Custer Suicide Theory !

Feb 2019
7
Quitman, Mississippi
#1
Never really gave this must thought but I just wonder is there any validity to this theory.
Just wanting to see what others view are on this .
Did Custer commit suicide or note but somewhere I read Native American account of the battle & saying who may have killed Custer!
 
Nov 2010
7,404
Cornwall
#3
I think you are probably getting at something like trying to avoid having parts cut off or being buried to your neck and eaten by soldier ants maybe? Though I think those may be more Apache/Commanche habits.

Not the done thing though, surely, especially seeing everybody just seemed to be getting shot?
 

Chlodio

Ad Honorem
Aug 2016
3,517
Dispargum
#5
I'm going off the top of my head here, but if I recall correctly Custer's body was found the next day with a bullet wound in the chest and another one in the head. It was speculated at the time that the chest wound had killed him, but after the battle the Indians walked over the battlefield putting additional bullets into all of the bodies just to ensure that no one was playing possum. That probably explains the head wound. The presence of the head wound could be misinterpreted as suicide.
 

Bart Dale

Ad Honorem
Dec 2009
7,095
#6
The idea is just as silly as the one about Julius Caesar committing suicide.
Not quite. It is possible Custer killed himself to avoid capture and possible torture. If there was no escape, and all his men were dead, Custer might not want to have been captured alive and be tortured to death, a clean death due to bullet is preferable.

No evidence that Custer did commit suicide, though. Don't recall any.of the Native American warriors saying he did when they recounted the battle, so it is.just speculation.

And while Caesar did not commit suicide, had he lost a battle and looked like he was going to be captured, he might have committed suicide.
 
Likes: macon
Jul 2016
8,438
USA
#7
Not quite. It is possible Custer killed himself to avoid capture and possible torture. If there was no escape, and all his men were dead, Custer might not want to have been captured alive and be tortured to death, a clean death due to bullet is preferable.

No evidence that Custer did commit suicide, though. Don't recall any.of the Native American warriors saying he did when they recounted the battle, so it is.just speculation.

And while Caesar did not commit suicide, had he lost a battle and looked like he was going to be captured, he might have committed suicide.
Custer went down in a gigantic gun battle, where bullets are whizzing around, horses are being used as makeshift ramparts, and the cavalrymen were dropping like flies. I seriously doubt anyone was worried about capture in such as situation, they'd be worried about getting shot. As the senior officer, Custer would have the most incentive to remain exposed, for command and control, to encourage the others, for morale. In situations like that, the guy dressed nice who is exposed tends to get shot rather quickly.
 
May 2011
13,736
Navan, Ireland
#8
I suppose its possible it would be preferable to be taken prisoner-- heard a rumour that some prisoners were taken and that their fate was not enviable to say the least but believe its never been substantiated.

However does it really matter if he killed himself or was actually shot by native American unknown? a bit like the debate whether or not the crew scuttled the burning wreak of the Bismarck or torpedoes from British cruisers sank her.
 
Aug 2015
2,359
uk
#9
Custer would have had a grim fate if captured. Down to your last few bullets, surrounded by enemies who are closing in on you... If he hadn't been shot dead then it is entirely possible that he would have shot himself.

With bullets flying around the battlefield, who knows who shot who.
 
Sep 2014
1,160
Queens, NYC
#10
IIrc, in the late 1950s I read a book about the Little Big Horn Massacre, in which the author stated that several Sioux warriors, in later interviews, claimed to have "counted coup" on Custer's corpse. According to the author, coup would not be counted on a suicide; so he concluded that the victors did not think Custer killed himself.

I think that I have read that taking account of interviews of the Sioux, and of archaeological evidence, some have concluded that Custer may have been killed early in the battle.
 

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