WELCOME TO THE HOMEPAGE OF THE
CUSTER ASSOCIATION OF GREAT BRITAIN
Background: The Custer Association of Great Britain (CAGB) was formed on the 10th June 2000 by a core of fellow enthusiasts who had up until that date met on a regular but informal half-yearly basis since 1998 at a college in Birmingham. We are a diverse group of individuals who have a common fascination for the life and times of George Armstrong Custer, the Battle of the Little Big Horn, the Plains Indian Wars in general, the culture of the tribes involved and their leaders; Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Two Moons and Gall.
Prior to the first meeting, the majority had developed this interest either in isolation or were members of the English Westerners' Society, which covers America's Frontier history across a broader spectrum. Some had also joined the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association (CBHMA) or Little Big Horn Associates (LBHA) but had had few opportunities to participate in events in the United States. After an initial gathering it turned out to be much more enjoyable meeting together and indulging in our hobby. The CAGB is a non-political, non-profit making and open-minded organisation. Meetings (we call them 'Gatherings') are held twice a year for a full day, usually in May/June and November, in different parts of the country, each of which includes a number of presentations and discussions on related subjects.
Membership: Subscriptions for 2012-13 are £10.00 for residents of the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man and for those residing in the Republic of Ireland and elsewhere in mainland Europe it is £11 or 14 Euros. For the rest of the world it is $20.00. Subscriptions are due annually as at the 1st June. Members who join after that date will receive both issues of The Crow's Nest regardless of when they join the Association within the Membership Year, which is 1st June to 31st May. Subscriptions cover administrative costs (predominantly mailings), the publication of the CAGB's Journal, The Crow's Nest and the maintaining of this website, which contains details of events, links to other related sites, useful information about travelling to the USA and book and film reviews.
Committee: The CAGB is run by a small committee of the members who carry out the functions of Chairman, Vice-chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Webmaster and Event Co-ordinator.
The committee are elected at the Annual General Meeting in November and their appointments begin on the 1st June in the following year.
The Committee members for 2012-2013 are:
|Secretary, Webmaster and Editor (Technical) of The Crow's Nest||Kevin Galvin|
|Event Co-ordinator 2010-2011 Gatherings||Mike Fox|
Editorial Team: In addition to the committee we currently have a small editorial team, Kevin Galvin and Mary Christian, who put together The Crow's Nest.
Honorary Office Holders: Our first president Francis Taunton relinquished his appointment after seven years, his successor in November 2007 was Derek Batten, our current president. Derek was a founding member of the CAGB and one of our original Vice-presidents, the other original vice-president being Joan Croy, who was also one of the CAGB's first overseas members. At the AGM on Saturday 6th November 2010 Sandy Barnard and another founder member, Peter Russell, were also appointed as vice-presidents after accepting invitations from the the Chairman. Sandy has been a great supporter of the CAGB having presented at three of our Gatherings in the UK, the latest at being on 5th November 2011 in London. Peter, also a tireless contributor to The Crow’s Nest and long-time committee member, retired as Vice-president in 2011.
Information: If you would like to join us or receive further information about the Association, please contact the Secretary Kevin Galvin at Secretary@CAGB
As stated above, the CAGB was formed in June 2000 and first presented a copy of a draft Constitution to the Gathering held in May 2005. After a full discussion on its contents some minor changes where made and the amended version was ratified at the Annual General Meeting that preceded the Gathering in Birmingham, 12th November 2005. Subsequent changes in the composition of the committee has resulted in some minor changes being necessary and this resulted in a Draft Version 2, this has not yet been approved. The new draft will now be e-mailed in 2013 for comment before being ratified at the November 2013 AGM. Version 1 can be viewed here.
THE CROW'S NEST
The Crow's Nest Volume 12, Number 2 was dispatched in January 2013 to all those members who have paid their subscription for 2012-13.
The Crow's Nest Index lists the contents for the 24 issues published to date.
REPORTS FROM MEETINGS AND GATHERINGS
Reports for 2001-2010.
2001 have now been archived, which includes the 125th Anniversary report and
U.S. Army Staff Ride.
Reports from 2001 have now been archived, which includes the 125th Anniversary report and U.S. Army Staff Ride.
Reports from 2002 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2002 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2003 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2003 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2004 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2004 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2005 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2005 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2006 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2006 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2007 have now been archived and includes both the June and November 2007 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2008 have now been archived and includes both the May and November 2008 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2009 have now been archived and includes both the June and November 2009 'Gathering' reports.
Reports from 2010 have now been archived and includes both the June and November 2010 'Gathering' reports.
NEWS AND FUTURE EVENTS
Two new publications from the English Westerners' Society relate to George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry. Both are written by distinguished authors, both of whom are also members of the CAGB, Barry C. Johnson and Jeff Broome.
The first is the second volume of their Golden Jubilee Publication The Secrets of Box 20: Custer's War Department File 1861-1897 edited by Barry C. Johnson including Foreword and Introduction is a Special Publication and Volume 2 of the Golden Jubilee Publication. Although General George Armstrong Custer's personal file has been available to researchers since the 1950's , up until then all were regarded as confidential, there was very little interest in Custer's file and Johnson explains why. The importance of this work however is the methodical way that Johnson has put this publication together. First explaining the how the Adjutant General's Office (AGO) compiled such records known as A.C.P. files after "The 'Appointments, Commission and Personal Branch" whose responsibility it had been to maintain the files. Then he assesses the the contents of Custer's file, which contains very little information regarding Custer's campaigns or battles, before giving readers an insight into the AGO in Custer's time. The file itself is published in chronological order as the original file had been kept loosely and had clearly resulted in the files themselves becoming disorganised. The formatting of the original files has been retained included the spelling and it is believed this publication is the first time that the files have been reproduced in print.
The second is a Brand Book is Wild Bill Hickok's Hays City Brawl with Soldiers of Custer's 7th Cavalry (Volume 45, Number 1) by Jeff Broome. This account of of the famous brawl outside Tommy Drum's Saloon in Hays City, Kansas on 17th July 1870 between "Wild Bill" Hickok and members of Company M of Custer's Seventh Cavalry is well-known. Company M were commanded at the time by Thomas Ward Custer, the General's younger brother, who would also meet his death at the Little Bighorn in 1876 in the same year that Hickok would die after being shot in the back in Deadwood. The author has worked tirelessly to uncover the facts, made challenging by the various but widely false accounts perpetuated over time. The discovery in 2000 of Sergeant John Ryan's memoirs by Sandy Barnard and subsequent publication helped to shed new light on the incident but also on the two soldiers; John Kile and Jerry Lonergan. This book provides a reader with a much richer picture of these two men, in particular Kile, as well as clearing up the facts of the fight.
Both publications can be obtained through the CAGB. Please contact the Secretary.
The Gathering that took place on Saturday, 12th June 2010 at Doggett's Coat & Badge in London marked the Association's 10th Anniversary and was celebrated with the cutting of a cake to mark the occasion.
Our next 'Gathering' will take place on Saturday, 1st June 2013 in London. As usual there will be a number of presentations as well as the opportunity to socialise.
DAVID SHANAHAN PRINTS
A set of three David Shanahan prints are now available. These prints are be limited to 100 and funds raised will be used to support the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation.
BRITISH CUSTERIANA SERIES
This is a series produced in association with the English Westerners' Society. Members of the CAGB can purchase copies of each volume at the subscriber's rate. An introduction to the series is at British Custeriana Series. Remember, at present both Volume 1 and 3 are limited to 100 copies. Volume 2 has been reprinted largely due to orders from the Little Bighorn Battlefield National Monument Book Shop. Copies can be obtained from the Secretary. Please either e-mail your order or write, his address will be in the newsletter. See each Volume for the cost of the publication.
|Volume 1 - George Armstrong Custer By Fred Dustin & The Custer Trial: The Aftermath|
|Volume 2 - Army Failures Against The Sioux in 1876: An Examination by Francis B. Taunton.||
|Volume 3 - "Such Signal Success"? Confrontation Along the Washita. A Collection of Essays compiled and edited by Kevin E. Galvin with Introduction by Sandy Barnard.|
Upton & Sons Publishers. Richard Upton a long time member of the CAGB has a comprehensive selection of books related to the Custer Fight and much more. Please visit their website for more details. A new publication Where the Custer Fight Began: Undermanned and Overwhelmed The Reno Valley Fight by Donald W. Moore, which is Volume 10 in the Battle of the Little Big Horn Series can be pre-ordered now.
AST Press. Sandy Barnard who is another member of long standing and one of the CAGB Vice-presidents has a large selection of Custer and other Indian wars related books and journals available including his own books. Sandy Barnard's latest book is A Hoosier Quaker Goes to War: The Life and Death of Major Joel H. Elliott, 7th Cavalry and tells the story of this officer serving with Custer's Seventh Cavalry when he was killed at the battle of the Washita. Elliott had served with distinction during the Civil War which for a young man brought up in a closely-knit community of decidedly pacifist Quakers was remarkable. This book is available direct from AST Press or can be purchased via Amazon.
A number of members have published books over the last few years:
Steve Alexander - G. A. Custer to the Little Big Horn published by Andrea Press and available from Casemate Publishing in the UK. Steve has written a well crafted book that is full of excellent illustrations, many in colour, that tell the story of George Armstrong Custer from his birth to that final day at the Little Big Horn.
James Donovan - A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn - The Last Great Battle of the American West published by Little, Brown and Company and available through Amazon or in the UK is often found on the bookshelves in Waterstone's. It is now also available in paperback. This is a comprehensive study of the battle that draws on primary sources as well as new forensic research. A review appeared in The Crow's Nest (Volume 9 Number 2).
Vincent A. Heier - Little Bighorn is published in the Postcard History Series by Arcadia Publishing and is a fascinating examination of Father Vince's unique collection of postcards that have been produced and helped preserve the image of the Little Bighorn over time.
French L. MacLean - Custer's Best: The Story of Company M, 7th Cavalry at the Little Bighorn. Company M were commanded by Captain Thomas French and the First Sergeant was John Ryan. For whatever reason not one of Company M received a Medal of Honor for their conduct at the Little Big Horn but French believes that 10 of the company should have been awarded the medal including both French and Ryan. The book is published by Schiffler Publishing Ltd and is distributed in the UK by Bushwood Books.
Custer's Southern Officer: Captain George D. Wallace, 7th U.S. Cavalry by John D. Mackintosh reviewed by Francis Taunton.
Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer by Gregory J. W. Urwin reviewed by Kevin Galvin.
Red Sabbath: The Battle of the Little Bighorn by Robert Kershaw reviewed by Francis Taunton.
Reviews are the comments of the reviewers only and ultimately we always recommend that you read the books for yourself and make your own judgement.
Members are requested to submit reviews of films and videos (including documentaries) that deal with Custer's life, or are associated with the Plains Indian Wars, 1866-1890.
The Glory Guys 1965
For members in the United Kingdom two new releases on DVD (Region 2) are now available - Sitting Bull first screened in 1954 and J. Carroll Naish starring in the title role and 7th Cavalry released in 1956 and starring Randolph Scott as an officer who returns to Fort Abraham Lincoln in the aftermath of the Little Bighorn and is accused of cowardice. Note the quality of the Sitting Bull DVD is a poor digital copy of the original. Neither film can claim to have based their scripts on actual historical events that occurred but are relatively entertaining and may well have been responsible for some in becoming life-long students of the Little Bighorn battle.
Custer’s Last Command - A song by Frank Fara can be listened to by clicking on this link (note some Web Browsers do not support playing this song when the page is opened)
ARTICLES AND ESSAYS
Members are requested to submit articles for publication to Kevin Galvin.
Guns at the Little Bighorn. By Mark Gallear.
On the Little Big Horn and the Rosebud. By Ken Doran. An account of the 125th Anniversary Event at the Little Bighorn Battlefield and the U.S. Army Staff Ride on the Rosebud.
Trip of A Lifetime. By Gordon Richard. An account of his trip with his brother to the American West in the summer of 2006.
CAGB POLO SHIRTS
The CAGB Polo Shirts are available in three sizes; Medium, Large and Extra Large. Each Polo Shirt is emblazoned with the logo illustrated. Anyone interested should contact Kevin Galvin. The unit price is £16.00 including postage and packaging. Members can also purchase a shirt at any ‘Gathering’ when the cost will only be £13.50, due to there being no mailing costs. Overseas members should contact Kevin Galvin by e-mail to confirm method of payment and cost, which currently is approximately $35 with postage and packaging.
Members are requested to submit photographs for publication to Kevin Galvin.
Photographs of the Custer Battlefield and Associated Sites.
Photographs from the 125th Anniversary.
Photographs from the U.S. Army Staff Ride.
Photographs from East Cavalry Field at Gettysburg.
Photographs of a Trip to the Northern Plains.
Photographs from Re-enactment 2005.
Photographs of the Art of Thom Ross at Medicine Tail Coulee 2005.
Photographs from the 130th Anniversary.
Photographs from Re-enactment 2009.
Photographs from Anniversary Weekend 2009.
Photographs from June 2011 on the Trail of Custer.
For anyone with money to spare and as a worthwhile investment, they could buy one of Mari Bolen's excellent sculptures of George Armstrong Custer. This superb work and is in a limited edition of 25 pieces. There is also a series on the Plains tribes - this will be a full body piece for each of the 34 tribes that Mari intends to sculpture.
There have been numerous works of art produced since the demise of George Armstrong Custer and his 5 companies of the 7th U.S. Cavalry and by searching the internet looking for images they can be found. There are number of sites which are recommended so if you have the money why not invest in a print by any of the artists whose website is listed here.
Mark Churm who has produced three paintings so far on the subject and are available as prints.
The late Eric von Schmidt who produced Here Fell Custer that was used as the front and back cover for Volume 4, Number 1 of The Crow's Nest.
Paul Smiley a US artist has produced two Custer paintings - one showing GAC in Civil War uniform and the other in his study - see both paintings. Paul is happy to take commissions to paint historical figures.
Ken Ferguson provided the artwork for the back cover of The Crow's Nest (Autumn/Winter 2007, Volume 7, Number 2). You can see more of his work at www.kennethfergusonfineart.com.
Another artist whose work has featured on the front and back cover of The Crow's Nest was Michael Schreck. His work has also featured extensively in the CBHMA journal the Greasy Grass and on the cover the LBHA bi-annual journal the Research Review. To see more of his work visit his website at http://michaelschreckart.com/index.html.
VISITING THE USA AND LOCATIONS ASSOCIATED WITH CUSTER
For those UK members visiting the USA and locations associated with Custer it is intended to provide details of places to stay or visit that are based on the views of members. Ultimately where you decide to base yourself when travelling to the USA from the UK (or for our U.S. members) is a decision for the individual or group concerned.
The 7th Ranch run by Chip and Sandy Watts lies near Little Bighorn Battlefield and is also home to the Greasy Grass Scouts – a cowboy action shooting club devoted to keeping the Spirit of the West alive through re-enacting and single action shooting. They do both mounted shooting and ground shooting with old-style guns in 1880s attire.
The Grandview Campground in Hardin, Montana, provides accommodations close to the battlefield.
U.S. Cavalry School and Re-enactment
For those seeking to participate in re-enactment or learn to ride as a U.S. Cavalryman then the site below should be visited:
School was first started in the late 1990s by western horseman and
military veterans that rode in Kevin Costner’s “The Postman”, for the reason of
preserving the proud history of the horse soldier. They have worked with U.S.
Army Staff rides (training courses) at the Little Bighorn Battlefield and
teaching courses from one hour to one week encampments, their school’s staff has
grown in numbers as have the number of students trained. The U.S. Cavalry School
has a new address U.S. Cavalry School, P.O. Box
136 Ft. Harrison, MT 59636
LINKS TO OTHER CUSTER RELATED SITES
(The links below are checked periodically but can change if owners either move sites to a new internet host or decide to no longer maintain the site)
Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association (CBHMA) This site as been updated with some interesting new pages as well as the latest news from the largest American 'Custer' Group. A Message Board has recently been added to this site.
Little Big Horn Associates (LBHA) This is the homepage of this organisation of long standing.
Custer Museum at Garryowen holds a excellent collection of Custer and battle related artefacts.
Tom Custer Home Page A site dedicated to that other Custer who died alongside his more famous older brother.
George Armstrong Custer Home Page Another site to visit.
Against All Odds This is a site put together by Richard Federici which provides links to the Battle of the Little Bighorn and other battles in American History.
Friends of the Little Bighorn The Friends were established in 1998 and their site is worth visiting.
Jim Creitz's site contains a series of pictures of the battlefield and should be checked out.
Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation provides news from Custer's last home, which is one of the buildings re-built as part of the Foundation's efforts to restore the buildings that would have existed during the tenure of the 7th U.S. Cavalry.
Steve Alexander and his wife Sandy, who have re-enacted the lives of General and Mrs. G A Custer for many years have their website at GeorgeCuster.com, which is worth visiting to find out more about Steve and Sandy's portrayals of Autie and Libbie.
This site dedicated to Myles Keogh is worth a visit.
Custer Lives is a new site that I came across by accident worth a look as it appears to have won a number of awards.
LAST UPDATED 17 MAY 2013
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