Custer’s Best

Piss-Ant, Potentate Politicians

In regione caecorum rex est luscus

In the Land of the Blind, the One-eyed Man is King

Piss-Ant, Potentate Politicians

In the 1930s between Belgium and Poland, a piss-ant, potentate politician decided that he was going to get rid of an entire group of people upon whom he blamed his country’s ills, calling them vermin (Ungeziefer) and deplorables (bedauernswerten).  He was devious enough, however, to know the populace would not accept that in one bite, so he used an incremental approach.  First the deplorables were not allowed to sit on the same park benches as “regular” people.  Different benches?  No big deal.  Later, they could not be treated by regular physicians, attend regular schools, own their own businesses, retain their citizenship and on it went.

Then the piss-ant, potentate politician said that the bedauernswerten must live in their own communities apart from regular people, and were transported to overcrowded urban ghettos in eastern Europe, where they were confined and worked, unpaid, for the government.

Because they were out of sight and out of mind of regular people, the piss-ant, potentate politician finally ordered that the deplorables be murdered.  And so they were.  But in Warsaw, the doomed people fought back.  Or actually a few did; of the 56,065 people there about 1,000 younger people fought.  The rest decided it was better to pray on your knees than die on your feet, and told the fighters that resistance would only make the piss-ant, potentate politician angry.  But the youngsters – being youngsters – told those who would not fight, Shtup es in toches and fought anyway, until all of them were killed in combat by the piss-ant, potentate politician’s special troops that wore skulls on their uniforms.  But at least they went out on their own terms.

Meanwhile, those who would not fight believed that they had avoided the piss-ant, potentate politician’s ire, only to be loaded onto railway cattle cars, transported to Vernichtungslager (extermination camps), and marched into gas chambers, where carbon monoxide from large diesel engines did its gruesome work.  The choking-to-death took about twenty minutes, after which the piss-ant, potentate politician’s henchmen yanked out the victims’ gold teeth and searched the bodies for any hidden jewelry.

Decades later, in a country located between Canada and Mexico, piss-ant, potentate politicians – unfortunately, not only the usual suspects, but also some from the other side of the aisle – concluded that their nation’s Constitution gave way too much power to the unwashed common citizens – termed deplorables by many of the elites – upon whom they blamed their country’s ills and that their “rights” had to be swiftly and ruthlessness curtailed.  So the piss-ant, potentate politicians got their lackies in social media – such as YouTube and Facebook among others – to attack freedom of speech, banning recalcitrants.  Using a pandemic from China, they also banned public gatherings including religious services, and continued to go after more firearms, which the Constitution had allowed as a basic right, but many piss-ant, potentate politicians had their own security guards, lived in gated communities, and couldn’t care less about crime in your neighborhood.

Then the teachers’ unions, renowned lapdogs and sycophants of piss-ant, potentate politicians, got into the act, refusing to conduct actual classes in many public schools.  They conducted virtual classes using technology, all the while knowing that some students had no access to such technology.  End of year comprehension tests meant nothing and the vast majority of students in 2020, 2021, and counting, were bumped up to higher grades, regardless of how ill-prepared they were.  What the union leaders did not mention was that nationally, more than 20% of public school teachers with school-age children enroll them in private schools, almost twice the 11% rate for the general public.  Talk about a chef who won’t eat what he cooks.

Then the piss-ant, potentate politicians enlisted the help of some members of the medical community – including the omnipotent Center for Disease Control – to opine on pandemic vaccines, effectiveness of paper and cloth masks, efficacy of hydroxychloroquine and zinc, and the actual lethality of the virus and its variants, as well as issue orders that they are not legally allowed to do under the Constitution.

Finally, many of the piss-ant, potentate politicians decided that it would be a good thing for people who had received the vaccination to publicly show “proof” of that before being allowed in public places, which only goes to show you that modern piss-ant, potentate politicians really do study the past, as the piss-ant, potentate politician back in the day had a similar tactic – making his deplorables wear a yellow Star of David.

Which gets to our question of the day: when are you going to tell the piss-ant, potentate politicians and their flunkies to Shtup es in toches!  Because all roads can lead to Warsaw

Piss-Ant, Potentate Politicians2022-07-30T08:21:29-06:00

Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns

Sitting Bull Cover

(August 27, 2016) Schiffer Publishing has received Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns: The 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition and the Battle of Lodge Grass Creek. 

The book is available now !

I have a copy and it is gorgeous.  There are 342 color and black and white images, several dozen of which are color maps of the three battles and about 30 locations, where the wagon train made camp for the night, during its 80-day journey.  The photos, most of which previously have never been published, show period weapons, as well as warrior and wagon train participants.  It is on the Schiffer website with ISBN13: 9780764351518

This is the story of 150 of the most adventurous scouts, gold prospectors, gunslingers, buffalo hunters, and Civil War veterans of both sides—they may have been the deadliest collection of shooters to ever hit the trail.  This is the most detailed work ever produced on the obscure legend of the 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road Prospecting Expedition in the Montana Territory—the product of multi-year research across the country, and visits to the three significant battlefields and expedition route of over 500 miles—an event that impacted the Little Bighorn in 1876.

Numerous legends of the West rode on the expedition, later playing key roles in the Great Sioux War of 1876.  Their adversaries now were the Lakota and Northern Cheyenne—some of the greatest light cavalry to ever gallop over the North American continent.  And watching their every move were Sitting Bull, Gall, Hump, Crazy Horse, and a renegade chief named Inkpaduta, ready to strike.

As part of the book are in-depth descriptions of three pitched battles in 1874 between the wagon train and the Lakota/Northern Cheyenne warriors that hopefully will now be part of the lexicon of the Wild West:

The Battle of Rosebud Creek

The Battle of Great Medicine Dance Creek

The Battle of Lodge Grass Creek

The book also lists warriors involved in these fights and provides detailed information on several renowned scouts during that era such as George Herendeen, William T. “Uncle Billy” Hamilton, Jack Bean, “Muggins” Taylor, Addison M. Quivey, Zadok “Zodiac” Daniels and Oliver “Big Spit” Hanna.

It also describes exploits of heroes you have never met.  John Anderson, a former slave, who had fought in an all black unit in Kansas in the Civil War, was on the trek.  At the Battle of Great Medicine Dance Creek, both the frontiersmen and the warriors stopped in their tracks to watch an epic fight to the death, with knife and tomahawk, between Anderson and a Lakota chief!

John’s photo is in the book, as is perhaps the only photo in existence of scout “Muggins” Taylor, who two years later rode from the Little Bighorn battlefield to the Fort Ellis telegraph office with a note from General Alfred Terry on the debacle that became known as Custer’s Last Stand.  Fortunately for Taylor, much of that route had been the same as he had scouted with the wagon train in 1874.

As a special feature, the book presents information that may link John “Liver-Eating” Johnston with the wagon train.  And using new genealogy resources, such as, the book traces the lives of many of the participants on the wagon train, whether they later again got the itch to search for gold, ended their days at Deadwood in the Dakota Territory, or whether they practiced medicine outside of Tombstone in the Arizona Territory during the “Gunfight at the OK Corral” era.

The epilogue of the book documents the re-creation of Jack Bean’s nearly one-mile shot against a single Lakota warrior that we attempted, during the preparation of the book, to duplicate at the exact location it occurred.

The work is also a history of the wild territory of Montana, including the Montana Vigilantes, no nonsense territorial governors such as Sidney Edgerton and Benjamin F. Potts, the wild town of Coulson, and the search for the mythical Lost Cabin Gold Mine.  Much like today, it has an element of the political elites taking advantage of hard-working regular folks, who ultimately had the last laugh and lived the way they desired.

Perhaps most importantly, the book sets the stage for the Great Sioux War of 1876, which became the cataclysmic event in the nation’s expansion to the west.

Many of the significant incidents on the expedition happened within 30 miles of the Little Bighorn, so for those visitors to that battlefield, this book shows you numerous additional locations to visit during your trip, including GPS information to make navigation easy.  In fact, if you visit Fort Phil Kearny, near present-day Buffalo, Wyoming and adjacent to the Fetterman Fight, follow with an examination of the 1874 Yellowstone Wagon Road and Prospecting Expedition—as shown in this book—and visit the Little Bighorn Battlefield, a total stretch of 93 miles, you can put the entire Lakota and Northern Cheyenne fight with the United States Army during the gold-rush on the Plains into perspective.

Did I mention the Boothill Cemetery?

Sitting Bull, Crazy Horse, Gold and Guns2021-06-28T19:16:58-06:00

VII Corps Desert Storm Reunion, 26-28 February 2016

3rd Armored Division, 5-18 Infantry

VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association, Desert Storm Reunion, 26-28 February 2016

Let me start this with something I hope that you will take to heart.  My father, who died last summer at age 91, had been an infantry private first class in the Ninth Infantry Division in the Hürtgen Forest and Battle of the Bulge in World War II.  He had always wanted to see his old buddies again, but for one reason or another, he never made it to a reunion and regretted that till the day he died.

So, if you have ever wanted to get back together with your buddies from Desert Storm, this is it!

The twenty-fifth anniversary is here upon us; where has the time gone?  At age 63, I’m not waiting for the 50th reunion, although if I’m around for it, I’ll go to that one also.

Every veteran of VII Corps from Desert Storm, and especially in my case every veteran of the Third Armored Division “Spearhead,” is warmly welcomed to gather outside our nation’s capital (primarily Crystal City, VA) at the end of February to meet with old comrades and friends, catch up on what everyone has been doing since we were “young” and most importantly pay our respects to the true heroes of that war, our comrades in arms who made the ultimate sacrifice and died before they could grow old and do all the things that we sometimes take for granted.

First, this is not just a gathering of “old,” retired generals, although many will certainly be there.  But those folks did not win the war; you did…the “skeeter-wings,” the specialists, the buck sergeants, the first sergeants and the CSMs, so please attend if you can make it, and be sure to tell the folks you have stayed in contact with to go as well.


Online registration for the 25th Reunion is available at this link:

You can purchase your banquet tickets, register for your hotel room at the special rate of $99 per night and also see updated schedule of events.  The special rate of $99 per night for hotel rooms will be available until 5 February 2016.

Here are some of the events planned, as I know them in late January; please check often:

This will be updated on a regular basis with latest information as related to the reunion.

All units

Friday, 26 February, beginning 3:00 pm, out of town guests check in at Crystal Gateway Hotel at leisure.  After that, check in across from registration at the VII Corps Reunion Ops Center to get your name badges for all attendees and guests as well as memorabilia items for distribution to all attendees.

Third Armored Division (Spearhead)

Friday, 26 February, gathering beginning at 6:00 pm at the Crystal City Sports Pub, 529 South 23rd Street, Arlington VA 22202 (the only charge is what you consume food and beverages.)

VII Corps Artillery

Friday, 26 February, reception in the Jackson Room (Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel) from 7:00 to 9:00 pm.  There will be a cash bar and “heavy” hors d’oeuvres. (I guess “heavy” is to make sure all the tankers attend.)

Saturday, 27 February, buffet breakfast from 7:30 to 9:00 am in the Jackson Room (Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.)

All units

Saturday, 27 February, 10:00-11:00 am, General Membership Meeting, VII Corps Desert Storm Reunion Association across from check-in desk, Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.

All units

Saturday, 27 February; Memorial Service Arlington Cemetery: 1:15 pm, depart Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel for Memorial Service (Transportation buses will be provided free of charge); 2:00 pm, VII Corps DSVA Annual Memorial Service at Fort Myer Memorial Chapel to honor the 111 Soldiers who served in VII Corps during Operations Desert Shield & Desert Storm who gave the ultimate sacrifice. Lieutenant General Karen Dyson – Military Deputy to the Assistant Secretary of the Army (Financial Management & Comptroller) – will be the guest speaker.  LTG Dyson was a company commander in VII Corps (7th Finance Group) during Desert Shield & Desert Storm; 3:25 pm, depart Memorial Service for Arlington National Cemetery for wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of The Unknown Soldier; 4:00 to 4:30 pm, Changing of the Guard and VII Corps DSVA Wreath Laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier; 4:45 pm, depart Arlington National Cemetery for Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel.

All units

Saturday, 27 February; 7:30 to 10:00 pm, VII Corps DSVA 25th Annual Banquet – Grand Ballroom (Crystal Gateway Marriott Hotel).  This is for all attendees.  Guest Speaker will be GEN Martin Dempsey USA-Ret) – 18th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who got his “start” as XO of the Third Brigade, Third Armored Division during Desert Storm.  I am pretty sure that LTG (USA-Ret) Paul Funk, our Third Armored Division commander will be there.


E-Mail Address:

Regular mailing address:

VII Corps Desert Storm Veterans Association

2425 Wilson Boulevard

Arlington, Virginia 22201

Points of contact:

Email these folks to get more information on specific topics:

VII Corps Artillery

Stan Lenox at 512-897-7751 or by e-mail at

Third Armored Division (Spearhead)

Rob Goff at 540-422-9588 or by e-mail at OR Bob Reeves at 254-231-8970 or by e-mail at

First Cavalry Division

Jim Bob Rollins by email at

First Infantry Division

Doug Morrison at 703-772-7614 or by e-mail at

Second Armored Cavalry Regiment

David Boyce at 623-451-5637 or by e-mail at

First UK Armoured Division

John Geis by e-mail at

VII Corps DSVA Ops Center

There will be an Ops Center set up in BIN 1700 which is located across from the check in desk at Crystal Gateway Marriott.  All attendees can pick up their name badge as well as memorabilia items we are distributing and also receive information on all events that will take place during the weekend.  Please do not hesitate to contact for any questions you may have.

Every single one of you did something quite special and remarkable back then; please come back to the reunion so that we can all meet again.


VII Corps Desert Storm Reunion, 26-28 February 20162022-10-08T17:52:18-06:00

Company M, Seventh Cavalry, Little Bighorn Battle Roster

Seventh Cavalry insignia

Seventh Cavalry insignia

The following company roster is found in Custer’s Best:

CPT Thomas H. “Tucker” French (Company Commander) [CW] [V2] (MB) {7}

1LT Edward G. “Bible-Thumper” Mathey (detached to command the pack train) [V3]

2LT James G. “Jack” Sturgis (detached with Company E) (KIA)

1SG John “Paddy” Ryan (Company First Sergeant) [CW] [V3] (RS) {3}

SGT Patrick “Patsy” Carey (WIA) [V2] (MB) (RT)

SGT John McGlone [V2] (PT)

SGT Miles O’Hara (KIA) [V2] (AG)

SGT Henry C. Weihe [aka Charles White] (First Duty Sergeant) (WIA) [V2] (AG) (RT)

CPL Henry M. Cody [aka Henry Scollin] (KIA) (AG)

CPL William Lalor [V2] (MB)

CPL Frederick Stressinger (KIA) [V2] (MB)

Trumpeter Charles “Bounce” Fischer (MB)

Trumpeter Henry C. Weaver [CW] (MB)

Saddler John “Jack” Donahoe [V2] (PT)

Farrier William D. “Tinker Bill” Meyer (KIA) [V2] (MB)

Farrier George “Cully” Weaver (MB)

PVT Joseph “Joe” Bates [aka Joseph Murphy] (MB)

PVT Frank Braun (DOW) [R] (AG)

PVT Morris Cain [R] (MB)

PVT James W. Darcy [aka James Wilber] (WIA) [R] (RS)

PVT Henry H. “Harrison” Davis [CW] [V3] (PT)

PVT Jean B. “Frenchy” Gallenne (AG) (H/H)

PVT Jacob H. Gebhart [aka James J. Tanner] (DOW) [R]

PVT Bernard “Barney” Golden (MB)

PVT Henry “Tom” Gordon (KIA) [V2] (AG)

PVT George Heid (MB)

PVT Charles Kavanaugh [CW] (MB)

PVT Henry Klotzbucher (Company Clerk) (KIA) (MB)

PVT George Lorentz (KIA) [V2] (MB)

PVT Daniel Mahoney [R] (MB)

PVT John H. “Snopsy” Meier (WIA) (AG)

PVT Hugh N. Moore [V2] (MB)

PVT William E. “Bill” Morris (WIA) [R] (RS)

PVT Francis “Frank” Neely (AG)

PVT Daniel J. “Dan” Newell (WIA) (AG) (T/B)

PVT Edward D. Pigford (WIA) [R] (MB) {2}

PVT William E. Robinson (detached service as an assistant to Dr. Henry Porter)

PVT Roman “Henry” Rutten (WIA) [V2] (RS)

PVT Hobart Ryder (RS)

PVT William W. Rye [R] (MB)

PVT John Seamans [R] (MB)

PVT Robert Senn [R] (MB)

PVT James W. “Crazy Jim” Severs [V2] (MB)

PVT John “Big Fritz” Sivertsen [V2] (MB) (RT) (T/B)

PVT William C. “Bill” Slaper [R] (MB)

PVT George E. Smith (KIA) [R] (MB)

PVT Frank W. Sniffin (Company Color Bearer) [R] (MB)

PVT Frank Stratton [R] (MB)

PVT David “Sandy” Summers (KIA) (MB) (H/H)

PVT Levi M. Thornberry [R] (MB)

PVT Rollins L. “Robert” Thorpe [R] (AG)

PVT Henry J. “Jim” Turley (KIA) [V2] (AG)

PVT Thomas B. “Happy Jack” Varner (WIA) [R] (MB)

PVT Henry C. Voight (KIA) (MB)

PVT James “Jim” Weeks [R] (MB)

PVT John V. Whisten (MB)

PVT Charles T. Wiedman (WIA) [R] (MB)

PVT Charles H. Williams (MB)


Not Present at the Little Bighorn


SGT William Capes (Powder River Camp)

PVT John Dolan (Powder River Camp)

PVT James McCormick (Powder River Camp)

Wagoner Joseph Ricketts (Powder River Camp)

PVT Walter Sterland (Powder River Camp)

PVT Ferdinand Widmayer (Powder River Camp)

Farrier William Wood (Fort Rice)

PVT John Zametzer (Fort Rice)




CPT=Captain; 1LT=First Lieutenant; 2LT=Second Lieutenant; 1SG=First Sergeant; SGT=Sergeant; CPL=Corporal; PVT=Private


KIA= killed in action; WIA=wounded in action; DOW=died of wounds; CW=Civil War veteran; V1=Battle of Washita veteran; V2=fought Indians on 1873 Yellowstone expedition; V3=veteran of both Washita and Yellowstone campaigns; R=recruit (less than nine months service); AG=on advance guard mission; RS=on 1SG Ryan’s timber scout mission; MB=with main body in valley; PT=detailed to pack train; RT=remained in timber during retreat; H/H=believed to have been a horse-holder; T/B=trained as a blacksmith


{2, 3, 7}=estimated number of enemy warriors that the trooper shot during the entire battle

Company M, Seventh Cavalry, Little Bighorn Battle Roster2016-01-19T06:58:18-06:00

Private Edward Pigford’s Grave

Three brothers, fans of Custer’s Best, recently took a field trip to visit the grave of Private Edward Pigford in Dravosburg, Pennsylvania.  As George, Jack & Mike wrote: “As per your book “Custer’s Best” on page 105, Private Pigford stated, ‘I’d have given all the money I ever expected to have for just one big swig of good licker.’  So we stopped by and had a big swig of good licker for Private Pigford!”

Thanks, guys — from all the troopers in Company M!




Private Edward Pigford’s Grave2015-09-04T21:59:22-06:00

First Sergeant John Ryan Kepi

John Ryan’s Kepi

He wore this cap after his service in the Army when he attended numerous reunions.

First Sergeant John Ryan Kepi2015-09-04T22:02:25-06:00

Custer’s Last Stand

Custer’s Last Stand

“In his first novel, A Garden of Sand, Earl Thompson wrote of Depression-era Kansas in the 1930s.  At one point in the story, he described the inside of a truck-stop, where a young man often fantasizes about doing something bigger with his life than his friends – being a part of something bigger than himself.  Above the jukebox in the old café is an Anheuser-Busch Brewing Company print depicting Custer’s Last Stand, at which point Thompson’s story continues, describing the Americana masterpiece:

“It was a great picture with ponies wild-eyed and frothing in the dust of battle, ridden by howling Indians in warpaint, dropping, dragging, dying like flies, all over it.  And Custer, his hair like golden flypapers, golden mustachios, great white hat, fringed buckskin jacket, supported dying troopers around his knees, his pearl-handled six-guns blazing, mowing down Indians as if they were wheat.  That dusty golden land was of the world and the boy knew.  He lived where Indians had walked.  Where buffalo grazed.  Listen!  For the silent step.  He could look at the picture for hours.  Nuts to Western Union!  When he grew up, he was going with the cavalry.””

Custer’s Last Stand2015-09-12T14:22:05-06:00

Map of the Battle Showing the Defense at Reno Hill

Map of the Battle Showing the Defense at Reno Hill

Company M defended the perimeter of the hill on the side of the Little Bighorn River below the steep slopes of the ridge and hill.  First Sergeant John Ryan engaged warrior sharpshooters on Sharpshooter Ridge, about 900 yards away.

Map of the Battle Showing the Defense at Reno Hill2015-09-12T14:27:10-06:00
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