Post by Diane Merkel on Dec 17, 2006 11:45:45 GMT -5
The museum in Dyche Hall is named after Lewis Lindsay Dyche, an explorer, naturalist and game warden who traveled the world collecting specimens of mammals, reptiles and insects.
During the late 19th century, Dyche, who was a professor at KU, gained national attention for his skills as a taxidermist.
He was so well known that in 1891 the U.S. Army asked him to preserve the remains of one of its icons, the cavalry horse Comanche. The horse was the lone 7th Cavalry survivor on the Little Bighorn Battlefield.
But Dyche gained international attention during the 1893 World's Columbian Exposition in Chicago, where he set up a massive display of stuffed animals, including Comanche. It took seven railroad cars to ship the display back to Kansas.
Post by TopKick1833 on Dec 18, 2006 6:09:51 GMT -5
Thanks for the post Diane. I visited the museum back in March right after restoration on Comanche was completed. The staff was extremely nice. I arrived like 2 minutes before the museum closed and they still allowed me in so I could view the display with no real push to get me out before I was ready to leave.
I believe there was something like 30 horse that survived the battle. I think there was some 15 or so recovered from American Horse's camp alone and quite a few ended up in Canada. Several were supposedly confiscated by the Canadien Royal Mounted Police from the Sioux who had fled to the Queensland. One was renamed 'Custer.' And according to some accounts a dog was seen slinking about after the battle. Perhaps looking for its master. Comanche became the sole survivor thanks to the newspapers of the day. You are correct though...quite a few were left wounded on the field and put down.
Post by harpskiddie on Dec 19, 2006 0:13:25 GMT -5
Thanks for your info about Canada. I did know that many cavalry mounts were taken by the warriors, and I've heard stories about one or more dogs both on the battlefield and on the village site. If memory serves, which it sometimes does, Benteen got an Indian pony, which he sent along for his son. I think it's mentioned in one of his letters to his wife.
The RCMP was then the Northwest Mounted. There is a book listed on Ebay which is the story of one of the Lakota bands which remained in Canada and never surrendered to U.S. authorities. The author states that this band has a reserve about 20 miles from the U.S. border on the Canadian side. I intend to pick up a copy in a month or two. He also says that they were allowed to 'roam' until sometime in the 1920s.
I believe Godfrey got an Indian pony as well -- he found it tethered, with grass stuffed in its mouth to keep it quiet, and it was so grateful to be rescued that it showed none of the usual fear of white men. If I remember correctly, he said it turned out to be the best buffalo pony he'd ever had.
The dog stories are extremely confusing. Burkman and Two Moons mention a small yellow bulldog, which Burkman says belonged to Co. I; Creighton talks about a bulldog (presumably red) named Red; Kennedy and others told Camp that a black-and-white bulldog named Joe Bush -- also belonging to Co. I -- was taken by the Indians and recovered by the army some time later. So either people's memories are inaccurate, or Co. I went into battle with an entire pack of bulldogs tagging along! A bizarre picture to contemplate. Even more intriguingly, Charging Hawk (who was a little boy at the time of the battle) told Camp that he "had often heard how, after the fight on Custer Ridge, one of the cavalry dogs was seen with a note tied to its neck, going back on the trail". He said the Indians shot at it, but the dog escaped. What we'd give to know what that note said ...
Haven't they done a great restoration job on Comanche? So much personality there.
Gordie, what's the name of that book? I've been reading up on that subject lately.
I think it's very interesting to be able to see the actual type of horse from the period. Without taxidermy, it wouldn't be possible. It's so much better than a photograph. Does anyone know Commanche's height?
"If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went."....Will Rogers
Post by harpskiddie on Jan 14, 2007 14:15:03 GMT -5
I think it's title is They Never Surrendered. The author always has a copy for sale on EBay, and I think that is probably the only way you buy one. The Title is not shown on the listing which is on the Custer offerings, it says something like Indians, Custer, Northwest Mounted....
Last Edit: Jan 14, 2007 20:22:10 GMT -5 by harpskiddie
Post by harpskiddie on Jan 14, 2007 14:27:11 GMT -5
It's currently listed, with bid of !9.99 [it's usually cheaper that that] and it's shown on the listings as CUSTER LAKOTA TETON DAKOTA SIOUX INDIAN WARS NWMP RCMP. The author is Ron Papandrea.
The Sioux Rez is located at Wood Mountain, Saskatchewan. As far as I know [and I am no expert] it may well be the only Sioux reservation in Canada. I am tentatively planning a trip there next year. I figure there has got to be a lot of interesting things to learn, especially oral histories [if I can cajole them out of the residents].
I haven't sprung for the book yet, but plan to do so shortly. Let's not bid against one another. I'll let you know via PM when I'm going after it, and you could do likewise.