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Custer's Last Stand TAMAQUA

A cache by kb3ayy Send Message to Owner Message this owner
Hidden : 4/13/2007
3 out of 5
1.5 out of 5

Size: Size: other (other)

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Geocache Description:

Terrain is flat but not handicapped excessible, the 3 overall difficulty is due to the container nature.

This area is only open from 8:30am to 4:30pm in the winter and 6pm in the summer Please respect property times..

This is a 2 part multi-cache.
Coordinates for Part 1 are N40° 47.729 W75° 58.921

BRING YOUR OWN PEN and only use the hint if needed..

When you arrive here it takes you to the gravestone of the 1 man from the Tamaqua area who supposedly survived Custer's Last Stand and you need to fill in the blanks to get to your final destination. ( I have included some historic information)
The first name on the stone next to him on the left marked (mother)
_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _
0 9 7 2 8 7 5 1

Now fill in the spaces below to get the coordinates to the actual cache container.
N40° 47. REM W75° 59.MRR
N40° 47._ _ _ W75° 59._ _ _

The national monument at the Little Bighorn battlefield lists William Heath as one of 263 American cavalry soldiers who died under the command of Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer on June 25, 1876.
But official records in Pennsylvania show that Heath's body is buried thousands of miles away from the Montana battlefield, having been laid to rest in a cemetery plot in Schuylkill County on May 2, 1891. This leads some historians to wonder -- did one of Custer's troops live through the Battle of Little Bighorn?
William came to the US as a small child. He worked as a coal miner, and later was a member of the coal and iron police during the time of the Mollie Maguire uprisings. He enlisted with the Seventh Cavalry in Cincinnati, Ohio in October 1875, and went with Company L, in which he served as a farrier, to the Dakota Territory. He served with General Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn; he was wounded/injured and somehow became separated from Company L. He was suffering from exposure and frostbite and his injuries when he was found by a family of settlers and cared for until he was well enough to travel back home to Pennsylvania. The family included Lavina Ennis, for whom his daughter Lavina was named. His name is listed on the monument at the site of the Battle of the Little Big Horn as having been killed in the battle, but he died in Tamaqua, PA in 1891 of a brain tumor, and is buried in the Odd Fellows Cemetery, Tamaqua, PA.

Some people have commented on the Heath burial.
One of the granddaughters did research the tax records of William Heath for
the time period. William was on the Tax records of Girardville for the 1874 period,
he is not there on record in 1875-1877 his time in the military then returns in
1878 in Tamaqua, INTERESTING. There are more articles to read and I have included 3 web sites I used for my information. Either way it is definitely interesting information for a geocache ?
(visit link) (visit link) (visit link)

The battle, also known as "Custer's Last Stand" gained notoriety by being the largest and last engagement by Plains Indians against the U.S. 7th Cavalry.

It was also one of the bloodiest massacres of American soldiers, with most official accounts and historians listing Custer and his entire regiment as killed in action. However, according to some historians, Heath was wounded in the battle and later nursed back to health in Dakota Territory. The immigrant from Staffordshire, England then returned to Pennsylvania, where he worked as a coal miner before the war, and lived nearly another 15 years before dying of a brain tumor. "He's listed on the muster rolls from the National Archives and on the monument. The question is, how could he have gotten separated (from the troops)?,"asked historian and Custer scholar J. Stuart Richards, of Orwigsburg. "Well I have some theories that are my own." Richards hypothesizes that Heath left the battle line to take the horses to the rear, away from the fighting. "That was one of the roles of the farrier. When the cavalry dismounted, he'd take three horses and lead them to the back. Heath also could have been caring for an injured horse lagging behind," Richards added. After being nursed back to health in the Dakota Territory by nursemaid Lavina Ennis and her family, Richards says Heath returned to Schuylkill County, where his name appears on Girardsville tax records from 1877 to 1882. Heath is then believed to have moved to nearby Tamaqua later that year, and was listed in the 1890 U.S. Census as a resident of Tamaqua, where he quietly lived out the rest of his life. He died there in 1891 a year later and is buried in Odd Fellows Cemetery. Historians say he never claimed a military pension, but his body lies two rows behind the cemetery's 1870 Soldier's Circle Monument. Descendents of the disputed Heath say they already knew the whole story. One owns a rifle Heath brought home. some still live in Tamaqua. Others are sprinkled across the country. Debbie Heath Brumbaugh of Blair County, who is Heath's great-granddaughter, says many family members are familiar with the details. "They heard it from their grandmother. Including the fact that he had lost part of an ear to frostbite when he was wintering in the Dakotas with Custer. Story says he was always embarrassed about this and would wear a scarf of sorts," Brumbaugh revealed.

Additional Hints (Decrypt)

unpxrq bss

Decryption Key


(letter above equals below, and vice versa)



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