Article written by John P. Koster and originally published in the June 2007 issue of Wild West Magazine
Survivor Frank Finkel’s Lasting Stand Although his claim to have been the only white survivor of Colonel Custer’s immediate command at the Battle of the Little Bighorn has been largely reject ed, a recent analysis of the evidence suggests that Frank Finkel told the truth.
Post by harpskiddie on Apr 11, 2007 12:06:41 GMT -5
As the article states, Kuhlman wrote an essay on this subject, 1949 or so, and believed Finkel's story. There is another book, Sole Survivor, by Douglas W. Ellison, 1989 which also accepts the story. The article appears to be a rehash of these two pieces with little or no additional research [apologies to author Koster].
There was a rebuttal to the Finkel story, titled No Custer Survivors, written by a well-respected member of LBHA, whose name was Bill Boyes. I am just a fountain of I thinks.
As to the questions, one can ask the same of Walter Camp, who used to interview people for two days and leave a mostly indecipherable note that said: "says there was dirt on the ground."
Gordie, she's your nuthin' - she ain't no kin to you at all...........................................
Kuhlman's analysis of Finkel's story was published as Massacre Survivor! by The Old Army Press in 1972. I was impressed by Legend Into History, but I did not find Massacre Survivor particularly convincing. Who knows?
Koster's story was so convincing because he himself invented some of the so called "Finkel facts." I laughed out loud while reading it. Frank Finkel was a major fraud and if you read his original 'account' you can tell he was a terrible liar. Gordie, yes it was Bill Boyes who wrote the booklet. I wrote a commentary to WW on the story. Finkel was one of some 200 hundred men who claimed to have escaped the last stand...Most by riding through Indian lines. I'm finishing up a book on them. Finkel's story was just as bad as all the rest. Anyway, I have a whole chapter on him in my fore coming book. I'm with Wooden Leg, "not one soldier got away."
Kuhlman's support of the story was wishful thinking. I tend to think it hurt his reputation quite a bit. Regardless of what Koster says Finkel avoided any meetings with actual veterans of the battle.
By the way Gordie thanks for the heads up on the Eldridge sole survivor character. Unfortunately I didn't notice I had mail until after it went off ebay. Wish I had paid better attention.
Post by harpskiddie on Apr 11, 2007 22:16:57 GMT -5
No probs. I'm not as interested in what I call the peripheral matters, i.e. I don't spend too much time on them [since I don't have a great deal]. I am always looking on EBay to see if I can find something I want at a bargoon price - I bought a digital camera a couple of months ago really cheap, and I get my printer ink from an EBay store [much cheaper even with shipping and duties]. I've bought about sixty books there in the past year [six arrived just this morning], all dealing with LBH or the Army of the West.
I log on at least twice a day, just to keep up on the Custer stuff, and if I see something that I think might appeal to a poster on this board, I usually mention it, either in a PM or [more often] in an appropriate thread. It doesn't cost me anything, since I visit this board frequently to see what's new [usually not much, but] sometimesa little nugget here or there, especially in the Indians threads. That's a subject of which I can plead general ignorance, and so I usually learn a lot [without having to contribute much of anything, which suits me just fine].
Gordie liking the take part of give and take.............................................................