Bexhill Hanoverian Study Group

On Tuesday 21st July the Study Group were pleased to welcome Mr Norman Franks to their meeting at the Manor Barn when he gave a talk on ‘The Battle of Little Bighorn’.

Mr Franks began by explaining that this battle in America was the result of conflict between the American government and the indigenous population of Indians.

Indian Leaders Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse had both rejected an agreement signed in 1868 which restricted the Indian Nations to life in Reservations. Norman Franks then said that In order to quell a possible uprising and to stamp their authority on the deal it was thought necessary to send troops to provide a hammerblow and stop any discontentment once and for all.

On the southern side of the Little Bighorn river in Montana was an encampment of mainly Sioux and Cheyenne tribes. It was on June 25th 1876 the American 7th Cavalry under the leadership of Lt Col George Custer were sent to attack this Indian camp. However they greatly underestimated the strength of the opposition. Custer had split his 475 strong force in to three units one lead by Major Marcos Reno was to make the main attack ,taking a southwesterly approach while Custer and his unit would try and cross the river from the north down the steep banking and Captain Frederick Benteen would take his unit with mainly supplies in a more southerly direction.

Norman Franks told us that the whole battle was a complete disaster and Custer and his 7th Cavalry were decimated in this ill-conceived attack on the Indians. Custer was killed along with a large number of his troops.

Mr Franks was well applauded for his talk.

On Tuesday 18th August at 7pm for 7-30pm at the Manor Barn, Old Town. Mr Malcolm Pratt will give a talk on ‘Winchelsea at War’. Visitors are welcome at an admission charge of £3.

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