Post by Diane Merkel on May 6, 2007 10:33:00 GMT -5
One of our own was interviewed for this article about Finkle/Finkel!
Did a man born in Washington County survive the Battle of the Little Bighorn, or was Frank Finkel as bogus as a $3 bill?
An article in the June issue of Wild West Magazine says Finkel was telling the truth, but another historian said Finkel was the most successful of the hoaxers who lied about being there and surviving the carnage known as Custer’s Last Stand.
‘‘He was a major, major impostor,’’ said Michael L. Nunnally, who wrote “Sole Survivor: Frauds, Impostors and the Battle of the Little Bighorn.’’
Post by walkingstar on Aug 1, 2008 21:09:04 GMT -5
I believe that someone completed a census about Big Horn survivors and came up with a number that exceeded Custer's entire command. One of the best, detailed survivor stories was told by Dr. Charles Kuhlman about a private named Frank Finkle. Mr. Finkle claimed that he enlisted in 1874 ( as Frank Hall) company "C". During the thickest part of the battle, a stray bullet struck the stock of Finkle's rifle and a splinter of wood grazed his forehead resulting in blood getting into his eyes.
A second bullet struck his horses flank and it:
"bolted through a line of advancing Sioux with Finkle flattened against its neck. On a wild ride, Finkle said he was struck twice by bullets, in the side and foot but made it through the mêlée fighting to safety."
In 1930, while playing horseshoes with friends, Finkle told his story to those outside of his family for the first time. Dr. Kuhlman went over the Finkle account and found it held up.
Writing years later he commented, "The Finkle story does not contain any of the earmarks of a fraud. There is nothing in it that cannot be either verified or explained in a plausible manner."
I may have just missed it but, looking over the roster for the 7th., I failed to find a "Frank Hall" nor a "Frank Finkle" listed. It would seem that the good doctor was completely duped.
"Better To Be Without Logic Than Without Feeling."
Doug Ellison wrote a book some years ago entitled "Sole Survivor" in which he thoroughly discussed Frank Finkel/Hall. Finkel stated that he was in Arizona before the LBH and therefor would have been in the 5th Cav. and was "assigned to the 7th in the spring of 1876" Doug could not find any reference to Finkel or Hall in the 5th Cav muster rolls. He did however find a Frank H Hall who deserted from Co G 7th Cav. on May 11 1875. He also found that Finkel/Hall had information regarding the battle and Custer, which indicated that he was possibly there! A good read - if you can find it now. Regards Ron
Post by Diane Merkel on Aug 3, 2008 17:43:30 GMT -5
No, just a reminder of a fun night in Nashville last year. The photo makes me laugh every time I look at it, but you probably had to be there to understand why. When I first saw the picture, I thought "Elvis" was sucking on a beer bottle, but it is a microphone.
The things that drive you crazy! The LBH and everything that has anything to do with it, seems to start with a so-called fact, and then begins to turn toward something else. So many people of that era enlisted under false names! Why? Heck, I beleive Moylan did it at one time. Now here we are 132 years later trying to gleen the truth from the weird, abnormal, strange and down right confusing. Finkel, I beleive, is full of it, or if he wasn't he would have told someone or used his enlisted name. He didn't, so therefore he's bunko! Just about everything to do with this battle, that has been written or for that matter an artifact, has to be looked at with the jaundiced approach. Even those items picked up or dug up on LBH are subject. For some reason the quotaion I always think of, is Evan S Conell in " Son of the Morning Star", "That hodspur lives forever on a dusty Montana hilltop". And so he does!