Frank’s imposing height (a shade over 6 feet), dark hair, gray eyes and language skills helped him make sergeant in two years.
Third Sergeant Jeremiah Finley—Irish-born, Civil War veteran, Custer admirer and Finkle buddy—stowed the scalp in his saddlebag, perhaps with the idea of giving it a decent burial. The sight of the biggest Indian village they”d ever seen on June 25 did nothing to calm them down.
One man’s story was completely different—because he was telling the truth.
But before this article, the last few points of confirmation that clinch Frank Finkel as a survivor of Custer’s Last Stand were hidden in the National Archives, the U. Census Bureau and the records of the Columbia County Auditor’s Office in Dayton, Wash.
C Company led the charge down to the Little Bighorn—such as it was.
Finkle had trouble keeping up, probably because his height and weight imposed a heavy burden on his horse; he was the tallest enlisted man in the 7th Cavalry and one of the heaviest. Finkle hollered at me that he couldn’t make it, his horse was giving out.
He was hit twice more—once in the leg, once in the side—a bullet slashed his horse’s bridle, and another grazed his horse’s flank. “His pony ran off with him and went past our lodges [at the foot of Calhoun Hill]….