Custer Suicide Theory !

Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#11
Oh, I thought you were suggesting 'suicide by indian'

I was fascinated when I saw the whole thing laid out on a board. This was in the army. At that time , it seems the Australian army was teaching its officers the tactics of the Battle Of The Little Bighorn. I assumed it as as an excercise in what NOT to do if you were in Custer's place ,and/or. examination of Indian tactics.
 
Feb 2019
772
Pennsylvania, US
#13
You would almost need to create a psychological profile of Custer posthumously... I think many historical characters ended up in tight spots, but there is something about your internal make-up that would help sway you one way or the other. (I think it's pretty tough to kill yourself, especially if you are someone with a notable reputation who has been in "jams" before or cannot truly grasp when you've been beaten.) His Civil War exploits make him seem like a fearless and kinda lucky guy... though he could make rash decisions (usually what got him into trouble with superiors and put him in dangerous situations)... I would think he would feel there were options open to him still, based on his past resourcefulness, awaiting Benteen's reinforcements... But it would be interesting to see his correspondence and try to figure out what state of mind he was in!
 
Likes: bboomer
Oct 2018
1,209
Adelaide south Australia
#14
You would almost need to create a psychological profile of Custer posthumously... I think many historical characters ended up in tight spots, but there is something about your internal make-up that would help sway you one way or the other. (I think it's pretty tough to kill yourself, especially if you are someone with a notable reputation who has been in "jams" before or cannot truly grasp when you've been beaten.) His Civil War exploits make him seem like a fearless and kinda lucky guy... though he could make rash decisions (usually what got him into trouble with superiors and put him in dangerous situations)... I would think he would feel there were options open to him still, based on his past resourcefulness, awaiting Benteen's reinforcements... But it would be interesting to see his correspondence and try to figure out what state of mind he was in!
I think you're right.

Custer was last in his class at West Point, but apparently an excellent rider.

He seems to have been pretty vain, and fearless. Lack of fear to me, is not a sign of courage, but more related to stupidity.

Perhaps he wasn't too swift mentally. That together with recklessness ,makes for a soldier with a short life expectancy. The kind of officer who got fragged in Vietnam by US troops.

This is of course based on minimal evidence ,stuff I've gleaned over a long time, so could be completely wrong.
 

Chlodio

Forum Staff
Aug 2016
4,271
Dispargum
#16
If I remember correctly Custer did tell his wife some years before he died that if she was ever attacked by Indians she should save the last bullet for herself. Custer couldn't bear the thought of his wife being raped. Whether he would have taken the same advice himself, I don't know.
 
Feb 2011
13,609
Perambulating in St James' Park
#18
I read one account that suggested he was killed by a woman Sioux, others suggest he was tortured or mutilated and had an arrow shoved somewhere quite unusual and painful. Presumably it was jammed there during the torture or someone was an extraordinarily good shot. Torture by native Americans is well documented and goes back to the earliest settlers, it was usually done by the women, as with most primitive tribes around the world from Africa to Afghanistan. I also have a friend in the US Cav Scouts who's a reserve officer, he told me about a song they sing which is about the history of their unit. At the end it mentions shooting yourself in the head to avoid being captured. It's quite similar to Kipling's famous poem about the plains of Afghanistan and going to Gawd like a soldier.

https://journals.psu.edu/wph/article/viewFile/3795/3613
Captives in American Indian Wars - Wikipedia
Rudyard Kipling Quotes
 
Likes: Niobe
Feb 2019
772
Pennsylvania, US
#19
Yair. I heard that god protects drunks and fools.Have no idea where that leaves we atheists. :halo:
Hey, that brings up an interesting point, you know! Custer had something of a "religious moment" near the end of the Civil War (after wantonly killing a handful of Confederate prisoners and what seem to be civilians as retaliation against a sniper)... how would that affect his thoughts about suicide. I'm pretty sure it was seen as a sin - and for a Victorian (they tended to be pretty darn superstitious already) that might be something off limits... though for his wife, of course, purity would be a more motivating religious stance, perhaps? :rolleyes::think::confused:
 
Feb 2019
772
Pennsylvania, US
#20
I read one account that suggested he was killed by a woman Sioux, others suggest he was tortured or mutilated and had an arrow shoved somewhere quite unusual and painful.
Why does this make me laugh? (I am a terrible person.) Also, I had no idea that torture was "womens' work"... LOL!
 

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