Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Tue Jul 12, 2011 7:50 pm

Roy,

"Thank you Pippin, that is the book I referred to that covers Capt French's court martial. Unfortunately the record was edited for the book, so some things did not make it into print. What was left out? Without the original transcript we can't know."

Do you know that any thing of importance was left out, for a fact? Is there some kind of evidence that substantiates that? Can you remember where you heard or read it?

If you are assuming that he edited out important testimony from the trial, isn't that counter productive? I try to assume that in cases like this, the author's try to adhere to true history.

John Carroll spent around twenty-years researching Custer's life, and collecting Custer memorabilia. He edited or published over one-hundred books and papers about the man and his history. I can't imagine he left out anything of importance that Capt. French had to say or whitewashed anything from his court martial.

While I would prefer to see the unedited transcripts, I am satisfied with what Carroll gives us.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:32 pm

Joe Ribaudo wrote:Roy,

"Thank you Pippin, that is the book I referred to that covers Capt French's court martial. Unfortunately the record was edited for the book, so some things did not make it into print. What was left out? Without the original transcript we can't know."

Do you know that any thing of importance was left out, for a fact? Is there some kind of evidence that substantiates that? Can you remember where you heard or read it?

If you are assuming that he edited out important testimony from the trial, isn't that counter productive? I try to assume that in cases like this, the author's try to adhere to true history.

John Carroll spent around twenty-years researching Custer's life, and collecting Custer memorabilia. He edited or published over one-hundred books and papers about the man and his history. I can't imagine he left out anything of importance that Capt. French had to say or whitewashed anything from his court martial.

While I would prefer to see the unedited transcripts, I am satisfied with what Carroll gives us.

Take care,

Joe
No, since I have never seen the transcript at all, how would I know what may or may not have been left out? It isn't always a case of something that is immediately noticeable, often footnotes are a regular 'gold mine' of info for that matter but it is small things that get overlooked. I do not doubt that Carroll included everything HE saw as important and relevant, which may have missed some small 'tidbit' that is tied to another factor.

I don't see how I have accused Carroll of deliberately leaving out anything important, only that in editing, some information gets left out. It is quite possible that some bit of information that Carroll did not view as important, may be of some use for what I am working on. You may be well justified in being satisfied with what Carroll preserved and published, but if the whole transcript can be had I would sooner work from that. I certainly didn't mean to imply that Carroll altered or colored the transcript in his editing, having never even seen the inside of his book it would be presumptive at the least.

I will probably end up getting Carroll's book, even if the NARA has the transcripts on the basis of budget restrictions. Can't afford a trip to the archives and they charge for photocopies, which could run to quite a sum. There may not even be a single statement relevant to this topic in the court martial for that matter, just running down another lead. No need to be quite so defensive.

In Reno's court of inquiry, it is noticeable that whenever a certain topic gets brought up, the subject of questioning is quickly changed to something else. I did not notice that on reading it the first time and had to re-read it several times to pick out the pattern. Something like that may or may not have been noticed by Carroll in French's case.
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Tue Jul 12, 2011 8:45 pm

Postscript

Carroll must have edited out a considerable amount of text from the court martial, to reduce it to 28 pages. The court ran concurrently with Reno's court of inquiry, including a queer recess that extended the court so that it would not end until after Reno's. Reno's court of inquiry ran to some 575 pages, with French's case taking almost the same amount of time it seems logical that there must be more than 28 pages of transcripts.

Just explain-in,
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:44 am

PPS - this may well be wasted effort to track down Cpt French's transcript, found out that he never even testified at his own trial. So the odds of any important or un-important statement relevant to the Custer fight from French are pretty long indeed.

I did turn up a private letter he wrote, which has a version of the fight but see nothing that would have been 'dammin' for Reno in it, however it was written after his court martial so maybe he got the message to keep quiet about whatever it was they feared he might say. As you say Joe, 'quien sabe'?

Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:27 am

Roy,

"While I would prefer to see the unedited transcripts, I am satisfied with what Carroll gives us."

I believe we are in the same boat here, but I was just wondering if you had seen or heard something that said that Carroll had edited out something important. No offense meant, just looking for a bit of sharing, assuming you had found something to share.

"Carroll must have edited out a considerable amount of text from the court martial, to reduce it to 28 pages. The court ran concurrently with Reno's court of inquiry, including a queer recess that extended the court so that it would not end until after Reno's. Reno's court of inquiry ran to some 575 pages, with French's case taking almost the same amount of time it seems logical that there must be more than 28 pages of transcripts."

[Book Condition: Near Fine. Limited Edition; First Printing. 4to 11" - 13" tall; 127 pages; Just a touch of wear. 1 of 50 copies. ; Signed by Author.]

Since the book is limited to 50 copies and is signed, I decided it was a nice addition to my collection. I also want to thank Pip for the lead.

I don't think French's case was anywhere near as extensive as Reno's court of inquiry, so that might account for only taking 127 pages as opposed to 575.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Wed Jul 13, 2011 12:44 pm

Roy,

French's court martial was for being drunk on dutly, as I recall. I don't believe this book or the transcripts well shed any light on Little Big Horn, it will be interesting to see if there is any sign that he was treated unfairly.

Being drunk on duty was a pretty common problem in the army of that day, and it was especially true for the survivors of Little Big Horn.

I firmly believe that Reno was quite drunk through most of the battle. Had he and Benteen simply followed Custer's orders, the outcome might have very well been different.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Wed Jul 13, 2011 1:53 pm

Roy,

This pertains to Captain French's Letter which was telegraphed to a number of newspapers:

[Bismarck Dakota, Jan 18. - Captain French of the 7th. Calvary, at Fort Lincoln, and a delayed witness before the Reno Court at Chicago, stated in an interview today that he did not see Reno from the evening of the 25th untill noon of the 26th, when the Indians were weakening.

During the hardest portion of the fight, Reno was hid. French was walking about most of the time and claims that he could not find any one who did see Reno.]

That does conform with other reports about Reno's conduct, as well as French's.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Wed Jul 13, 2011 2:29 pm

Hi Joe (and everyone reading),

I was not offended in any way - which is why I took the time to explain what I meant about the chance of some tidbit that may or may not be in the transcript. Since French didn't testify, the quest seems rather moot.

That could well be the issue that Reno and his supporters did not want French to mention in Reno's court; it was brought up and Reno went to some length to defend against it, firstly by finding a witness who saw him, and on the grounds that a commander need not be at the very front to be in actual command which is or was Army doctrine. However to have a Captain state it under oath might have been quite damaging.

Congratulations on getting that first edition, and it really should make for an interesting read - the copy I had found (on Amazon, about $20) was not a first edition, printed by Arrow and Trooper, and listed it at 28 pages which is either a severe abridgement or a mistake by the person listing it. The drunken-ness charges against French seem trumped up (basing this only on the very brief accounts I have found) such as his having had a drink of whiskey with a Mrs Gage (may be a different name, working from memory) a post laundress. To me it sounds like a harmless and innocent "co-miseration" to have a drink with a lady who worked hard, a bit of friendliness in a harsh, dull frontier life at an Army post.

The letter from French I found was reprinted in 'The Custer Myth' but can't recall the page number, think it is 319 if you have a copy. The most surprising bit in that letter was French admitting that he considered murdering Reno when he gave the order to 'charge' to the bluffs (retreat) in order to save the lives of the troopers for he viewed a retreat across the open in the face of the enemy as near suicidal. I can't imagine that he would admit that thought in a court.

We can never know how much affected Reno was that day by alcohol, but in his later life he seemed to admit that it was a major problem for him on the Little Bighorn. I have to agree with your view on what might have progressed, had Reno and Benteen simply followed their orders for many of the Indian participants stated that they would have lost if Reno had pressed home the first charge. Gen. Miles felt that the battle was lost twice, first when Reno retreated from the timber and second when the re-united seven companies did not attack the rear of the Indians whom were fighting Custer.

I am wasting one of our rare decent days, all the wet weather has me almost immobilized - old injuries etc have a way of 'gettin even' with you it seems but I should be working on things around here. Take it easy buddy and I look forward to your replies,
Roy
"We must find a way, or we will make one." --Hannibal Barca

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by pippinwhitepaws » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:22 am

hope that text is worth the money joe... let us know please.


the following site has a load of information...i got dizzy trying to find it...anyone know the name of the judge at the courts martial in question? this site has personal records of some of the notable judges of the period.
http://www.archives.gov/research/guide- ... s/153.html

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by pippinwhitepaws » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:26 am

forgot this one...the footnotes are helpful for areas of research oro...

http://www.archives.gov/publications/pr ... tials.html

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:56 am

Pip,

I looked in on your sites and they do seem a bit too full of information for my abilities to sift through it all.

I have no doubt that the judge or judges are listed in one of my books, but there is no set number because of the defendant's rights to pick how he shall be judged. Believe they can choose a panel of officers or a combination which would include enlisted members or a single military judge.

As for the book, I have no illusions as to the useful information, for this discussion, that it might include. My guess is none.

On the other hand, it may give some indication of any bias against Captain French. The universal military officer's rules for CYA, may be at work here. IMHO, awards of medals, commendations and general back-patting are a way of life for the officers corps.
Nothing teaches like personal experience.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Thu Jul 14, 2011 8:21 pm

Pippin - thank you for the links, and yes as Joe pointed out, there is a tremendous amount of material available to sift through.

Joe - there is a chance that some relevant info could be in French's court martial; I was disappointed that he did not testify personally, but surely there had to be some witnesses in order to get a conviction I presume, so you never know. It would be interesting to see if it was the kangaroo court that others have accused it of being. The Reno court was certainly a strange proceeding, no prosecutor, the recorder asking questions as there clearly was a need for it. I hope you will share your impressions, when you have the time.

Thanks again,
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Jul 14, 2011 9:47 pm

Oroblanco wrote:Pippin - thank you for the links, and yes as Joe pointed out, there is a tremendous amount of material available to sift through.

Joe - there is a chance that some relevant info could be in French's court martial; I was disappointed that he did not testify personally, but surely there had to be some witnesses in order to get a conviction I presume, so you never know. It would be interesting to see if it was the kangaroo court that others have accused it of being. The Reno court was certainly a strange proceeding, no prosecutor, the recorder asking questions as there clearly was a need for it. I hope you will share your impressions, when you have the time.

Thanks again,
Roy
Roy,

I am fairly well convinced of what took place at Little Big Horn, and afterwards. There is little doubt of what French would have said, if able. In fact, he was so disabled by alcohol and opium at that stage of his life, that he couldn't even attend his own court martial. That condition was the very reason for the charges addressed by that court martial.

In reality, he along with just about everyone else at Little Big Horn, was a piker in comparison to Major Reno in the booze department. Custer on the other hand, as I recall, did not drink. Reno is reported by many of his troop as swigging from a bottle on many occasions during the battle.

Custer's tactics were very good, except when circumstances forced him to retreat to "Last Stand Hill". Even then, you have to admire his reasons for that move.

In your opinion, what mistakes do you believe Custer made?

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Fri Jul 15, 2011 12:25 am

<Joe wrote>
In your opinion, what mistakes do you believe Custer made?
Geez Joe, are you opening the door so I can bore you to death? 8O :D

Lets see, where to start?

For starters, Custer, Terry and almost all of the Army officers were well aware of the problems with their copper cased ammunition becoming fouled and sticking in the chambers when the barrels would heat up. Custer was thrilled with the 1873 Springfield rifles (he was one of those lucky enough to get one to test out before they were adopted) but the carbine did not have the long range of the rifle, with the underloaded ammo the max effective range was some 800 yards so the carbines did not have an advantage of range like a buffalo gun, nor the firepower of a repeater like the Henrys, Spencers or Winchesters. The problems were discussed by these officers before the campaign began, but it was considered that there was not enough time to do anything about the shortcomings.

Many historians view his refusal of the gatling guns and/or the extra four troops of cavalry as a major mistake, but having read his reasons I have to agree that at the least, it would have left Gibbon's column so weak that it would be in danger of annihilation if they encountered the hostiles.

Next, he failed to fully reconnoiter the enemy position and strength before making his dispositions of his forces, then by dividing his force before knowing the enemy positions and numbers. However again in light of the available information, that the regiment had been discovered and the hostile village would in all probability be in full flight (to escape and thus have the whole campaign an utter failure, for which Custer would certainly have been blamed) it is perfectly understandable. General Miles wrote that he would have taken the very same steps, and agreed with your views Joe, by the way.

Some historians have pointed to Custer's failure to make more effort to communicate with the other battalions as a mistake, but in the research it turns out that Custer did indeed make a number of efforts to maintain and/or establish communications, apparently even right up to the end (Sgt Butler, found almost exactly halfway between Custer's position and Weir point, on a direct line between the two, appears to have been a last messenger). Reno lied under oath about having not heard a word from Custer while he was in the valley, for a messenger stated that he had hand delivered a note to Reno in the timber - a soldier who went on to win a medal of honor, so the attempt to discredit him fails in my view.

That Custer did not make an all-out attempt to break out and run for help to Terry and Gibbon is often pointed to as a last major mistake, but hidden in the evidence is a key to why he did not choose to do that.

Perhaps Custer's biggest mistake occurred on the morning of the 25th of June, when he made battalion assignments. He knew Reno was relatively inexperienced in fighting Indians, though nothing in his record indicated that he might perform as he did, and Custer certainly knew that Benteen had a personal vendetta against him. These two commanders should have been assigned to command companies which would have remained with Custer in person, with the other two battalion commanders sent on independent missions - Keogh and Yates, whom would have been more probable to follow their orders. In my view, Custer's biggest mistake was in trusting his subordinates to do their duty faithfully.

I have to agree with you too, that the battle might have turned out very differently had Reno and Benteen merely followed their orders; panic was in fact rising in the village, and even Sitting Bull stated later (in perfect safety while in exile in Canada) in his first statement to a newspaper reporter, "We thought we were licked" I don't know if they could have kept the mass of people off balance and panicked, but it does look like it might have been possible. Those who hold that the outcome was a foregone conclusion do not examine the facts, and ignore the fact that some 300 men, with all the reserve ammunition, were able to successfully defend themselves against the whole fighting force of the hostile Indians in a determined attack; so had all the companies re-united at the Custer position there may well have been far more survivors, even if still a defeat.

Now turnabout is fair play, so I am going to ask you a question that gives you free rein. At what moment would you say that the battle was lost, and why? Thank you in advance, and thank you guys again for the assistance - I really do appreciate it.

I hope all is well with you Joe, Pippin and with everyone reading our discussion, and I look forward to your replies.
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Fri Jul 15, 2011 1:51 am

Roy,

Thank you for the detailed reply. I will address your answers tomorrow. Much too late tonight, except for this one question:

"Now turnabout is fair play, so I am going to ask you a question that gives you free rein. At what moment would you say that the battle was lost, and why?"

For me, that's an easy answer. When Reno first retreated into the timber, he was still maintaining, some, order over his troops. While trying to communicate with Custer's favorite scout, Bloody Knife, with sign language, the Arikara took a bullet to the head and blood, brains and assorted gore splattered over Reno's face. I agree with the many historians who believe that the incident unhinged Reno. The Indians had been caught completely by surprise with the swiftness of the initial attack. By staying back, and under no pressure from the Indians, Reno allowed the warriors to turn and concentrate all of their attention on Custer.

Custer was using standard military tactics by having Reno attack the Sioux village as a diversionary tactic, and coming down off the bluff with a flanking attack. Had Reno continued his attack on the village, as ordered, they likely could have won the day. Reno on a frontal attack, Custer from the flank and Benteen coming up with reserves.........classic calvary tactics, 101. Trouble was, Reno was frozen in place and Benteen joined him. That sealed Custer's fate.

Even so, Custer and many of his men could have survived, but he made the decision to not abandon Yates and his men to certain death, by retreating towards Reno and joining up with him. That heroic choice led him to Last Stand Hill.

All of the above is just my personal opinion, based on the many accounts I have read.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Tue Jul 19, 2011 11:13 am

Roy and pip,

I received the "transcript" of the French court martial yesterday. JACKPOT! In that trial there were a number of witnesses for the defense. In their testimony, they recount events from the battle at Little Big Horn. They were eyewitness to the actions of French as well as Reno.

Pip,

Once again, my thanks for posting the link to the book.

At first blush, it looks like the officers are falling back on the time honored tradition of CYA. If you're looking for a career in the military, don't rock the officer's boat. Been there done that.

Having a rough time last night, I found the book hard to put down. That being said, there is a lot of superfluous trial details to wade through......or around.

It looks like drugs (opium) and alcohol ruined a good man, and a true hero. Little Big Horn likely played a big part in that downfall.

Final comments......It was $60. well spent. I will bring it to the Rendezvous.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by pippinwhitepaws » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:03 am

joe..glad you hit the jackpot with that one...

i believe historians need to do some revision to american history after the civil war...taking into context PTSD...drugs and alcohol destroyed as many civil war veterans as did the war itself...

on the little big horn...http://books.google.com/books?id=UCMGog ... le&f=false

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 9:48 am

Pip,

It's a fact that opium was in most medicine cabinets in the 1800's. Doctors prescribed it for any number of malady's, beyond pain. Many Southern ladies were given mixtures of opium....and whatever, to help them with "anxiety" with dire consequences.

Opium use, and often addiction, was common on both sides of the conflict. Surgeons were quick to use it on seriously wounded soldiers. Later, I believe it became more prevalent in the higher ranks. French was addicted to opium and alcohol. The booze was easy to acquire, but I assume the opium was not readily available.......except through the Army doctors.

He asked for help with his addiction, but he seems to have had no problem getting the drug, right up to his death. In truth, while he did attend most of his court martial proceedings, he was absent due to "illness" on a number of occasions.

There is no doubt that he was a true hero at Little Big Horn, as well as the many other battles he was involved in. Off the top of my head, I know that he countermanded at least one of Reno's panicked commands. In those days, as well as today, that takes huge courage.

His story is one of many sad tales from that era. I am so glad that you steered me to Carroll's book. It gave me insight into many aspects of the man that could not be found in the usual historical accounts. It seems likely that the military doctors helped hasten the man's demise.

Thanks again,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Wed Jul 20, 2011 12:34 pm

Cactusjumper wrote
Off the top of my head, I know that he countermanded at least one of Reno's panicked commands.
I can't recall an incident that fits this, only that he considered it but did not act (the retreat from the timber) and in this incident he considered shooting Reno to stop the rout. If you can remember the incident I would appreciate if you could point me where to look, however there is no urgency about it, if it takes a month or so to recall it that won't be any problem for me. <Yes it seems like I am that far behind in things, and getting worse>

CJ also wrote
It seems likely that the military doctors helped hasten the man's demise.
Would you care to expound on this? The statement could be taken two ways, inadvertently helping to hasten death by allowing the opium to be prescribed, or the darker possibility of deliberately speeding things up for other reasons. Thank you in advance,
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Wed Jul 20, 2011 5:14 pm

Roy,

[Off the top of my head, I know that he countermanded at least one of Reno's panicked commands.]


"I can't recall an incident that fits this, only that he considered it but did not act (the retreat from the timber) and in this incident he considered shooting Reno to stop the rout. If you can remember the incident I would appreciate if you could point me where to look, however there is no urgency about it, if it takes a month or so to recall it that won't be any problem for me. <Yes it seems like I am that far behind in things, and getting worse>"

No need to take that long. You are, of course, correct. This was the incident I was thinking of:

[The Major commanded the line to swivel right and draw back to the timber, yelling,
"Retreat to your horses, men!: without arranging a rearguard action. As he passed into the trees, he took a big swig of whiskey that emptied his flask. Some of the troopers started rushing towards the trees. Captain French quickly ordered, "Steady there, men! I will shoot the first man that turns his back on the enemy--fall back slowly. Keep up continuual fire, you damned fools!"]

This last comment, more or less, came from the transcripts of the French court martial, but can be found in other books as well. It was from the testimony of Sergeant Hugh N. Moore.

Never a good idea for me to post this kind of thing from the store. :oops:

Nice catch!

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Wed Jul 20, 2011 8:54 pm

Joe I have to disagree, your memory is as good or better than mine! I am not going to hold you accountable if some tidbit of a recalled fact-oid later turns out to be not quite 100% accurate, and hope for the same consideration. Thank you for the tip, <Moore> guess I have to track down that Cap'n French court martial after all. You never know where something important may turn up.
Roy
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Jul 21, 2011 2:35 pm

Roy,

No real need to find a copy for yourself. There's not that much on Little Big Horn. It has a lot of information from French, and it really helps to understand what was going on with him.

As I said, I will bring it to the Rendezvous and you can have it for a long as you like.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Joe Ribaudo » Thu Jul 21, 2011 3:34 pm

Roy,

Reno led the retreat, giving no orders and leaving behind any who could not keep up with him, such as the wounded.

Army regulations dictated that any retreat be done in an orderly fashion and in a "leapfrog" manner. When French stopped his troops from following Reno's example, he followed the correct procedure to a "T". I'm at work but as I recall, he didn't lose a single man. Following to the rear of his troop, he placed himself in the most danger, while protecting those ahead of him.....shooting at the Sioux all the way.

It was well known to the people who fought in the Indian wars, you never turn your back on this enemy. All of them loved running down men who were fleeing in panic. They also considered it an excellent chance to "count coup". I believe they could add a feather to their bonnets for each coup. Some of these war bonnets were said to touch the ground when the warrior walked.

Take care,

Joe

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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by Oroblanco » Thu Jul 21, 2011 8:04 pm

You are correct Joe, on all points in your last posts. I appreciate the opportunity to read your copy of French's court martial, and hope you won't mind if I take some notes at the rendezvous. The history of the west has few recorded instances of anyone out-running a plains Indian in a fight. Several officers wrote of this point too, that unless you were better mounted than the Indians, to turn your back on them was certain death or worse, capture.

Ran across another strange statement that has had me spending more hours trying to track it down too, one of the scouts with Custer mentioned meeting "a couple of bunches of soldiers" on the way from leaving Custer to join the pack train. Was he (White Man Runs Him) referring to the two members of C troop whose horses played out, or did he mean that he saw Reno's men along the way to meet the pack train? It may not be possible to pin it down with any hope of certainty. But if the "bunches" were not Reno's men on the hill, who were they? I am not even sure what was meant by "bunches" could be a couple of men or a group.

Thank you again and I now have another reason to look forward to the rendezvous!
Roy
"We must find a way, or we will make one." --Hannibal Barca

pippinwhitepaws
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Re: Custer Battlefield and Virginia City, Montana

Post by pippinwhitepaws » Fri Jul 22, 2011 11:30 am

were these 'bunchs' of bodies, remains from Wier's attempt to join custer?

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