I knew that Tom had been beated to a pulp and was identified only by his tatoo, and the part about George also makes sense. I recall when I was speaking on "Custer's Last Man" I mentioned reports that Custer had an arrow rammed up his penis and some people gasped. As I pointed out, they kept this quiet as long as Elizabeth was alive. I also recall hearing that what was buried at West Point was the skull and thorax and one leg -- I think that part is not certain. But basically, I suspect you're right.
The theory that Custer was not mutilated never made sense to me. The Cheyenne dispised the man and I believe would have torn him apart.
The 'official' word, for years, insisted none of the Custers were mutilated. All the books written before the discovery of the actual records, therefore, say they weren't mutilated. The novel that had Custer court-martialed based its premise on the possibility that he could have survived the wounds. It was not until fairly recently, I think in the late '90s, that some researcher came across the actual after-action reports filed by the relief, & the actual surgeons' reports on the condition of the bodies. They had been well-hidden for more than a century.
Of course, it never made sense that the Cheyenne, at least, wouldn't have mutilated the Custers. Rain-in-the-Face, in particular, hated Tom Custer with a passion. George Custer was in command of the 7th when it attacked Black Kettle's village in the dead of winter and killed women & children. The Cheyenne, as a tribe, hated the Custers--and for good reason. Even if the Lakota might not have mutilated them, there were a lot of Cheyenne at what was, at the time, the biggest sundance gathering ever. There were probably 1500 to 2000 warriors in that village & at least a third of them were Cheyenne.
Historically speaking, Custer has been the subject of more biographies than anyone except Abraham Lincoln and he's been the subject of more Westerns than anybody on Earth. Thanks for your thanks -- I too love this site. John Koster.
PS: Custer story. My wife's self-proclaimed foster mother was Suzie Yellowtail, the first Crow woman to be an RN, and once when she was staying with us I asked her: "Suzie, how far did Curley go down into the valley?"
"John, he never went down into the valley at all," Suzie said. "He was 20 years old and didn't want to die. He felt bad about it afterwards though. The Crows all liked Custer and they were sorry he got killed. I remember when Tom (her husband) and I were teenagers, we'd all go to dances at Crow Agency and White-Man-Runs-Him and all the old boys would dance but Curley would never dance, even though he was the youngest. He'd just stand off to one side hanging his head and saying "I told him not to go into that valley! I told him not to go into that valley...."
The other Crows razed him a lot about that William Selig movie where he snuck up to Custer at the Last Stand and tried to get him to leave, and Custer wouldn't. Curley looked embarrassed at the time and heard about it afterwards.
Tom was a great herbal medicine man. He once cured a pre-pneumonia condition I picked up at work with Deer Weed Tea, which looked like red Kool-Aide and tasted like carbon tetrachloride -- but worked overnight. Suzie was a great old lady too, but you could never win an argument with her. Once when she was 80 and I was about 26 I asked her -- "Suzie, now that I'm a vegetarian I'll never be able to find our for myself, so what does dog really taste like?"
She looked me right in the eye and said; "Sort of like porcupine!"
As I said, I never won an argument with her. Probably why she adopted my wife but not me. Wonderful memories. Thanks for helping to summon them back again.
Several sources name Custer as the father of Monaseetah's son, Yellow Bird. Custer took dozens of women and children captive at the Washita River massacre in 1868. He selected her because she was quite pretty, though most sources put her at 14 or 15 at the time. Some reports maintain that Yellow Bird was at his mother's side as she guarded Custer's body at the Little Bighorn battle site. The women of the many tribal nations' camps went methodically through the soldiers' corpses, chopping them to pieces and scalping their heads. Monaseetah kept them away, and Custer's body was the only one not dismembered. It was noted in one book that one of the women ran an arrow up his penis to show retribution for his rape, insemination, and fathering of the illegitimate child, which he would never acknowledge.
A few references say that Yellow Bird died of pneumonia before his first birthday, but others claim he reached adulthood, however I have not been able to find any information to substantiate that. And, some researchers claim that Yellow Bird was the offspring of George's brother Tom, but others maintain that both brothers systematically raped the beautiful young maiden repeatedly.
The child was Tom's, not George's. Libbie Custer never had a child. That was not because she was barren. George contracted the clap while in West Point & it rendered him sterile. Both brothers may have raped the girl, but the child she conceived had to be Tom's, because George couldn't conceive a child. His relations with Libbie proved that.
I have also heard that George fathered a child by a young Indian woman and that the son born to her was widely called The Custer Boy. I also understand that The Custer Boy died at a very young age. In all fairness to George, it must be realized that he was not the only member of the family to serve during the Indian wars, and many of these people invariably served with him! I understand that at least four or five members of the family (including a brother-in-law) died at the Little Big Horn. If the boy showed what may be called Custer traits, they could have come from any male relative. I have long suspected that Tom Custer was the boy's father. Has any definitive proof ever come forth that George was the boy's father?
I just had a chance to look at some of the other responses and learned that my suspicions were not totally off-base. I always heard that George was faithful to Libbie but that Tom was a womanizer par extreme.