Report From The Planting Moon Gathering - Saturday, May 2006

The Planting Moon Gathering took place at the Chestnut Tree, (opposite the East Birmingham Campus), Sheldon, Birmingham, on Saturday, 20 May 2006 - twenty-two members and guests were present.   

Twenty-two members and guests attended the Planting Moon Gathering which was held the Chestnut Tree, Sheldon Heath, Birmingham, on Saturday, 20 May 2006.

The day’s proceedings commenced with two videos introduced by Peter Russell that set the scene for a debate that was the main presentation. The first, Their Shots Quit Coming, a quote attributed to the Northern Cheyenne warrior, Wooden Leg, was considered to be among the better accounts of the battle. The second video, The Massacre, narrated by William Everhart filmed in 1961, gave a quaint and somewhat nostalgic look at the Battlefield.

Our President, Francis Taunton, well known for his encyclopaedic knowledge of the battle based on a lifetime of study and numerous visits to the Battlefield, opened the debate entitled Custer’s Options after the Crow’s Nest. He put forward his own views and theories about what could and may have happened on that fateful Sunday in June 1876. There was a great deal of participation and by the end of the session there was little doubt that everyone present had learned something new about the battle.

After an excellent lunch Kevin Galvin continued his series of talks on Custer in the Civil War, this time covering the 1864 period from Yellow Tavern to the Shenandoah Valley. His well-researched and informative presentation was profusely illustrated, many of the photographs taken by Kevin on a recent trip to Virginia. In addition to arguing a case for Custer being a more astute commander than is perhaps the conventional view, he also linked the General’s Civil War experiences to his later actions in the Plains Indian Wars.

The last item on the agenda was a visual quiz, Custer in the Movies, also devised and presented by Kevin Galvin. For the second time running our Vice Chairman, Mike Christian, answered most questions correctly and was awarded a book on the Civil War as a well-deserved prize.

Chairman Lawrence Sherrington brought the day’s proceedings to a close by thanking Mike for organising a most enjoyable and successful day at short notice and announcing that the next gathering would take place at the Chestnut Tree on Saturday, 11 November 2006.

The June 2007 get together will be in Scotland, Edinburgh being the most likely venue, and it is hoped that several overseas members would be there.

Report From The Deer Rutting Moon Gathering - Saturday, 11 November 2006

The Deer Rutting Moon Gathering took place at the Chestnut Tree, (opposite the East Birmingham Campus), Sheldon, Birmingham, on Saturday, 11 November 2006 - seventeen members and guests were present.

Seventeen members and guests attended the Deer Rutting Moon Gathering in Birmingham on November 11, 2006.

In the absence of the Chairman, who was out of the country on business, Vice-chairman Mike Christian opened the proceedings with a short Annual General Meeting being the first item on the day’s agenda. A report was received from the Treasurer, Peter Russell, which showed that the Association’s finances were in good shape but owing to the ever-increasing costs of producing the biannual journal, The Crow’s Nest, postage, stationery and not least the long term weakness of the U.S. dollar against sterling, he recommended that the subscriptions for both Full and Associate Membership should be increased with effect from June 1, 2007. After some discussion, it was unanimously agreed by all those present that the new rates for 2007/08 will be: UK £8 per annum and Overseas $18 U.S., a very modest increase in the circumstances.

Peter then submitted a formal report in his capacity as Secretary on the generally satisfactory situation regarding membership, which currently numbered 165 and was virtually equally divided between those resident in Europe and North America. He also took the opportunity to announce that, after "seven years in the saddle," he would not be seeking re-election as Secretary, but would be perfectly happy to continue as Treasurer.

The following members were duly elected to serve on the Committee for the next twelve months:

Kevin Galvin and Peter Russell will continue as Co-editors of The Crow’s Nest.

The AGM was brought to a close at 11.00 AM when a two-minute silence was observed, this being Remembrance Day.

The first presentation, entitled ‘Britons who served with the 7th Cavalry at the time of the Battle of the Little Big Horn,’ was given by Peter Russell who used a well-thumbed copy of Men With Custer: Biographies of the 7th Cavalry (CBHMA Inc., 2000) as the basis of his information. He also produced a detailed list of all 54 English, Scots and Welsh members which corrected, updated and added to the previously published material. Peter further augmented this session by relating a number of fascinating facts and interesting anecdotal evidence he had uncovered during his research.

Next came the showing of the 1925 silent film Custer’s Last Fight, a re-release of the 1912 classic, with two reels added to the original three. The discussion that followed, chaired by Kevin Galvin, stimulated much debate among those present; in particular the rather dubious representation of the battle and the surrounding terrain. However, all in all, it was generally deemed to have been historically fairly accurate and well worth devoting 45 minutes of our time to it. As the next speaker, Mike Christian, pointed out in a short presentation on ‘Images of Custer on Film,’ the movie industry has never been overly concerned with the factual accuracy of historical events and we should not expect otherwise.

After an excellent lunch, when everyone had the opportunity to socialise on an informal basis, Kevin Galvin took centre stage to complete his Civil War journey with Custer from the ‘Shenandoah to Appomattox,’ a reminder that what happened on the LBH had some of its roots in the General’s Civil War experiences.

Before Mike Christian brought another enjoyable and informative meeting to a close, he announced that the June 2007 Gathering of the CAGB would almost certainly take place in Edinburgh, Scotland, when it was expected that several of our American members would attend.


Custer Association of Great Britain

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