Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Max Littmann: War Hero

Got to talking with some relatives this past weekend as we gathered to celebrate our great aunt's 90th birthday in St. Louis, MO. Someone brought up Max Littmann, my great-great-grandfather. Max came to the US in 1854 and served in the Army, including the Wagon Box Fight. We took a trip out to visit the battlefield outside of Buffalo, Wyoming a few years back to learn more about this war hero we heard about growing up. It turns out Max and the soldiers from Company C of the 27th United States Infantry who were sent out from a nearby fort to retrieve firewood came under attack by some 3,000 of Red Cloud's Sioux warriors. With little more than a series of military box cars protecting them from certain death, Max stepped out from the relative safety and provided rifle fire so that the rest of the 28 men could return to the their position and ultimately to safety as reinforcements were sent late in the day. If memory serves, one of the key reasons they were able to hold off a far larger foe for the entire day was the recent arrival of an all-new type of gun, the repeating rifle.

See battlefield photographs slideshow here.