Saturday, June 10, 2006

The Great Plains

An interesting story of a man that loved his sighthounds.
Not sure how true this is as I am sure that a good portion
of this has been embellished for the sake of making a good story.

The Great Plains or General Custer getting in trouble with his Staghounds

By Mary Trotter Kion

What Not to do While Riding Your Horse Alone at Top Speed Beside a Raging Buffalo.

After all this Fairy tale and Lie swapping you can see the kind of stress our boy Custer had been under. He is certainly now a candidate for some rest and relaxation as his cavalry cavorts across the plains. Though such wasn't=t in the Plan of the Day it did present itself when Custer spies a lone buffalo out among the sagebrush. And though Custer had never seen one of these huge shaggy beast before he was surly an expert on them.

When our fearless leader spied the bison he had already sprinted his horse across the plains in pursuit of some antelope. With him is only his chief bugler and George's pack of English Greyhounds. Of course these Custer canines set up a long chase of the fleeing antelope, with Custer and the horn blower quickly bringing up the rear.

After running a few miles, which left the bugler's horse played out our bugle boy drops out of the race, leaving the general alone on the vast plains with only his horse and dogs and the pistol he has cocked and ready in his grasp. This is when Custer spies the buffalo.

Understandably, when George sees this lord of the plains he forgets all about hostile Indians that might be lurking around. He forgets about his command that is now several miles to the rear, out of sight and out of shouting distance. This perfect military machine forgets all, except the buffalo he and his faithful dogs are attempting to sneak up on.

That buffalo must have been smarter than it looked or its sense of smell was offended because as soon as it detected the intruders it took off faster than a bullet sliding through butter.

Now Custer wasn't going to let this prize slip between his fingers, including the one on the trigger of his loaded pistol. So off he dashed on his trusty horse with his slavering hounds keeping pace.

Mile after mile hoofs and paws pound the prairie until Custer's horse and the buffalo are running neck and neck. They go so far and run so fast that eventually the Greyhounds call it quits.

The hot prairie sun is beaming down. Dust and sand is flying. And still they rush onward. Custer is now so close to the buffalo that at any time he could reach out his gun and plugged that beast but he is too caught up in the excitement and desires to prolong the episode. But, at last, the buffalo begins to falter. Of course, Custer=s horse is still going at top speed, never giving an inch.

At last old Mr. Buffalo must have figured out that he was a goner if he didn=t do something quick. In defense, he wheels around with the supposed intention of inflicting a serious big horn puncture wound on Custer's horse.

The action was so sudden and startling that Custer felt the need to grasp the horse=s reins with both hands in spite of the fact he still had the loaded and cocked pistol in one of them. But never the less he clamps a tight‑fisted grasp on the reins, no doubt forgetting his finger is on the trigger of his pistol.

When the gun fired it was probably the loudest sound that horse had ever heard. It was definitely the last sound the horse ever heard.

General George Armstrong Custer had sunk a bullet into the brain of his horse while riding it at top speed across the empty hostile plains while an enraged buffalo was calculating an epitaph for man and mount alike.

Custers crumpling horse put a whole new definition on the expression "Dead in its tracks". At the same time Custer demonstrated his gymnastic ability by catapulting him self into the air. It was such an unexpected performance that it must have startled the buffalo, or disgusted him, that he turned and trotted off into the sunset. Well, if it had been a Hollywood movie there would have been a sunset, except in this instance no one kissed the horse.

History indicates that George Custer was eventually reunited with his regiment and continued to make equally superior military decisions.

To read more about General George Custer and the 7th Cavalry on the Internet, please see:

General George Armstrong Custer Net at: this site includes links to General Custer, battlefield photos including Gettysburg and Little Big Horn.

Elizabeth Bacon Custer here is the complete text to ABoots and Saddles.@ This is the memoir Mrs. Custer wrote about her life with the general.

The major sources for this 2‑part article are:

Custer, George Armstrong. My Life on the Plains, published by Leisure Books, New York, N.Y.

Deloria, Vine. Custer Died For Your Sins, published by Avon Books of New York, NY 1970.

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