Post by harpskiddie on Jun 20, 2007 18:25:30 GMT -5
Maybe the BPC can swing it.
There have been benefits to the private ownership. Over the years a lot of research has been done on the private lands, notably with metal detectors, that never would have been permitted [officially] on the monument lands, and a lot of [especially] warrior positions have been discovered in those researches. So were some of the stone cairns mentioned on other threads.
The first time I explored the battlefield and environs, I was allowed pretty much free access to the private property, so long as I was escorted by people known to the owners [some small friendly gestures were made, not involving money]. Park personnel were few in number and didn't seem to worry too much about where I went, as long as I was aware of the potential dangers, and was respectful.
Even then, almost 50 years ago now, there was a decided lack of knowledge among the employees, although there were always a few who knew what they were talking about. Things at the battlefield seemed to change 20 odd years ago.
Gordie, but the wine and the songs, like the seasons, are all gone..........................................
We all need to remember that the NA markers are but a work in progress and as the battlefield and the locations of various other markers (Hodgson's comes to mind) have been subject to changes, due to re-thought theory and newer research, so go the Indian markers. Patience.
Could someone please tell me how on earth parts of the LBH Battlefield became a part or parcel of privately owned property?? How can there possibly be a cohesive explanation of who fell here, and who fell there, if they can't even keep the battlefield property together? Did our illustrious government not acquire the entire battlefield? What am I saying? They couldn't even properly bury the poor souls who died there!
The area of the Timber fight is owned by the Battlefield Preservation Committee. There would be no problem at all in locating the markers there. It seems to me that the Park Service seems to be worried about the security of the markers....
And no, there is no longer any real dispute about the location of the timber fight. Jason Pitch did a great job in locating the site beyond any doubt. He established the skirmish line position, which is marked off on the map in the latest edition to the LBHA Research Review.
Of course, the exact spot in the timber where Bloody Knife was shot remains in question, however, as much of the timber has been cut and cleared away, leaving an open field. However, there is one very large and old tree still standing in the middle of that field. This tree would definitely have been standing there at the time of the battle, and it remains a mystery why it alone was spared the axe. Perhaps that tree marked the death of Bloody Knife. Short of any other evidence, its where I would personally favor placing his marker.
Last Edit: Jun 21, 2007 20:19:45 GMT -5 by mwkeogh
This reminds me, were you folks aware that MTC, the Real Birds' property, is for sale? I don't know the asking price. I understand there are several historical grounds for sale here and there.
Back in 2001 they were asking for a ridiculously high price of 2 million dollars for this land. At least this is what they told me when I asked them. If true, it would explain why the NPC ignored their generous terms and instead focused their efforts to purchase the land around Sitting Bull's village and the Reno battlefield instead.
Last Edit: Jun 20, 2007 23:32:17 GMT -5 by mwkeogh
The Park Service moves like an extremely old glacier going through a maze. The post on the Friends' website explains some of the suggestions that have been made, notably by John Doerner, about appropriate interpretation to explain the situation to the public. Who knows how many NPS people are going to have to discuss and dissect all this before anything can be done. Also, take a good look at the picture of Benny Hodgson's marker. www.friendslittlebighorn.com/arikaramarkers.htm --
The problem of the interpreters not being as well-informed as they should be is another signature NPS problem. The Park Service thinks that people are like nuts and bolts, that you can just stick them in anywhere, give them a couple of weeks of training, and then turn them loose on the public. Generally speaking, the parks are not free to hire people they want, but have to take the ones with the most points, seniority, or whatever. Knowing the job often has very little to do with it. At SF Maritime, people who are experienced tall ship sailors and who have volunteered at the park for years have been turned down for jobs in favor of people who have worked previously at places the the Grand Canyon, Denali, and Redwoods, some of whom have never seen a ship before. They are good, dedicated people, but they have a very short time to learn the job, and in the Park Service, it is normal for people to move from park to park very frequently. At LBH, they have very few permanent staff, and a great host of seasonals. I understand that some of the seasonals, like Mike Donahue, if I'm not mistaken, have been around for years and are major experts, but there also have to be a lot of new folks every year.
Just remember, folks, you're talking about the government here. Nothing is ever done the way you or I might do it.
I have some questions that perhaps someone can answer. Is the Realbird property part of the Crow Reservation? How is land owned on a reservation? Does it belong to everyone or is it divided up for individual ownership? Can non-tribal people purchase reservation land? I trust you will forgive my ignornance in this subject, but living in the East, I've never visited a Reservation. Thanks, Larry
Post by Diane Merkel on Jun 21, 2007 0:42:36 GMT -5
Larry, you don't need to apologize for any question. That's why we're here. I'll take a stab at the answer, but I could be very wrong. The owner of the land is a member of the Crow tribe. Tribal members can own land within the reservation.
Melani and Dude, thanks for the link. I see that the page was revised Wednesday and is directed at us:
Doerner is also placing a sign at the current location of the scout markers. It reads:
Please note: The placement of these markers is temporary until permission from private landowners is obtained. Bloody Knife and Little Brave were killed on the west side of the Little Bighorn River. Sgt. Bobtail Bull and Little Whirlwind were killed on this side of the river near Reno's retreat crossing.
It is a sad day when one reads some of the ranting posts people are writing in various message boards criticizing what they term outrageous NPS behavior for placing the scout markers on the Reno-Benteen Battlefield instead of along the river valley. There was no attempt to find the truth before passing such judgments. These are the first soldier markers in over a decade. Forum postings of such knee-jerk reactions is as damaging to the markers as bullets fired at them.
John Doerner is a good guy, and I have no complaint against him. I just wish the proposed sign had been placed at the same time as the markers, especially when it is well known that the old markers are extremely problematic. Why add to the confusion? Did it ever occur to anyone that Benny's marker may have been shot by Crows? I think it much less likely they would shoot Arikara markers, so I'm not buying that excuse.
After the Friday night event last year, I am the self-elected President of the John Doerner Fan Club!
And I think it is probable that it was Crows who shot at the markers. In any case, I believe that any jerk who would do a thing like that in the first place probably wouldn't be too picky about whose marker got used for target practice.
Post by BrokenSword on Jun 21, 2007 10:41:03 GMT -5
I should have taken the time to throw in my valueless two cents worth on this before now.
I would doubt that the NPS was trying to be misleading or careless with the most recent markers it has placed. Admittedly, the tardy placement of the explanation marker and the somewhat random placement of the three marble stones caused confusion among the Little Bighorn literate as well as disgust among the history purists. But the thought, effort and expense gone to on behalf of yet three more battle participants must be appreciated by all of us.
Perhaps the haste involved in getting the markers on display BEFORE this coming week's ceremonies was a part of the rather minor misstep. Different suppliers and their schedules for delivery and installation might well account for the slightly uncoordinated completion of the entire display? Just a thought.
Maybe it just goes to prove what I have known for many years now. ‘No good deed goes unpunished.’
The only thing harder than being a soldier at war is being married to one.
One of the most important reasons for studying history is that virtually every stupid idea that is in vogue today has been tried before and proved disastrous before, time and again.
Post by Diane Merkel on Jun 21, 2007 11:43:53 GMT -5
According to the web page linked above:
The white marble markers are being supplied by the Veterans Administration and are the same Civil War style that were first placed on the battlefield in 1890 by the U.S. Army to denote and preserve 7th Cavalry casualty sites.
The NPS should be given credit for requesting the markers, but it doesn't sound as if the expense came from their budget.
They have always been in a no-win situation. No matter what they do, some group criticizes them, and I am sympathetic to their situation. I usually stay out of such arguments and am privately supportive of their efforts (yes -- gasp! -- even the decision to expand the current visitors center). This is a bit different in that the markers distort the public's perception, and I don't consider that minor when it could be easily avoided. I wouldn't be surprised if first-timers were confused about which side of the battle the men were fighting for, the US or the Indian way of life. The site needs an explanatory sign pronto!
No one should take any of this too much to heart. These boards provide a place to exchange information and opinions, and that's all we are doing. I would not have known how the markers were placed were it not for Bubba and the Dude.
Bob Reece, I guess at the behest of John Doerner stated on the Friends site: "It is a sad day when one reads some of the ranting posts people are writing in various message boards criticizing what they term outrageous NPS behavior for placing the scout markers on the Reno-Benteen Battlefield instead of along the river valley. There was no attempt to find the truth before passing such judgments. These are the first soldier markers in over a decade. Forum postings of such knee-jerk reactions is as damaging to the markers as bullets fired at them."
It seems that I am the person with the knee-jerking reactions, and I am the one doing as much damage to the markers as the bullets fired at them. Are Doerner and Reece sure they'd have rather me firing a .22 at the signs than simply questioning why, suddenly, Bloody Knife "Fell Here" on Reno Hill? As someone stated earlier today, the sign that is said will be erected explaining where these three fell should have been put up before or at the same time as the three markers. I think the explanation given on the Friends site is less than genuine. Are not the markers for Mc Intosh, Dorman and Reynolds still in place and undamaged? If anyone is going to put up markers that are knowingly inaccurate, at least explain for those touring the field why they are where they are and that would clear it up.
Post by harpskiddie on Jun 21, 2007 12:40:14 GMT -5
Did the idea for the explanatory sign come as a result of those knee-jerk reactionary rants [from all you other guys], or was it always the idea, and just late in the performance? Has it been put up yet?
Gordie, you are like a hurricane; there's calm in your eye; and I'm getting blown away.............................
Post by Diane Merkel on Jun 21, 2007 13:28:58 GMT -5
I would bet someone is back in the maintenance area now, painting a sign.
Good point about the markers for McIntosh, Dorman, and Reynolds, Bubba.
At the risk of giving the impression I'm piling on, which is not my intent, I wish they had only put up an explanatory sign (better yet, another wayside sign) until they secured permission for the appropriate marker placements. After all these years, what was the rush to order and place these? Oh yeah, they honor Indians . . . .
If my last comment sounded anti-Indian, that was not my intent either because I am not. This is the only site I'm aware of that openly welcomes all points of view. It just seems that there is a sudden rush to commemorate Indian casualties on the battlefield and, as this incident shows, it may be at the expense of accuracy. That doesn't benefit anyone, especially those supportive of the Indian participants, because it just adds fuel to the fire for the Custerphiles.
It will be interesting to hear of the reaction of the hard-core who attend the CBHMA conference next week. I have a feeling I'll hear the screams all the way down here in Florida.