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Sgt August Frank Finckle

Sgt August Frank Finckle

Birth
Death 25 Jun 1876 (aged 31–32)
Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA
Burial Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA
Plot Mass Grave Last Stand Hill
Memorial ID 16191167 · View Source
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Prior to coming to the US, Sgt Finckle was allegedly a captain in the Prussian Army. He enlisted into the US Army on January 27, 1872 in Chicago Ill. His civilian occupation was listed as clerk. Finckle was described as 6'0", gray eyes, dark hair & dark complexion. Some military records also spelled Finckle's last name as Finkle.

On February 20, 1872, Finckle reported for duty at Louisville KY & was assigned to C Company, 7th US Cavalry. C Company was commanded by two time Medal of Honor recipient Capt Tom Custer. Capt Custer was also the brother of LTC George Armstrong Custer.

Between September 1872 & September 1874, Finckle's daily duties were cook & being "in-charge of the kitchen." On February 18, 1873, he was promoted to corporal. On June 3, 1875, Finckle was promoted to sergeant. And between July 1875 & September 1875 he was an acting sergeant-major at Ft Totten, Dakota Territory.

At the Battle of the Little Bighorn C Company was attached to LTC Custer's battalion. Sometime during the figting Finckle was killed.

Several days after the battle, Sgt D. Kanipe, who had served with Finckle in C Company, located Finckle's body at the southern end of Calhoun Ridge & just below Calhoun Hill. Near Finckle's remains was the body of another C Company sergeant, Jeremiah Finley. Both were described as being "very badly mutilated." Laying close by the sergeants' were their dead horses.

A burial detail & several officers reported that in the area of Finckle & Finely were the bodies of between 15 & 20 soldiers along with "numerous cartridge shells." It was believed that Finckle, Finely & the other soldiers had dismounted to fight until overwhelmed & killed. One member of the burial detail, Pvt John Dolan, later reported in an interview that he had seen approximately 20 cartridge shells laying around Finckle's body.

Many years after the Battle of the Little Bighorn, a man living in the state of Washington claimed he was part of Custer's command & had survived the battle...he further claimed that his name was Finckle. A book titled "Custer Survivor" by John Koster researched this topic. Further investigation by other researchers & historians have found no creditable evidence to support the claim that Finckle had survived the battle.

In 1881 all known battlefield burials were moved to a mass grave on Last Stand Hill.


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  • Created by: Randy
  • Added: 14 Oct 2006
  • Find A Grave Memorial 16191167
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Sgt August Frank Finckle (1844–25 Jun 1876), Find A Grave Memorial no. 16191167, citing Little Big Horn Battlefield National Monument, Little Big Horn Battle Site, Big Horn County, Montana, USA ; Maintained by Randy (contributor 46846747) .