Big Horn River Lost Gold
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  1. #1
    hu
    Gypsyheart~ Queen of Rust

    Nov 2005
    Ozarks
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    Big Horn River Lost Gold

    When Custer and his men died on June 25, 1876, a steamboat named the Far West was making its way up the Bighorn River. Under the command of Captain Grant Marsh, the Far West had orders to follow the Bighorn River to the mouth of the Little Bighorn. Captain Marsh was then to guide the boat fifteen to twenty miles upstream and rendezvous with General Alfred H. Terry and resupply his troops. As the boat sailed to its destination, word reached Captain Marsh that Custer and his men had been massacred and that wounded soldiers would be brought to the Far West and taken to Fort Lincoln, near Bismarck, North Dakota.

    The story of the Far West becomes confusing at this point. Some researchers agree that gold was on board the supply boat, but they disagree on how it got there. What's more, they agree that the gold was buried onshore, but they disagree on its precise location. In fact, two stories have been told to account for the appearance - and disappearance - of the Far West gold.

    Treasure Tale 1: Gold bars from Williston

    According to an account by writer Emile Schurmacher, Captain Marsh had taken the boat to Williston, North Dakota, where it had collected a shipment of gold bars worth $375,000 and then left for its rendezvous with General Terry. The gold was to be delivered to Bismarck on the return trip.

    After fifty-two wounded men were brought on board to make the 740-mile trip to Bismarck, Marsh realized that he would need all the room he had on board for firewood to fuel the steamer's engine. The gold would have to be buried ashore temporarily; he could return later to collect it.

    Schurmacher says that Marsh twice attempted to retrieve the gold. Once, two months after it was hidden, he docked the boat in the same location. He could identify the site because tree stumps indicated where the crew had cut firewood to make the return journey to Bismarck. Unfortunately, heavy rains had caused a mud slide to wash over the burial site. Despite considerable digging, he and his men were unable to find even one bar of gold.

    Treasure Tale 2: Gold nuggets from Bozeman

    The other account, by writer Roy Norvill, is more dramatic. In it, Captain Marsh encountered three men on the evening of June 26, the day after Custer's death. Marsh had not yet learned of the massacre, but he knew that many Sioux were in the area. The men shouted to Marsh from the riverbank. They were Gil Longworth, a wagon driver, and Tom Dickson and Mark Jergens, his guards. They were carrying a shipment of gold nuggets from Bozeman, Montana, to Bismarck. Longworth was worried that he would be attacked by the Sioux and would never deliver the gold shipment, so he begged Marsh to take it on board the Far West.

    After it was transferred to the ship, Longworth, Dickson, and Jergens headed back to Bozeman on land, a route they considered safer. But Captain Marsh had second thoughts about keeping the gold on board. As he watched the smoke from many Sioux campsites that night, he concluded that it would be safer to hide the gold ashore and return for it later. This was accomplished the same night.

    In the next few days, the wounded soldiers were brought to the steamer and Marsh learned the fate of the three men from Bozeman: All three were killed by the Sioux. Dickson and Jergens died at Pryor's Creek; Longworth's body was found a few days later at a spot known as Clark's Fork. Apparently, he had escaped the Sioux but had been mortally wounded in the process.

    Norvill writes that although Marsh never forgot about the gold, he made no attempt to recover it. He was afraid that a return trip would be too risky. In 1879, however, he visited Bozeman to find the freight company that had hired Longworth. Unfortunately, the company had long since closed.

    Two stories - and two versions of how the gold came to be on board the Far West and where it was buried.

    Is either story true? Did Marsh load a shipment of gold bars in Williston, or did he accept a frightened driver's load of gold nuggets from Bozeman? Did he bury it on the Bighorn River, as Schurmacher claims, one-half mile from the Yellowstone River? Or did he bury it, as Norvill says, fifteen to twenty miles up the Bighorn River from the mouth of the Little Bighorn? Could there be two gold treasures? Or did one or both writers concoct intriguing stories?

    Two things can be said for certain. First, Captain Grant Marsh and the Far West were real. Second, both helped in the evacuation of wounded soldiers and sailed the Bighorn and Little Bighorn rivers at the time of Custer's death.

    Beyond that, however, nothing is clear. Although many people believe that a cache of gold is buried along the Bighorn River, a treasure tracker interested in this case should do a lot of library research before making a trip to the Bighorn River.

    SOURCES

    Brooks, Ken. "Custer's Nacy: The Tragic Journey of the Sternwheeler Far West." True West, October 1986: 14-21.

    Schurmacher, Emile C. Lost Treasures and How to Find Them! New York: Paperback Library, 1968.
    http://www.jamesmdeem.com
    Rebel - KGC and Oroblanco like this.
    I go a great distance,while some are considering whether they will start today or tomorrow

  2. #2

    May 2015
    2
    8 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Actually, Captain Grant and the Far West were chartered by the US Army to carry supplies to a rendezvous with General Terry, Department Commander, BG John (No Hip) Gibbon and LTC George Custer, 7th US Cavalry near the confluence of the Yellowstone and Little Big Horn Rivers. He was fully loaded with Army supplies, having loaded at Fort A. Lincoln, across the Missouri from Bismark, Dakota Territory and had traveled upriver to the rendezvous. He arrived on site a couple of days prior to the arrival of Gen Terry and ferried troops from Gibbon's bivouac to the new site selected by Terry. Reno and six troops of cavalry were then sent on an extended scout (don't recall number of days) and the Regiment departed the bivouac site upon his return. They boxed the sabers and only Lt McIntosh carried one at the battle. On or about 28 June, the relief column arrived back at the steamer with the wounded and Marsh cast off, for Bismark, setting a record that stands today for time versus distance. He had no time for the gold in this tale. It has no validity whatsoever.
    LTC C. Collum
    USA(ret)

  3. #3
    us
    Producer

    Apr 2016
    USA
    28
    25 times
    All Types Of Treasure Hunting
    Hello friends! I was checking in to see if anyone has put any work into this lost treasure? I am very interested in anyone that knows anything about this story. If you would please DM me that would be great! Thank in advance!

    Pirate Beth
    Oroblanco likes this.

  4. #4
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    A big Dakota HOWDY Pirate Beth!

    Wow it was a pleasant surprise to see this old thread get revived, but while it is an oldie it is also a goodie! I have done some research on the matter (am currently working on a book about Custer and his famous last battle) and there is a real lost treasure involved, which has gotten confabulated into Custer and the Little Bighorn perhaps wrongly. The true incident actually occurred during the Montana gold rush, years earlier than the 1876 time period, and still involved much the same hostile tribes and characters but missing Custer. On the other hand it is a fact that the 7th Cavalry had indeed been paid in cash (a combination of paper money, silver dollars and some gold coins) after having departed Ft Abraham Lincoln, and they had not had any chance at all to spend any of that money until well after the famous battle. Virtually all of the money belonging to the 7th Cav men killed in the fighting, vanished, although some dollar bills were later found in the abandoned Indian encampment where it had apparently been given to children to play with and also at several other camps in later battles in very similar circumstances. At least two instances were found in which the children had made mud 'ponies' and used the paper dollars as sort of saddle blankets for the mud ponies.

    Even this is not the full story of lost treasure involved, for several of the warriors that participated in the battle knew what the paper money was good for, but did not want to get caught with it until things had cooled down so they rode into a narrow and steep canyon near the battlefield on their route away from it, and stuffed the cash into a small cave that could only be reached by the man standing on his horse's back to reach it. That cache of cash has never been found, although it may have rotted away by now.

    One other possible treasure (type) you might be able to hunt down are actual artifacts, buttons, buckles, guns, knives etc which were used in the battle and end up in garage sales, estate auctions and even on Ebay occasionally. It is largely a matter of luck but some research is also likely to be helpful, (a surprising number of Custer artifacts turned up in Minnesota not long after the battle for example) so I wish you luck in this endeavor should you decide to try it. You just never know what you might find, and I am NOT kidding about that! <A genuine Springfield model 1873 Carbine known to have been issued to the 7th Cavalry before the fight can easily bring a quarter million bucks, and likewise or nearly so for an Army Colt 45 likewise traced to 7th Cav ownership for a couple of examples, a gold non-functional watch inscribed with the name of an officer killed in the battle can also bring a huge price just to give a few ideas>

    Good luck Pirate Beth and good hunting, I hope you find the treasures that you seek! And please keep us posted as to your discoveries and research, although not TOO specific as to endanger your own chances. Thanks for bringing this interesting topic back to life!
    Oroblanco

    Please do continue, coffee anyone?

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  5. #5
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2792 times
    Oroblanco:

    How is the Custer book coming along?

    Since you didn't ask I'll offer the same free advice I've handed out to other authors here. Don't be afraid to finish. You'll never have it all or know it all. That's OK. Better to wrap up the first edition and let is see the light of day. New information will come in, of course you'll learn more, people will read it and contribute.

    Then you have the second, revised edition.

    "The great is the enemy of the good."

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    [with several unfinished projects of my own - of course!]
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  6. #6
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bookaroo View Post
    Oroblanco:

    How is the Custer book coming along?

    Since you didn't ask I'll offer the same free advice I've handed out to other authors here. Don't be afraid to finish. You'll never have it all or know it all. That's OK. Better to wrap up the first edition and let is see the light of day. New information will come in, of course you'll learn more, people will read it and contribute.

    Then you have the second, revised edition.

    "The great is the enemy of the good."

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    [with several unfinished projects of my own - of course!]
    Thank you for the free advice, probably all authors or writers should take heed of it. And yes you have guessed the obstacle that is preventing the completion, that the research never seems to end. However I am considering drawing a line, which is not as easy as that may sound to anyone that has never written anything, and to stick to the oldest sources for the majority of the information. Even so, as I am now doing, the cross checking is exceedingly time consuming and with virtually no new facts turning up, simply because the volume of source materials is immense. For a famous battle with supposedly no survivors, the amount of testimony is astounding, not to mention the various studies and reports done in the aftermath by various branches of government agencies. Hmm that took more words that intended to say I am working on it, most every day (night actually as days are busy with other things) and hope to see the end of the tunnel by spring. Fingers crossed that is. Thank you for the inquiry, and I hope to see your own projects in print soon too (including those that may be stalled at the moment).

    Real of Tayopa likes this.
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  7. #7
    um
    Dec 2008
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    2792 times
    Oroblanco:

    One more word, if I may. With modern on demand printing, there is no longer a significant cost saving in printing 500 or 1,000 or 2,000 copies of a book. Back in the day that was a legitimate barrier to entry. Today it isn't.

    It wasn't hard to guess what was keeping your book from seeing the light of day. I've over 100 free-lance magazine articles, paid and published, and a few reprinted pamphlets.

    Given your particular topic, think about a limited hardcover edition - say 100 - signed and numbered. You might be pleasantly surprised at the premium available.

    One more small point about your topic. From time to time I've mentioned it in the context of people not understanding much more recent events - say, the fire fight in Benghazi. If The Fog of War can settle over Greasy Grass on a bright summer day, and remain for well over 100 years, it's hardly surprising that the facts regarding many other events weren't immediately available.

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  8. #8

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    7,753
    5337 times
    O.B. and Roy,

    I have advised many authors to publish a small number of leather bound, signed first editions. I can get nice leather bound, cover ready, books for around $100 each......in any number. It's something to think about.

    Take care,

    Joe
    " Hell, I was there!" Elmer Keith
    "There is an ancient proverb that says a man can never forgive you for a wrong he has done you." From a wise friend.

  9. #9
    um
    Nemo me impune lacesset

    Jan 2005
    DAKOTA TERRITORY
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    Quote Originally Posted by cactusjumper View Post
    O.B. and Roy,

    I have advised many authors to publish a small number of leather bound, signed first editions. I can get nice leather bound, cover ready, books for around $100 each......in any number. It's something to think about.

    Take care,

    Joe
    Thank you Joe and I have to ask you for that custom book binder you had, for I have lost the address. They did a superb job from what I could see.

    Thank you OB also, at the moment it looks like I will not be the one doing the publishing, and they have been inquiring fairly regularly as to the progress. However it may be possible for me to have some leather bound as a special edition, will have to talk to them about that.

    The Fog of War is especially thick around the Little Bighorn, and has been made extra thick by a coverup. It has taken a great deal of 'digging' to get at the truth. As it relates to this topic, the only decent clue about where to look for the stash of paper money is that it is in a side canyon off the route taken by the Sioux departing from their camp after the battle. The canyon was narrow and steep walled, and unfortunately there are a great many canyons like that along the routes taken by the tribes after the battle.

    Please do continue, and thank you both for the advice.

    SUPPORT THE BEEF INDUSTRY - EAT BEEF
    "We must find a way, or we will make one."--Hannibal Barca

  10. #10

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    7,753
    5337 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Oroblanco View Post
    Thank you Joe and I have to ask you for that custom book binder you had, for I have lost the address. They did a superb job from what I could see.

    Thank you OB also, at the moment it looks like I will not be the one doing the publishing, and they have been inquiring fairly regularly as to the progress. However it may be possible for me to have some leather bound as a special edition, will have to talk to them about that.

    The Fog of War is especially thick around the Little Bighorn, and has been made extra thick by a coverup. It has taken a great deal of 'digging' to get at the truth. As it relates to this topic, the only decent clue about where to look for the stash of paper money is that it is in a side canyon off the route taken by the Sioux departing from their camp after the battle. The canyon was narrow and steep walled, and unfortunately there are a great many canyons like that along the routes taken by the tribes after the battle.

    Please do continue, and thank you both for the advice.

    Roy,

    I will look up that information and get it to you ASAP. You could also give Barney Barnard a call and ask for it, as he was my source. I have some doubts about this particular story because, I believe, the Seventh was paid while encamped at the Heart River. The dead were striped and such things as money and other personal things were probably kept by the individual squaws who did the dirty work. I have never focused on that aspect of the battle, so don't really have any information. I doubt the army was carrying much extra weight or bulk.

    Good luck,

    Joe
    Oroblanco likes this.
    " Hell, I was there!" Elmer Keith
    "There is an ancient proverb that says a man can never forgive you for a wrong he has done you." From a wise friend.

  11. #11
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2792 times
    "Barney Barnard?" The "author" of the Lost Dutchman pamphlet? Probably not - that would probably make him about 120 years old.

    Was it Upton & Sons or Early West who published leather-bound, numbered first editions along with the trade hardcovers?

    My memory certainly isn't what it once was. Or never was...


    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  12. #12

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    7,753
    5337 times
    Quote Originally Posted by Old Bookaroo View Post
    "Barney Barnard?" The "author" of the Lost Dutchman pamphlet? Probably not - that would probably make him about 120 years old.

    Was it Upton & Sons or Early West who published leather-bound, numbered first editions along with the trade hardcovers?

    My memory certainly isn't what it once was. Or never was...


    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    O.B. and Roy,

    Sorry for the confusion. It is all on my part. It should have been Sandy Barnard of AST Press. He is a pretty prolific author and has written a number of books on LBH and Custer. This is his Website:

    www.indianwarsbooks.com

    Take care,

    Joe
    Oroblanco likes this.
    " Hell, I was there!" Elmer Keith
    "There is an ancient proverb that says a man can never forgive you for a wrong he has done you." From a wise friend.

  13. #13
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2792 times
    cj:

    Ole Barney's little book is one of my favorites - probably because it is one of the first I bought on the Lost Dutchman legend. From Bob Nesmith's Foul Anchor Archives (that will tell you how long ago!). I now realize somebody else wrote it. I continue to see "autographed" copies for sale...One of them actually was!

    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Oroblanco likes this.
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

  14. #14

    Dec 2005
    Arizona
    7,753
    5337 times
    CM,

    For the real "first edition", look for the green tape on the spine of the pamphlet. Eventually, my copies will be for sale. Lots of good and bad information in the book. There are many editions of this and I have only three of them. One is signed by Barnard, one has "Barney Barnard and Charles Frederick Higham as co-authors and the last is "By Charles Frederick Higham" and that is the one with green tape on the spine.

    Good luck,

    Joe
    Oroblanco likes this.
    " Hell, I was there!" Elmer Keith
    "There is an ancient proverb that says a man can never forgive you for a wrong he has done you." From a wise friend.

  15. #15
    um
    Dec 2008
    3,964
    2792 times
    CJ:

    I've seen at least who sizes of the Higham booklet - a big one (8 1/2" x 11") and a smaller one, similar to the size Barney Barnard put out. I know there are probably 20 "editions" of his book, but a number of them are the same. Yellow covers, a red cover and a green cover. I think I have a complete run. Some years ago I bought a nice LDM collection - around 100 items.

    I purchased two copies of "When Red Gods Made Men" (2nd printing) from a fairly well known dealer. There were three in the envelope! I sent them a check for the third and asked if they had any more. They didn't...


    Good luck to all,

    The Old Bookaroo, CM
    Oroblanco likes this.
    Make America Think Again

    Do you have good books in good condition you are never going to re-read? Clean 'em out!
    Operation Paperback collects gently used books and sends them to American troops.

 

 
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