REPORT ARCHIVE 2002
Report From The Deer Rutting Moon Gathering - Saturday, 16 November 2002
The Deer Rutting Moon Gathering took place at the City College (East Birmingham Campus), Birmingham, on Saturday, 16 November 2002 - twenty-nine members and guests were present.
spite of torrential rain that caused disruption to all forms of transport and
delayed the start of the day's proceedings, the meeting proved to be one the
most successful and enjoyable to date. Twenty-five members and four guests had
braved the elements, travelling from as far a field as Cumbria, Devon, Glasgow,
Kent, Newcastle and even the United States. Apologies for absence were received
from Chairman, Lawrence Sherrington and advertised presenter, Neil Gilbert, both
due to illness, as well as from several other members. College Co-ordinator,
Phil Butler, stepped into the breech and was Chairman for the day.
The slightly shortened morning session was devoted
entirely to presentations by Francis Taunton and Kevin Galvin on The
Fetterman Affair and Wagon Box Fight respectively.
As we have come to expect both talks were well illustrated by a series of
"then and now" drawings, maps and photographs, the latter being taken
by Francis and Kevin on the US Army Staff Ride in June 2001.
An excellent lunch was taken at the Chestnut Tree
public house, which gave everyone the opportunity to intermingle, which is a
most important part of our half-yearly get together. The afternoon's proceedings
began with the President, Francis Taunton, performing the pleasant task of
formally announcing the names of the Association's first two Vice-presidents,
Joan Croy and Derek Batten, which proved to be very popular with the assembled
throng. To mark this special occasion Joan was presented with a CAGB polo shirt
and Derek a copy of John S. Gray's Custer's
In the absence of Neil Gilbert, the advertised
presentation, 'Lakota - the Language of the Sioux', was deferred until a later
date. However, it was most fortunate that just a few days before Peter Russell,
had received a 'demo' video from Associate Member, Darrell Dorgan, entitled 'Sheheke
- the White Coyote, Ambassador of the Mandans'. Although not strictly coming
within our stated period of history (the Plains Indian Wars 1865-90), it was
nevertheless found to be of interest particularly as it was produced under the
auspices of the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation. The second half of the 'vacant
slot' was admirably filled in a most unexpected but thoroughly entertaining way
by Harry Seabourne, ably assisted by Founder Member, Tim O'Sullivan. Without any
notes or time for preparation whatsoever Harry gave a memorable performance on
the Sioux language, both written and signed, and as one member put it "Both
gentlemen were so informative regarding the Sioux Language. They were men who
immediately held one's respect."
After a short break for tea, Treasurer &
Membership Secretary, Peter Russell gave a brief report on the current level of
membership,* the healthy state of the Association's finances and the 'new look'
newsletter. He also intimated that due to the increased number of pages in the
newsletter, the better quality of the paper it was printed on and the expected
rise in postal and administrative costs it would be necessary to increase the
annual subscription in June 2003 - the exact amount still to be decided.
Acting Chairman, Phil Butler, then invited Joan
Croy to say a few words about her long-time interest in the Custer Story, which
covers such a wide range of different activities. It also gave us the
opportunity to thank Joan personally for the tremendous support she has given to
the CAGB both in terms of recruiting over 40 of her fellow countrymen and
volunteering to collect dollar cheques on our behalf from members resident in
the United States. Prior to the meeting Joan had generously donated five pairs
of Custer and Sitting Bull "dolls" which were sold to raise funds for
the group. The Custer dolls were actually signed by the General himself,
although I suspect Associate Member, Steve Alexander, may have had a hand in it!
In less than two and a half years the CAGB has
grown from its twelve original British-based members into a truly international
organisation. It was therefore a great pleasure to welcome Associate Member
Brian Del Vecchio and his wife, Peggy, from Palmyra, Virginia, who just happened
to on holiday in England with Joan Croy. Brian spoke most passionately about his
involvement in the controversy surrounding the erection and siting of a historic
roadside marker at the University of Virginia to record the part Custer played
in graciously accepting the surrender of the town of Charlottesville and saving
the historic buildings from almost certain destruction. With equal eloquence,
Brian went on to tell the story of Captain Thomas Farish, a Captain in the
Confederate Army, who owned the farm in Charlottesville in which the General had
set up his headquarters. Farish had been found guilty of being a spy and
condemned by Sheridan to be hanged on a gallows erected on his own front lawn
but was pardoned at the last moment when Custer intervened. These two incidents
highlighted a side of Custer that is all too frequently overlooked by modern-day
Throughout the day a large selection of books was on sale and several members took the opportunity to purchase a CAGB polo shirt and signed prints of David Shanahan's painting, part of the proceeds of which will be donated to the Fort Abraham Lincoln Foundation.
Report From The Planting Moon Gathering - Saturday, 18 May 2002
Planting Moon Gathering took place at the City College (East Birmingham Campus), Birmingham,
on Saturday, 18 May 2002 - fifteen members and guests were present.
day's programme was a little less formal than previous gatherings, which gave
members more time talk with each and to introduce topics that might otherwise
have not been discussed.
Derek Batten, a veteran of numerous archaeological digs in the United States
that include the battlefield sites at Washita and the Little Bighorn, was the
main speaker. It
was the former battle that was the subject of his presentation, which was opened
with an excellent scene-setting excerpt from the film Little
Big Man that showed the dawn attack on Black Kettle's snow-covered village. Derek's
'hands on' knowledge and passion for his chosen topic were both immediately
apparent and his relaxed style, combined with an interesting collection of
slides and artefacts, was well received by an attentive audience.
a short break for coffee, members took part in a Plains Indian Wars-based quiz
with questions being set by Lawrence Sherrington, who was also in the chair. A
close-fought contest was won by Mike Martin, who was presented with an audiotape
of the Brass Mounted Army: Music of the Old Horse Cavalry,
as a prize.
afternoon session was given over to Darrell Dorgan's video about Fort Abraham
Lincoln, entitled The Western Edge, that was generally well received and which
provoked an interesting discussion, with members expressing very different views
on what they had seen.
Darrell generously donated some dream catchers to boost the Association's
funds and they sold out immediately.
Butler announced that our tenure at the College was secure for the foreseeable
future and Chairman, Lawrence Sherrington, thanked him not only for providing
the venue but also for the seemingly inexhaustible supply of refreshments, a
sentiment that was heartily endorsed by the assembled throng. Several members took the opportunity to buy the CAGB's polo shirt and
copies of British Custeriana Series 1 and
2 that are still available.
Before bringing another successful gathering to a close, the Chairman expressed his appreciation of the contribution made by Kevin Galvin and Peter Russell, which, he said, had played such an important part in the tremendous success of the Association since it was formed two years ago.
LAST UPDATED 9 OCTOBER 2003
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