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Thomas Mc Rae
[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index] [Back to the index of the New McGonagall’s poems.]

Poems by the New McGonagall

By Tomas Mc Rae, Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, ©1988

When I acted out the role of the World’s Best Bad Poet on the Walkways at Brisbane’s WORLD EXPO 88 I added a few poems of my own in similar genre.

Here is one I still remember.

The Terrible Slaughter at The Little Bighorn

By William McGonagall (His Ghost possessing Tom Mc Rae)

The fiendish massacre by the savage Sioux of the US Seventh Cavalry to the very last man,

Which took place nearby a river called The Little Big Horn,

And the poor victims as they were slain must have wished they had never been born.

’twas in the year 1876 that Chief Sitting Bull led the Sioux Nation,

Far away from their US Government supplied Indian Reservation,

Saying, “Fellow Sioux, it will be grand to live free on our own true land.

So come, my braves, and with me at the US Army make a stand!”

And away they all travelled at a speedy rate

To set up camps in Montana State.

But the US Government told Colonel George Armstrong Custer

To assemble his cavalry as fast as them he could muster.

Away they rode for countless miles.

The confident soldiers were wearing many smiles

Knowing they would prevent any Sioux ravages,

Then back to the reservation they’d take all those savages.

Custer had been made temporary general during the Civil War

But was afterwards reduced to rank of colonel, a thing he did abhor.

But nonetheless when his country to him called

He rode forth with his men to return the Sioux to the fold.

It was on June 25th of 1876

That Custer reached the Little Bighorn those errant Sioux to fix.

He thought there were only 800 of them in the area,

But actually there were 1800 warriors and that’s what caused his failure,

Because he had but 597 men,

280 of whom would never see their homes again,

And in addition there were around 50 civilians and scouts,

And that 10 of those died there are no doubts.

Custer’s scouts told him the Sioux were raising the alarm.

So he ordered Major Reno to cross the river to cause the warriors harm.

So Reno and his men crossed the Little Big Horn

To start the attack on the Indians and make them forlorn.

But, alas, when Reno tried to collect his prize

He learned that the village was of enormous size

And warriors burst forth like a huge flock of sparrows

Waving tomahawks and shooting guns and arrows.

Reno fought with might and main

Until Bloody Knife, his Indian scout, got shot dead in the brain,

And when Reno got covered with his brains and blood,

He decided to retreat with his men across the Bighorn’s mighty flood.

Meanwhile Colonel Custer had ordered his men to charge,

Never realising that the warrior force was so large.

But before the Colonel began his attacks

He sent a message to Captain Benteen with the Pack Train “Come on! Big village … Be quick! Bring pacs!”

That was the last message Custer sent,

For not long after his life was spent.

Reno’s men, having had enough,

Crossed the Bighorn bravely and ascended a rocky bluff,

Escaping from that Indian hell

They encountered Captain Benteen who had just arrived as well.

This conjoined force courage did not lack,

And they fought off a terrible Sioux attack.

But around 4 p.m. they heard to their dismay

Rifles firing downhill far away.

Around 5 p.m. Captain Thomas Weir took his men with a cheer.

To find Custer and support him without fear.

They halted on a ridge after riding for a mile,

And saw Sioux, far away, shooting men on the ground, which did not make them smile.

Then Reno and Benteen’s men came up as well, but Sioux attacks got rough.

So the gallant soldiers then returned to their well-fortified Bluff,

And there they held the Sioux at bay

For the rest of this and the following awful day.

Gallant Benteen fought like an angry bear.

With Reno’s cowardly reticence this could not compare.

On 26th June the men were relieved by Genral Terry,

Which must have made them feel quite merry.

But their happiness soon turned to pain

When Terry told them he had found Custer and all his men were slain.

To them all he sadly related

That Custer and his companions had been totally annihilated.

They had fought as gallantly as any heroes can

Until they were killed quite dead to the very last man.

And terrible were the bodies’ mutilations

Carried out by the Sioux and supporting Indian nations.

Custer was found shot in chest, left temple, and arm,

Which showed that the Indians intended to cause him harm.

When Terry arrived the wild Sioux fled

Far away where Sitting Bull them then led.

Then the Great Sioux Nation by the army was hunted down

And sent back to their reservation which caused them to frown.

Brave Sitting Bull joined Bill Cody’s Wild West Show

And was hailed worldwide as a hero wherever he did go.

Indians call this The Battle of Greasy Grass,

And it certainly caused many gallant cavalry souls to up to Heaven pass.

The men fought well against stronger power

Only to suffer death in under an hour.

Soldiers all must realise,

Never to attack an enemy force unless you know its size,

Or you also could die on a foreign plain,

Never to see your loved ones again.

[To Thomas Mc Rae’s index] [Back to the index of the New McGonagall’s poems.]

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