Task: What was the role of William M. Caldwell during the Battle of the Little Bighorn and how should his actions during and after the battle determine his legacy?



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Last Stand: The Caldwell Quandary

Custer's Last Stand:

The Caldwell Quandary

A Forensic Archaeology Challenge
Writer’s Notebook
Link to documents and images needed for project


Task:
What was the role of William M. Caldwell during the Battle of the Little Bighorn and how should his actions during and after the battle determine his legacy?
After researching and reading about the Battle of the Little Bighorn, viewing a documentary concerning the archaeology of the Battlefield and examining original source documents dealing with military career of William M. Caldwell, write an essay that addresses the question and support your position with evidence from the text(s). Be sure to acknowledge competing views.

Preparing for the task
In a quick write, write your first reaction to the task prompt. Add some notes of things you know about the issue (if any).
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Unsolved History: Custer’s Last Stand Documentary
Prepare for the Task – Pre documentary
Writing Prompt 1 – What do you know about the Battle of the Little Bighorn (aka Custer’s Last Stand)?

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Documentary - Unsolved History: Custer’s Last Stand
Answer the following questions while viewing the documentary
1) What was the key that unlocked the secrets of the Little Bighorn Battlefield and what did that key permit?
2) Based on the human remains found and the contingent examination of those remains, describe a typical soldier of the 7th Cavalry physical nature and what their life was like.

3) What was the numerical makeup of each side of the coming battle? (soldiers, officers, scouts, warriors)?
4) How did Custer divide his troops prior to the battle? How did Custer divide up the 210 men he had with him?


5) The archaeology dig uncovered thousands of spent cartridges that revealed what about the weapon used at the battle? (specifics)

6) Did Custer attack or get attacked? (Explain)
7) The examination of spent cartridges revealed what aspects about the fighting at the Custer Battlefied, be specific?

8) Describe the wounds found on Custer’s body?
9) What do the bones examined and presented in this documentary reveal about the death of the soldiers?

10) What is the new theory that has been put forth by the producers of this documentary based on the forensic research presented:

Post Task –documentary
Writing Prompt 2 – Now write about what you know about the Battle of the Little Bighorn (aka Custer’s Last Stand)?

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Preparing for the task – Original Source Documents

Examine the Kicking Bear painting of the Battle of the Little Bighorn at (http://www.meredith.edu/nativeam/plains.htm) and in a second quick write, record your reaction to the image with the task prompt.


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Read the note from Colonel Custer to Captain Benteen (http://custersbugler.blogspot.com/p/battle-of-little-big-horn.html) and in a third quick write, record your thoughts on that note in conjunction with the task prompt.
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Locate and read the obituary on William M. Caldwell and in a final quick write, write your reaction to the obituary in conjunction with the task prompt.
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Locate and examine photos (Indian girls, Bessie Pearl 1 & 2 photos], Blanche) and in a third quick write, write your reaction to the photos in conjunction with the task prompt.
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Now summarize, again in a quick write, your reaction to the task prompt in conjunction with the original source documents you just examined. Focus briefly, on where you think this research will lead you too.

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In your own words, what are the important features of a good response to the prompt?

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Blanche Caldwell Account:

William Caldwell’s Experience During the Battle of the Little Bighorn

“Would you like to hear a story about your great-grandfather?”

“Yes,” Jimmy, a boy about seven, replied.

“ Well then, climb up here on my lap”

Little Jimmy climbed reached out and grabbed the wrinkled hands of his great grandmother Blanche and felt her strong arms pull him up. Though she was old and her faced was lined with wrinkles from age and a life full of challenges, she was still strong enough to easily lift the little boy into her lap. As he settled in, she began her tail.

“Your great-grandfather’s name was William Millard Caldwell and though you never knew him, because he died more than twenty years ago, you should know about him…” And so Blanche told young Jimmy this story:


William had enlisted in the army in 1876 and was assigned to General Custer’s command, the 7th Calvary. He was either a bugler or drummer. On the day of Custer’s Massacre (Battle of the Little Bighorn), was sent back by Custer with a message for another officer. William, after delivering the message, was with other soldiers up on a ridge. Below them they could see Custer and his men fighting the Indians, but they could not get down to them. Eventually, they had to retreat back from their position. By the end of the day Custer and his men were wiped out. Eventually, as one of the survivors of the battle, William was assigned to guard an Indian reservation - the very reservation where Crazy Horse would surrender
Then Blanche reached over to a drawer, opened it, and drew out a pistol. This, she said, was his Colt pistol that he had with him at the time of the battle. Blanche left the young boy hold the unloaded pistol and his eyes filled with wonder. “Wow,” he said, “he fought with Custer and I am holding his gun.” The story stayed forever a strong memory in his mind, especially after he inherited the pistol.

Text Selections:
Blanche Caldwell Tale
Short Constructed Response: For each text you read, identify the following information:
What is the author trying to accomplish? Which parts of the text show you that?

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What competing arguments have you encountered or can you think of ?


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For each text, list the needed bibliographic information. Add bullets on why you think the work is credible and / or worthy of study.


(You may use and our encouraged to use Noodletools [or similar programs] to create a working bibliography and then attach a printout to this notebook).
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Active Reading: Ability to identify the central point and main supporting elements of a text.
Locate and read:

Black Elk Speaks: Black Elk’s Story of the Battle of the Little Bighorn”


Short Constructed Response:
What is the author trying to accomplish? Which parts of the text show you that?

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What competing arguments have you encountered or can you think of ?
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Find and read “The Battle of the Little Bighorn, 1876”
Short Constructed Response:

What is the author trying to accomplish? Which parts of the text show you that?

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What competing arguments have you encountered or can you think of ?


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Custer : Analysis

Myth and Legend vs Archaeology and History
Directions - While viewing the “The Way West: War for the Black Hills” documentary, make notations and identify facts that will enable and assist you in writing an in-depth analytical essay s concerning the following:
Documentary Notes
A. Custer was part of American policy in the nineteenth century that demanded the removal of Native Americans from their homelands. Discuss the implications of this policy on American history, Native Americans and the development of the “American Character.”

B. Contrast the findings of recent archaeological discoveries and what they reveal with historical accounts of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.


Quick Response Essay –
Based on what you have learned so far about Custer and the Battle of the Little Bighorn write a brief essay (not to exceed 1 page) focusing on the Battle of the Little Bighorn : Myth vs Archaeological Evidence. Be sure to include where you think your research is headed with the Caldwell Conundrun.

Evidence Envelope 1
Thoroughly examine the contents of Evidence Envelope 1. Use the space below to make notes about what you find in the envelope. Also, based on all the information your have, create a timeline of events in William Caldwell’s military career (include the events through and including the pension application)
Evidence Timeline

Evidence Searches

For each item below you need to search either internet, textual or database sources to uncover pertinent and significant information for your research. You are looking for key historical clues!




  1. Find the roster list of the 7th Calvary at the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. Look for William M. Caldwell and copy down his entire entry.

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  1. Find out what the Powder River base camp was and its significance to the 1876 Indian campaign.

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  1. Who was Giovanni Crtisostomo Martino (Martini)? What is his relationship to William M. Caldwell?

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  1. What was the Steamer Far West used for before, during and after the Battle of the Little Bighorn?

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For each text, list the needed bibliographic information. Add bullets on why you think the work is credible and / or worthy of study.
(You may use and our encouraged to use Noodletools [or similar programs] to create a working bibliography and then attach a printout to this notebook).
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Evidence Envelope 2
Thoroughly examine the contents of Evidence Envelope 2. Use the space below to make notes about what you find in the envelope. Also, based on all the information your have, create a timeline of events in William Caldwell’s military career (include the events through and including the pension application)
Evidence Timeline

Preliminary Outline to Task Prompt

Draft, in the space provided below, a one page outline response to the original prompt question. Upon the completion of your outline, show it to your instructor for validation.



Evidence Envelope #3

After having your draft outline validated, you will be permitted to see the final envelope. Below, write down any additional facts you learned which will be needed to complete your final essay.



Final Outline to Task Prompt

Draft, in the space provided below, a one page outline response to the original prompt question. Upon the completion of your outline, show it to your instructor for validation. Upon approval, write and attach your essay to this writer’s notebook. The essay should be 2-3 pages, typed, double spaced. It also needs to be fully and correctly documented (as per MLA).


Your final essay is due ______ .

Format
I Introduction (1-2 paragraphs)
II Evidence, Analysis and Arguments (4-6 paragraphs)
III Closing arguments and conclusion (1-2 paragraphs)



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