Three days after Custer’s troops were killed at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, surviving officers and soldiers of Reno and Benteen’s commands began the gruesome task of burying their fallen comrades. Was Custer’s body among them?
“The bodies were decomposed, many beyond recognition, bloated and black; the effects brought about by three days of exposure from the intense sun beating down upon the Montana prairie. To make matters even more terrible, there were widespread mutilations of the dead — crushed or decapitated heads and disembowelments. After the surviving soldiers were gone, predators scattered the remains of Custer’s 7th Cavalry across the field. Eventually, the battlefield gleamed with tens of thousands of shining bones from man and horse. These would have to be reckoned with resulting in many reburials over the next five years.”
**From Dust to Dust by Bob Reece
Two years ago, on the anniversary of the battle, I stood on that hallowed ground looking at all the tombstones that dotted the battlefield. Knowing that most of the bodies had been mutilated beyond recognition (the only way they identified Custer’s brother Tom was by a tattoo on his forearm), I wondered if they could’ve even recognized the body of George Custer.
It was later that day that I came across a copy of a $5,000 life insurance policy, underwritten by New York Life, insuring the life of one George Armstrong Custer. It gave me quite a jolt. Would Custer’s body have to be identified for the insurance policy to be claimed? I was puzzled.
I asked a friend of mine, college history professor Matt Conroy, to do some research on the life insurance policy.
Two days later, Matt Conroy was lying in a morgue with the back of his head blown off.
Read my latest novel, The Custer Conspiracy, to find out the secret Professor Conroy uncovered and why a group of rich and powerful men could never let him publish his findings. The novel will be available this fall (in time for Christmas) in both print and eBook.
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