Kayaking Sylvan Lake in the Black Hills, near Custer, South Dakota.
In 1874 Custer led a troop column in the area in search of . . . GOLD.
The 1868 Fort Laramie Treaty with the Sioux was broken, resulting in war.
(Photo by Kriss Hammond.)
Who Killed Lt. Colonel George A. Custer?
On June 25th, 1876, 27-year-old White Buffalo (aka White Bull) was grazing his ponies west of the combined Lakota Sioux, Arapaho, and Northern Cheyenne Indian tribes encampment along the Greasy Grass River (The Little Big Horn) in Montana Territory. Suddenly, he heard shouts and saw rising dust on the ridge across the river. He drove his ponies back to the village and jumped on a larger horse and splashed across the river, through the waxy grass, and rode up a gulch where Crazy Horse and other braves were fighting 7th Cavalry soldiers on foot. White Buffalo smacked several of the soldiers in their faces with his coup stick.
Then he spotted a Cavalry rider on his steed at the top of the ridge and he galloped after him, but the soldier was shot out of the saddle as he approached. White Buffalo’s horse was then shot out from under him and he was afoot . . . facing a soldier pointing a Remington . 50-caliber sporting rifle with octagonal barrel at him, but the gun was out of ammo and it was thrown to the ground. White Buffalo and the soldier grappled Greco-style and he whipped the short haired soldier in the face with his coup stick. The soldier pulled out of his holster one of two Webley British Bulldog, double-action, white-handled revolvers, but White Buffalo thwarted the gun and was able to wrest it away and shot the soldier in the temple. A brave named Bad Soup ran up and pointed to the soldier dead on the ground was Custer. Bad Soup, had seen the Lt. Colonel at Fort Abraham Lincoln near Mandan, Dakota Territory.
White Buffalo then realized a pain in his leg where a piece of the bullet that killed his horse lodged. He slipped down into the safety of a gulch and back to camp and was treated for his wound. He later returned to retrieve the Webley pistols and rifle, but they were gone. The rifle was a gift from Custer’s wife, Libby.
For 50 years the U.S, military never knew who killed Custer, but the Indians knew but, they weren’t talking. In 1926, a half century after the battle, a ceremony was held at the battlefield. More than 50,000 people attended, including many soldiers still alive from Major Reno’s and Major Benteen’s attachment White Buffalo led the living braves in a procession to the monument on the ridge to greet 7th Cavalry General Edward S. Godfrey. White Buffalo presented an Indian blanket and the General presented an American flag.
White Buffalo, a nephew of Sitting Bull, was a chief by this time. He was interviewed by a journalist at the ceremony that revealed the facts about the warrior who killed Custer. Watch a film of the ceremony in 1926. White Buffalo lived to 98 years and was buried on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Custer was reburied at West Point Cemetery. All the fallen Cavalrymen had been scalped except for Custer and one other soldier.
As of today, the 7th Cavalry Regiment is currently represented by the following active Units: The 1st Squadron, organized as an Armored Reconnaissance Squadron, is assigned to the 1st Brigade, 1st Cavalry Division, currently stationed at Fort Hood, Texas
The Cowboy Bedroll from Montana Canvas.
While growing up in the Black Hills the biggest adventure for me was sleeping under the stars next to my kid brother . . . in the backyard.
Since those days I have bivouacked under the stars from the Wind River Wilderness to the Namib desert, I never had a reliable bedroll to protect me from the elements. I have seen bulky, heavy bedrolls but not until I tried out The Cowboy Bedroll from Montana Canvas was I impressed with the ease and lightness a sturdy sleeping sack could be. The quality of the canvas is high grade and my truck driving brother even buys heavier flatbed tarpaulins from the Belgrade, Montana company.
Montana Canvas Outfitter Bed Roll has taken this traditional cowboy bedroll design that has been around since the Wild West and improved upon it. It is constructed of durable heavy duty Grade ‘A’ 15 oz. untreated canvas and provides maximum protection from the elements yet allows maximum breatheability.
How often have you tent camped and woke up in the morning with rivulets of condensation trickling down the inside of the material? The untreated canvas also provides ventilation and reduces condensation. It is oversized with a sleeping area of 42” W x 80” L to fit even the largest of sleeping bags. Overall bedroll measures 46” W x 96” L with the open hood. The attached hood, extra length webbing and side release buckles, easily allow for the entire bedroll to be rolled up and stored with your favorite sleeping bag, pad and blanket. It provides added warmth and protection to your favorite sleeping bag as well as keeping it clean and dry. It features a #10 YKK full-length zipper on both sides to allow for a right-hand or left-hand zippered sleeping bag. Bedrolls can also be stored with the attached hood to a size of 8” diameter by 16” length. The hood can also be used as a pillow pocket. The Cowboy Bedroll stitching is stout and strong. The head hood can be folded out or pulled down and fastened to four Velcro strips.
The Cowboy Bedroll can be rolled up and secured with three straps plastic snaps and then cinched down. The bedroll can be thrown over the back of a saddle in the traditional manner, or folded over again and tucked under the netting of your kayak,, lashed to the back of your motorcycle seat, roped to a backpack, or as in my case, bungee-corded to my bicycle basket and then thrown down on a gypsum butte overlooking my favorite rainbow trout stream, a butte that no tent pegs could ever penetrate.
The Cowboy Bedroll keeps you out of the wind, rain, and weather in most cases, except possibly for the rare extreme phenomena of a Derecho like the one that pounded my area recently with baseball-sized hailstones. I can either sleep in the oak forest with comfy oak leave beneath the bedroll, or in the ridgeline on pine needles, or throw a light-weight camp pad inside the bedroll, along with my Alpine Blanket, thus keeping out all moisture because the canvas is water-proof; it makes a great bedroll for camping under the stars on a boat.
To clean the canvas just power wash it at the car wash, then unzip the zippers and dry it double length under the sun. Made in USA. The bedroll retails for about $140 at outdoor stores or gear websites. The company also makes other products, including teepees and tents. www.MontanaCanvas.com
I was on a GreatSafaris.com Drifters Overland Adventures tour of Southern Africa, sleeping under the stars at the Agoma Camp when the trash can rattled in the boma. A black back-striped jacket had discovered his lunch. The jackals are known as carriers of rabies, and I didn’t have a Cowboy Bedroll at the time, but I am certain if I had one it would have protected me from the jackal’s diseased jowls.
New for 2020 is the Cowboy Bedroll for kids.
Snore No More.
My favorite camp while exploring Southern Africa with GreatSafaris.com and Drifters Overland Adventures was the Delta Camp esscpmcedon an island in the Okavango Delta. Guides paddled us to the camp on narrow canoes. The delta water was clear to the bottom and fish darted in and out of the papyrus reeds. Hippos snorted a short distance away.
It was required that we sleep in tents at the camp because the hippos came out at night to forage on grass and relieve themselves to mark their territories. I picked a tent set back in the brambles. Earlier in the day a bull elephant became drunk on fermented marula fruit drooped tp the ground. Monkeys in the trees pelted us with the droop fruit to announce their utter distain of our presence. This was truly a great safari.
In the early morning hours the entire camp was snoring like sneering and howling cackle of hyenas. The resonance of the snores must have alerted the hippos because they defecated allover the camp.
When touring with a group of adventurers snoring can be a big problem when in close quarters. I discovered the snore chin strap that relieved my problem and my annoyance to my fellow travelers.
The chin strap keeps the mouth closed to reduce snoring. The fleece lining provides comfort through the night. It has comfortable ear-holes. It may also help prevent dry mouth and sore throat. It works to increase deep, restful REM sleep. One size fits most people. The adjustable hook and loop provides a custom fit . The weight is 0.1 lbs. Retails for about $25.
When sleeping at home I get snoring relief with the Hermell Softeze No-Snore Bedroom Pillow.
The specifically engineered convoluted foam pillow helps reduce snoring and promote a restful nights sleep. The pillow also ,maintains posture for back sleepers to keep airways open. Side sleepers will benefit from anatomically correct neck support. The cover is removable, washable. The cushion is 100 percent polyurethane. The cover is 65 percent polyester and 35 percent cotton.
The pillow weight is 1.7 lbs. It retails for about $35 USD.
The Good Stuff Botanicals- Bug Thug
Send those Bugs Running with Bug Thug All Natural Repellent! Stay protected from emerging mosquitos, biting flies, disease-carrying ticks, and more with Good Stuff Botanicals’ Bug Thug. This all natural pest-repellent is chemical and DEET free so you can feel good about using it on yourself and your family. They’ve used an intentional selection of essential oils to give it a fresh citrusy scent while sending those stinging and biting bugs packing.
$17.99 – www.thegoodstuffbotanicals.com
Bu sun spreay
Bu puts the WOW factor in skin protection. A pump spray that’s easy to take on the go and even easier to apply, Bu goes on so lightly that it makes people say WOW. In fact, watch this quick video to see for yourself!
Bu Sunscreen features:
WOWmist applicator provides 170 sprays per 1 oz bottle and 500 sprays per 3.3 oz bottle.
Leaves a silky-smooth and invisible layer of broad-spectrum UVA/UVB sun protection.
Not greasy, sticky or filmy.
r all skin tones.
NO-TOUCH APPLICATION – Keep your hands clean.
Convenient to use: just spray and dry.
Great for sensitive skin:moisturizing, hypoallergenic, non-comedogenic with antioxidant Vitamin E that prevents premature aging by diminishing signs of UV damage and enhancing skin hydration.
Busunscreen.com $9 – for 1.1oz TSA friendly travel size $20 – for 3.3oz TSA friendly travel size
Feature by Kriss Hammond, Editor, JetsettersMagazine.com