people had been involved in that year's raids, Greene concludes; moreover, "the incidents reflected instilled behavioral tenets of Cheyenne society that were beyond Black Kettle's—much less anybody else's—power to modify and thus prevent" (p. 186).
>> The Washita attack was justified. Black Kettle went to Fort Cobb not to ask for peace but to have the winter calm. Ask for peace means to give prooves of our good fatih, to release hostages and to give promises for peace. He did nothing of that. <<
I suspect Black Kettle was negotiating for mutual peace, not offering a one-sided guarantee that his people would keep the peace by themselves. In negotiations, you don't give away all your bargaining chips in advance. If you hold hostages but sincerely want peace, for instance, you may decline to release them until you're sure the other side wants peace also.
In other words, you do not have to take steps to prove your intentions until the other side does too. Your definition of "asking for peace" is as flawed as your definition of "massacre."
>> In fact, the main event of the hatred of Custer is too much unknown. Custer has never been against Indians or really hated by them. <<
This is another of your unsubstantiated opinions. More to the point, I've read of Indians who said they dislike Custer and I know Indians who dislike Custer, so you're flatly wrong about that. Go to any powwow in the United States and you can probably find an Indian vendor selling anti-Custer t-shirts.
>> He is not a part of the genocide nor a cruelty leader. He was a soldier who did his job. <<
A job that involved killing innocent Indians, you mean. As the Nuremberg trials demonstrated, "just doing your job" is no excuse for committing crimes against humanity.
For leading the massacre at Washita and for opening the Black Hills to exploitation and theft, Custer certainly was part of the genocide. Not the biggest part, perhaps, but not the smallest part either.
>> His dawn attack at the Washita was perfectly justified and occured in stopping the Indians raids outside the reservation, in Kansas, Texas and Colorado, which had made 350 white deads. <<
You and Greene are still missing the point—perhaps because you don't get the definition of "massacre." It doesn't matter whether Black Kettle was a hostile leader or not, although your opinion that he was hostile isn't worth much. Custer attacked a village of "enemies" at dawn without giving them a chance to surrender. He slaughtered men, women, and children who couldn't fight back because they were asleep. If you shoot people who aren't attacking you, I don't care whether they're Muslim terrorists or Indian warriors. You're not battling them, you're massacring them.
At some point, the massacre may have turned into a battle, as Black Kettle's people grabbed their weapons and started firing back. But the number of dead women and children proves that Washita wasn't just a battle between two armed forces. When armed soldiers "battle" unarmed Indians, most people would call it a massacre.
To reiterate, Black Kettle's camp included innocent women and children who weren't fighting—who were merely trying to survive. Since Custer and his men killed them rather than letting them live, their deaths constitute a massacre.
>> The Washita Battlefield made several extensive researchs and never concluded it was a massacre. The name of the area now indicates those researchs. <<
I already explained how our right-learning government isn't going to rile up conservatives who still think Custer is a hero. There's no advantage for a park superintendent to buck the system and tell the truth. So it's not surprising that the National Park Service has kept the name it established long ago. Changing it would generate a firestorm of controversy that no bureaucrat would want.
>> Maybe now you can understand why I think Custer's reputation is not the one he deserves. At all. <<
I understand that you apparently don't understand what a massacre is. Hence your confusion on the subject.
>> And maybe you can understand why so many Indians had admiraton about Custer, including Cheyennes and Crows. <<
This is another unsubstantiated opinion, not a fact. I've never heard a single Indian praise Custer. Find me one who admires him and then you can talk. Until then, I'll conclude you don't know what you're talking about.
>> If you hope to give a false picture of Custer, just give up now. <<
Why would I give up when I'm destroying your arguments so thoroughly?
>> The more you are telling he was the evil, the more people will be interested in him, and the more they will discover what he was in reality. <<
I'm giving people a true picture of Custer. I never denied he was a Civil War hero, for instance, or that people admired him at the time.
You and your site are the only ones giving people a false picture of Custer. You worship him like a god and can barely admit his crimes against Indians.
>> The real Indians are more fascinating, they have defaults and qualities, were sometimes guilty sometimes innocents, they were humans ! <<
Wow, you just figured that out? I've been telling my correspondents and readers that for 15-plus years. In case you haven't heard, I'm a leading demolisher of Indian stereotypes, both positive and negative.
>> So was Custer, and the history has already proven he was. <<
I already know Custer was human. That's what I told you and your brother when I criticized your website. As you may recall, you said Custer was only responding to Indian "mutilations," implying he had done nothing wrong. Your position was mistaken because Custer attacked Indians without provocation, especially at Washita and Little Big Horn.
>> Here are the comments of others readers <<
They're telling you your brother needs to learn how to spell and use a dictionary. I agree with them. <g>
Having lost the debate on its merits, Cornut and his brother tried to censor me. Read all about it here:
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