Tuesday, June 26, 2018

The Greasy Grass

History demonstrates that when an advanced civilization encounters a more primitive society, the less advanced society will eventually be destroyed, marginalized, or subsumed by the advanced civilization.

While the Pre-Columbian Americas were categorically not the pastoral, peace-loving, environmentally friendly paradise that some modern day lunatics and Gaia worshippers would have one believe, things really went to Hell in a handbasket for the locals when the Europeans showed up.

The Great Plains stretch on for mile upon mile, rolling hills, narrow watercourses here and there delimited by sparse trees but mostly prairie grasses. This ecosystem supported a wide variety of wildlife - deer, antelope, bison, and the wolves and coyotes that preyed upon them and the smaller species. Most of us have heard of the great herds of bison (what we usually call buffalo, but they're not) which darkened the Plains in their millions.

There were also the native peoples (native insofar as they arrived on the continent before anyone else, they didn't evolve here) who lived on the Plains. The Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Arapaho, and numerous other groupings. The great horse culture as some have called it. (Ironically, though not intentionally ironic, as the horse had been native to North America but the aboriginals had hunted them to extinction. The Europeans brought them back. So the horse culture wasn't that old, but old enough to make for a viable way of life.)

After the Civil War, when the whites were done killing each other, they could now focus on extending the "blessings" of civilization to the entire continent. Manifest destiny and all that. But there were all those pesky Indians out there who didn't really care to share with the greedy whites.

The most "humane" idea was to corral them on reservations, where they'd be less trouble and the government could keep an eye on them, ya know, "help" them. You can imagine how well that worked.

Eventually nearly every tribe fought back, eventually they all lost - their lands, their way of life, and their freedom to roam and do as they please. Governments really don't like people doing as they please, doesn't matter what color your skin is, but one group got in some pretty good licks before they went down hard.

On this date in 1876, the bodies of Companies C, E, F, I, and L of the United States Seventh Cavalry Regiment, under the command of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, lay rotting (along with Custer) on a hillside in Montana Territory not far from the Little Big Horn River, called the Greasy Grass by the locals.

Two other battalions of the Seventh - Companies A, G and M under Major Marcus Reno, and Companies D, H, and K under Captain Frederick Benteen - were still fighting for their lives not all that far from where Custer's battalion lay in the hot sun. They were better prepared than Custer's batallion and had had time to receive the attacks from the aroused natives. Some research postulates that Custer's detachment had been hit hard and suddenly, with no time to set up for a proper defense, out in the open, outnumbered, they were overwhelmed. Some native accounts support that contention.

At any rate, Reno's and Benteen's detachments lived (or most of 'em anyway) to fight another day. Custer's detachment was killed to a man. Every last one, soldier and scout, went down fighting or running, didn't really matter, they all died.

Two hundred and sixty eight men of (or attached to) the Seventh Cavalry died on the 25th and 26th of June. Fifty five more were wounded, six later dying of their wounds. Perhaps as few as 31 of the Sioux, Arapaho, and Northern Cheyenne were killed in action (some sources say as many as 130 to 300 were killed). Perhaps as many as one hundred and sixty Indians were wounded. At least ten non-combatant Indians were killed.

By the 27th of June when the column of General Terry arrived on the scene, the great Indian encampment stretching along the banks of the Greasy Grass, the target of Custer's impromptu attack, was long gone.

It was a bitter defeat for the U.S. Army, the worst defeat suffered in the Indian Wars. But it was the last time the native Americans inflicted such a big defeat on the whites. It was all downhill from there.

While not the only military catastrophe inflicted on a modern military force in the 19th Century (musn't forget the British defeats in Afghanistan and South Africa) it certainly marked the beginning of the end for the inhabitants of the Great Plains.

Where once the buffalo roamed in their millions, and the old tribes followed their migrations, now there are highways, and towns, and farms.




Not for those whose spirits still wander the land of their ancestors. The old ways died on that hill beside the Little Big Horn. Along with most of the Seventh Cavalry.

Sources and good information on the battle:


  1. When I walked the field I realized that the battle was nothing like the Hollywood portrayals, and that my inescapable conclusion was that George Armstrong Custer was either an idiot, or totally incompetent, or maybe both. He divided his forces in the face of a greatly superior enemy. He engaged without adequate intelligence. And, perhaps most importantly, he had totally underestimated the enemy. And for those who believe that there were no survivors of the battle, let me remind you that there were many. They were called the victors.

    1. I always ask myself about that battle, "What the Hell was Custer thinking?"

      I have a theory that many cavalrymen, by their very nature, by what makes them good cavalrymen, are completely out of their depth in an independent command.

    2. "What the Hell was Custer thinking?"

      About himself, of course, and maybe what he'll have for dinner.

      Do not like 'Gorgeous George' A. C. much at all. Even in the Civil War/War between the States/War of Northern Aggression he was an ass. But like fine booze, he got 'more' as he aged. More of an Ass, that is.

  2. I drove through there once. You could hide an army in the low spots between hills. And been right on top of them before you saw them. Gave me shivers to think anyone would hunt the best light cavalry of the time in that area.

    Give me the south Plains anytime. Very little to hid behind out there.

    1. Yup. Not a place you go into without good recon.

  3. St. Clair's Scrap was the worst defeat of the Indian wars.
    Look it up.


    1. I'll give you that one George, my focus on "Indian Wars" was the post-Civil War. But yes, St Clair suffered a bad one. And you've given me a topic for a post. I learn something and I have a post topic. A total win-win!

    2. If you're looking for more books, "Dade's Last Command" is a pretty good 'un. Partly because it contains the tale of Ransom Clark, who survived the battle despite being shot in the shoulder, arm, leg, lung (!), and head (!), and who then proceeded to walk, stumble, and crawl for five days to the nearest fort.

    3. Now there's a tough old bird!

  4. My folks took the family on a trip to Montana around 1966 or '67 in our big black Chrysler 300F and we stopped there. I was only about 8 years old (same age as my younger daughter). All I remember was the fascination that all of Custer's troops were killed. I wish I'd been able to ask my Dad about it and why he was interested enough as a Brit ex-pat to make the time to see it.

    1. Well, it's a pretty famous battle. Perhaps your Dad's interest in history drove him there.

  5. Agreed, it must have been as the old explorative nature's of the hardened battle hero versus the overwhelming force.
    But your first paragraph? Mongules, Huns, and the picts all defeated more advanced armies. Even larger armies. I guess some were luckier then others.

    1. I stand by my opening paragraph. Primitive warriors can defeat a modern army in a battle, but not in the long run. Where are the Mongols of the Golden Horde, the Picts, the Huns? They all lost in the end.

    2. Well, the Mongols of Ghenghis' Horde weren't too far off technically or armorwise from the Europeans they beat. Everyone thinks of the silk shirted light archer as 'The Mongol' but they were just the light cavalry of the Horde.

      They engaged a target, drew it out, and then heavy cavalry, wearing steel lamellar armor (armor made of multiple plates laced together, think Japanese Samurai armor as a great example of lamellar armor, or Byzantine heavy armor) or even 'plate-mail' and using the same tactics as the Euros, heavy lance for first charge then mace, axe, sword, would hit the Euros from the side or front, and let the light and medium horse chew up the rear face of the enemy.

      Combined horse tactics (light, medium and heavy, along with horse-transported infantry) and adaptability to conditions (learning siege warfare, adapting said equipment to a more mobile force) are what allowed the Horde to shatter smaller, more rigidly run European forces.

      One of the things that happened to the Mongols was the same thing that happened to the Normans. They integrated into the cultures that they took over. Mongol held China became Mongol-Chinese and eventually just Chinese. Mongol-held India became Mongol-(various Indian sub groups) which became... Only the Mongols in Mongolia stayed pretty untouched in their Mongol-ness.

      Much can be said about the Huns, as they spread they integrated and civilized, only to be run over by the next barbarian invasion.

      The Picts? They were reverse-integrated. As they lost land and power they integrated into the advancing civilization. Until, one day, no more Picts... Just people with some Pictish blood. How very... Pict-uresque…

      The Anglo-Indian (feather) wars were remarkable by their lack of widescale assimilation of culture until after the fall of the Indian (feather) cultures (at least the western horse people, the eastern ones assimilated much more before, during and after their struggles with toxic white culture (ah, gah, gone all SJW on ya on that one, must go touch guns and ammo.... ..okay, better now.)

      Civilization is weird, isn't it?

      As to the Huns vs Rome thingy, many of the 'barbaric' Huns were as advanced or more advanced than their 'fallen civilization' Romans. Both had steel and iron weapons, but the Huns had better missile weapons, better cavalry tactics (thus able to move and fight on terrain they chose) and the will to fight, which the Romans (according to Roman historians of the time) didn't have.

      'Barbarian' in many ways is a mind-trap. We tend to think immediately of dirty men running around with animal skins and maybe rough iron or bronze weapons. Barbarian is a derogatory term, like that stolen by Star Trek: TNG, Ferengi. Both mean 'stranger' and both carry the connotation of unwashed savage... running around in animal skins and maybe rough iron or bronze weapons... Like the USA using the term 'Hun' on the Germans during WWI. Real savages don't make advanced fighter aircraft, advances in chemicals and explosives, or machine guns, or have better optics and fire control than their 'better, more civilized' opponents.

    3. We have to be careful not to equate military techniques and equipment with civilization and all that that entails.

      But you raise some interesting points. As always.

    4. And that is where viewing 'civilization' through our civilized eyes can lead to great misleadings.

      Back to the Mongols as an example. By the time they had advanced to the lands of the Rus and other nominally 'westernized' Europeans, they had already assimilated the Tibetans (an advanced, steel making civilization as advanced and civilized as many 'western European' civilizations. Medicine, architecture, passion for records-keeping and administration, all that jazz. The Khan used his more 'wild' tribes as the light cav and scouting elements, and as the 'Give up or I'll sick THEM on you" group, but his medium and heavy cavalry troopies were as 'civilized' as their western counterparts.

      After the Great Khan's death, many Mongols that remained in Mongolia looked at their more adventurous cousins as 'effete city dwellers' which is a killin-insult right up there with a SEAL calling an Army Ranger a 'Soy Boi.'

      So, the question really is, what definition of civilization are we talking about?

      In many ways, the 'advanced civilization' of Great Britain was less advanced than the Indian (dot) civilization it ruled. Both civilizations came out of the contact better overall, but both were 'great civilizations' before mixing (at the point of the gun and bayonet, but still.)

      History is weird that way. (And, I think, I am in a weird mood today, one of those 'naval gazing, introspective' days. Must be the storm clouds rolling in.)

      To wrap it up, a SCAdian joke many won't get. Yes, yes, yes, the Celts created soap, but the Romans turned it from a table decoration into something useful. (See? Really esoteric joke requiring knowing that the Celt lovers are just over the top in their praise of the Celts and how advanced they were, and the Roman lovers putting them firmly in their place in so Roman a way, by looking down their Roman noses at the Celtophiles.) (Or a 13th Century Irish Lord trading insults with an 11th Century Norman adventurer... "Neuvo-Rich!" "BogTrotter" "Frenchie" "Hey, You're my descendant, so shut up!" (An actual insult swap between me (the Norman) and an Irish persona person.))

    5. I think a better example of primitive army vs modern army would be the Italo-Ethiopian War.

      What's that semi-quote? Oh yeah. Two Italian Officers... "How can we lose against people who use spears against planes?" "How can we win?"

    6. I do like the bit about soap. Being a Celt and all. ;)

    7. Oh wait, I thought you said a modern army. Did the Italians have one of those in the 30s? ;)

    8. Well, modern for a WWI era army... :)

      I can just see it now. "You will submit or we'll make you ride in our Semoventes!"

    9. I read a story about an M13/40 rolling down a mountain track in Albania and one of the armor plates just fell off. Apparently the thing was rattling itself to death, loose bolts and rivets.

  6. Another fine post. I, too, have been to that part of our country, and seen the land where that battle was fought; albeit, many decades ago. I agree with Dave about G. A. Custer; I think he was both.

    "...native peoples (native insofar as they arrived on the continent before anyone else, they didn't evolve here)…"
    The one word that would save you some typing is: aborigine.

    Thanks for the post.
    Paul L. Quandt

    1. That one word would do, but I was going for emphasis.

  7. Last fall, I took an RV trip north from Colorado to the northern border (then West to the Pacific), stopping at various historic forts and places of note along the way. The Little Big Horn bit of history really benefits from being able to walk the ridges, see the terrain, the river, the gullies, the placement of the adversaries. And, apart from all that, it is stunning in its beauty.
    The National Park Service does a wonderful job of maintaining the area, and explaining and respecting the history that was created here.

    ...as I have been impressed with the NPS elsewhere that I've visited. It is one part of our government for which I do not begrudge them their budget. Not at all.

    I will also presume to take the space here to note as well that The Civil War Trust (which uses contributions to purchase lands parcels of U.S. historic importance to preserve them from [usually] development) has changed its name to American Battlefield Trust. Its new name reflects its more recent expansions into preservation of battlefield ground from the Revolution and 1812 in addition to its work with Civil War locations. It's one of the few large charities that I still support (the rest have worn me out with their constant begging.) Anyway, see here: https://www.battlefields.org/

    1. *parcels of land

    2. Thanks for that tip CC, I shall look into supporting them.

    3. Blogger really needs a comment editing feature.

      I knew that's what you meant. ;)

  8. Amen to all of the above.
    It is instructive to consider Custer's misadventures into context of of the other events of 1876, when Ulysses S. Grant was President, 11 years after the defeat of the Confederacy, and the U.S. Army's total strength was only 28,565 men, mostly on the western frontier or propping up reconstruction carpetbaggers in the southern states.

    - February 22 – Johns Hopkins University is founded in Baltimore, Maryland.
    - March 7 – Alexander Graham Bell is granted a patent for the telephone.
    - May 10 – The Centennial Exposition begins in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    - May 18 – Wyatt Earp starts work in Dodge City, Kansas, serving under Marshal Larry Deger.
    - June 17 – Indian Wars – Battle of the Rosebud: 1,500 Sioux and Cheyenne led by Crazy Horse beat back General George Crook's forces at Rosebud Creek in Montana Territory.
    - June 24 – First published review of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer by Mark Twain.
    - June 25 – Indian Wars – Battle of the Little Bighorn.
    - July 4 – The United States celebrates its centennial.
    - August 1 – Colorado is admitted as the 38th U.S. state (see History of Colorado).
    - August 2 – Wild Bill Hickok is killed in a poker game in Deadwood, South Dakota
    - August 8 – Thomas Edison receives a patent for his mimeograph.
    - September 7 – In Northfield, Minnesota, Jesse James and the James-Younger Gang attempt to rob the town's bank but are surrounded by an angry mob and are nearly wiped out.
    - October 4 – Texas A&M University opens for classes.
    - November 7 – The presidential election ends indecisively with 184 Electoral College votes for Samuel J. Tilden, 165 for Rutherford B. Hayes, and 20 in dispute. The new president is not decided until 1877.
    - November 10 – The Centennial Exposition ends in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
    - November 23 – Corrupt Tammany Hall leader “Boss Tweed” is delivered to authorities in New York City after being captured in Spain.
    - November 25 –In retaliation for the dramatic American defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, United States Army troops under General Ranald S. Mackenzie sack Chief Dull Knife's sleeping Cheyenne village at the headwaters of the Powder River (the soldiers destroy all of the villagers' winter food and clothing, and then slash their ponies' throats).
    - December 5 – The Brooklyn Theater Fire kills at least 278, possibly more than 300.
    - [sometime in 1876] Adolphus Busch's brewery, Anheuser-Busch in St. Louis, Missouri, first markets Budweiser, a pale lager, as a nationally sold beer.

    John Blackshoe

    1. Lot of interesting things going on in 1876. Wonder what future generations will say of 2018?

  9. Author Frank Joseph and others have written extensively about past civilizations in the Americas. Some of this borders on conspiracy theories. A case can be argued the savages chose to remain savages despite centuries of exposure to organized societies. Not all, of course, there were "civilized" tribes.

    There were other native victories. The Fetterman Massacre in Wyoming, the Milk Creek Massacre near Meeker, CO and Beecher Island, near Wray, CO come to mind.

    The US Army had some clear cut victories, as apposed to massacres (Sand Creek, Wounded Knee). One that comes to mind in the Battle at Summit Springs near Sterling, CO.

    1. Well...

      Look at modern times, how many people, when exposed to rational thought, choose to remain stupid and obnoxious? (Thinking about the progressives I am.)

      So there IS precedent.

      Yes, there were other aboriginal victories, just not on the scale of Custer's defeat. (Unless you go back to the Wabash and St. Clair's defeat.)

    2. Trust a historian to find a precedent!

  10. -leave superior firepower of Gatling guns behind
    -split your forces in face of numerically superior enemy
    -commit to attack upon target that enemy would defend to death (squaws and children int he camp...)
    there is so much command Darwin awards for Custer...

    1. Good points, what was the man thinking?

    2. Wanting to be a 'fast-mobile' force and leaving his baggage train and field and gatling guns behind was... stupid. Right up there with Isandlwana (Anglo-Zulu war) level of stupid.

      Letting his enemy choose the battlefield, just plain criminal.

      Custer was known by many as a vain and feckless man. Charismatic, full of braggadocio, able to be the darling of the public's eye, kinda like Dugout Douglas MacArthur.

      In later years, he would have fit in well with the Penta-weenies at the Puzzle Palace... well, or been one of those absolute rectal sphincter commanders at some useless base far away (if the powers that be had to stash him somewhere. Hmmm, the Army commander at Diego Garcia comes to mind (yes, I know there's no Army presence at DG, just making a point..))

    3. "Custer was known by many as a vain and feckless man. Charismatic, full of braggadocio, able to be the darling of the public's eye, kinda like Dugout Douglas MacArthur."

      You are absolutely correct; exactly the comparison I was thinking of.


    4. Those two also had the similarity of having famous fathers.


    5. One of the best Custer portrayals is that by Errol Flynn. Caught his charismatic force, his boastfulness, his brash-ill timed behavior in the field. "They Died with Their Boots On" was historically inaccurate but a good look into the 'Cult of Custer.'

      Harry Turtledove, in his alternate post 1861 war (that goes by so many names...) world, where the South won a decisive victory and forced the North to surrender on terms, does a very good job of portraying a more historically accurate version of Custer. Series starts with "How Few Remain" and goes on, and on, and on, and on, and... is this guy trying to beat David Weber's word-count? on and on.... They are great books. Just... on and on and on... As bad for 'on and on' as the Honor Herrington series by DW. (Which I like, really like, but... on and on and on....)

    6. "Good points, what was the man thinking?"

      Since Beans brought up alternate history, Custer was undoubtedly screaming at the ALO, as every Army dood does,"Where's my CAS?"
      The A-10s, being A-10s, couldn't get there in time.

      Hey, it was Beans' fault!

    7. at least MacArthur managed to conjure the masterstroke of Inchon...
      so he had his moments...
      as for the alt-history... check out Peter Tsouras
      Third Reich Victorious and Rising Sun Victorious examine some turning points of WW2, and despite the tiles most often end up in concluson that the event would end in victory for Allies anyway,, just costlier one
      and then there is the gem of Rainbow of blood, a series starting with USN vs CSN skirmish in British waters ending with sinking of RN frigate, thus drawing UK and France into war on South side , and also Russia - on Union side...

    8. Aw, man, my wife tells me it's always my fault.

      The A-10's, being A-10s, could get there in time if the damned chairwarmers had released the ROE and allowed them out of the route-package plan for the day.

      As to MacArthur at Inchon, well, he was standing on the shoulders of really good men, who he gladly took the credit from.

      Will have to look up some of those other titles you mentioned, Pawel. Are you guys trying to drive me off from commenting with reading assignments? ;)

    9. Just so the new folks know, it's always Beans' fault. Well, until LUSH writes her first post, then she will assume the mantle of FNG. Hey, she still has her FNG patch from VFA-32 I bet!

    10. Technically she got on the masthead first, and she was mentioned in your blog posts long before I found this wonderful place. Trust me, that makes me the FNG even though I commented first.

      Now if you recruit PLQ or Pawel? Then I'd not be the FNG.

      She got to the squadron first, so to speak. She's just not been launched yet. (Hint.... Hint....)

    11. There's a term for pilots who don't like to fly, pigeons. As in, you have to throw rocks at them to get them to fly.

      (She's visiting next month, yes, she will be coerced into posting. I have my ways...)

  11. Great post! BTW, you might be interested in reading "Empire of the Summer Moon,"
    by S.C Gwynne. It's a great book on one of the most powerful and ingenious armies
    ever, the Commanche.

    1. Thanks and thanks for the book tip. I need to track that down.

      (I'm gonna need bigger bookshelves!)

    2. Hmmm. Made a visit to the local hospital today and sat across from two obviously Native American ladies, both of them proudly wearing t-shirts with their tribal heritage (Northern Cheyenne). Not sure if these were worn for celebratory reasons, or just habit. In any case, they are our fellow citizens now and we are warriors together against our common foes. I think.
      John Blackshoe.

    3. I've worked with Blackfoot and Northern Cheyenne. Fine people. My wife's grandfather was the Dr, at the Blackfoot Reservation around Browning, Montana. They do hate the Crow, though, and unfortunately, the one Crow I worked with and the family my brother lived next to in student housing lived right down to their traditional enemies' stereotypes. :( It used to be that in fighting forest fires, they'd be careful to separate traditional tribal enemies on the fire line. Otherwise, they'd escalate from trading jibes and insults to trading blows, and before you knew it, they were fighting each other rather than the fire. One of the most "racist" jokes about Indians was told to me by a full-blood Blackfoot aimed at the Crow. Still funny, but in today's environment...

    4. Odd that, no one seemed to like the Crow.

  12. Having seen several stories of pre-Indian peoples discovered in North America, I wonder if Indians really were the first ones here - or just the ones with the best PR.

    1. Yes indeed. New evidence is floating around which suggests that others may have been first.

    2. Recent research shows that the earliest grave found in North America is of a Caucasian, not an Asian-Mongolian. So.... Yes, the Indian/Native Americans supplanted previous people here. Facial reconstruction shows the corpse, a female btw, to look rather Scandinavian/Norwegian, rather than Germanic.

      Her grave was full of wildflowers and plants, along with household grave goods.

      Ain't Archeology fun?

      What next, someone's going to find an advanced civilization older than Egypt? Oh, wait, Göbekli Tepe? Must be Space Awiens...

    3. I have it on good authority that the Irish and the Scots once ruled the planet. We, er I mean they, had contacts with intelligent life forms on other planets and we, um, they, I meant they, were on the verge of interstellar travel when one of their number invented whiskey.

      Yup, every thing went to Hell after that.

    4. Well, at least it's really good whiskey! Must have gotten distilling tips from those intelligent life forms from other planets!!

    5. OldAFSarge, yeah, right, Irish and Scots... yeah. Which ones, the Irish who became Scots or the Scots who became Irish? The Normans who became Scots or the Normans who became Irish? Or am I pict-ing on you?

      Everyone in the know knows it's all about the Normans.

    6. If there is really good whiskey in Hell, then let's go!! What are we all waiting for?? While I favor bourbon, my son introduced me to a very nice Irish whiskey...Bushnell's Black Bush. Very nice!

    7. Well some of the ancestors became Scots via Ireland, some via Scandinavia, may have been a blue-faced Pict or two in there as well. No Normans, nope, we wouldn't have them. (Well, those we had moved to Canada, n'est-ce pas?)

    8. Suz, there is no good whiskey in Hell, all they have is cheap swill.

  13. Great post, Sarge! Ever since we moved to Colorado I've become much more interested in the history of The American West. I always enjoyed it, but until we moved here I had it in the "Dusty, But Interesting" file. Now that we're surrounded by it, it just kind of starts popping out at me. Things like the Overland Trail (had a spur into Ft. Collins) and the railroads just amaze me, now and as a kid.

    1. One of the things I liked about living out there.

      Not to mention the view, mountains to the west, endless plains to the east.

    2. Our daughter-in-laws parents live at 7500' "up on the side of a mountain", and they have a spectacular view to the East of Fort Collins, and the Great Plains that seem to go on forever.

      It's interesting to be up there in the thunderstorm season. You can see the thunderheads build up, and see the lightning, but it's 20~30 miles away and very surreal....

    3. I've driven back and forth to Cheyenne from Ft Collins at night on I-25, back in the mid-80s mind you, and loved watching the flashes way out to the east on the Plains.

      During the day we'd see small herds of pronghorns. And the occasional SAC helicopter checking up on missile silos. (So I assumed...)

    4. Yeah, there's tons of abandoned silos around here. One is on the edge of some properties our in-laws own, and I've poked around it a bit. Not much to see as it's pretty overgrown.

      Some of the silos were filled with concrete, some were filled with dirt, and some were (or became) flooded with water. Very interesting history, and most people don't know just how many silos are out here, silently rusting away.

    5. Thankfully they were never needed...

  14. That line about the gummint taking of the natives reminded me of what Henry Ford said long ago : "Any man who thinks he can be happy and prosperous by letting the govt. take care of him had better take a closer look at the American Indian." Just look at the help they gave Chief Joseph and the Nez Pierce tribe along the Trail of Tears.........


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