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The Last Stand by Nathaniel Philbrick.

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  • Originally posted by Legionnaire66 View Post
    I don't believe that's true, I think the first mortally wounded cavalryman fell on the skirmish line. Regardless, Henderson believed, quite rightly, that if organized in the Timber Reno's battalion could have held as long as their ammunition supply lasted. After all, a year earlier Henderson was in a similar position where around 150 frontiersmen held a position similar against 500-700 Sioux who did not like attacking prepared positions.

    If Reno holds the Timber and Custer hits them in the flank victory is a very strong possibility. 40 troopers were killed in perhaps a ten minute retreat which also scattered Reno's command to hell and back. Not exactly exemplar leadership.

    The Custer "fight" lasted for awhile; the ending phase only lasted "as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a meal."

    The remainder of the 7th could have ridden to his assistance; what good it would have done once there is chalk full of speculation.

    If, and only if, Reno could have kept the warriors busy and held his command in fighting shape Custer would certainly have been able to cross the river and take an inordinate amount of captives; captives which would have limited the Indians resistance.
    Sorry that was a typo. 36 not 26, men were road down, 9 men were wounded.

    The Custer "fight" lasted for awhile; the ending phase only lasted "as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a meal."
    This is a quote from Sitting Bull, who never took part in the Battle, he only made an appearance long after the fight took place, and the Women and old men were mutilating, and looting the dead.

    There are plenty of Indians accounts. there are plenty of Quotes from warriors that actually fought, like Yellow Nose, Little Hawk, Flying By, Standing Bear, Two Moon etc, that say

    "the Soldiers on what they call Custer Hill was a long desperate fight, as the Soldiers were fighting god, severely charges were made, but the soldiers were not ready to die yet "Yellow Nose."

    A great single source for the Indian Accounts of the Custer Fight is Gregory Michno's, "Lakota Noon". Even if you do not agree with his conclusions, it is still has a ton of 1rst hand information that must have taken a decade to dig up all of it, and pick through it. It is written more like a PHd dissertation, but it is still a interesting read.
    Last edited by FluffyBunnyFeet; 15 Nov 15, 11:44.

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    • Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
      Sorry that was a typo. 36 not 26, men were road down, 9 men were wounded.

      The Custer "fight" lasted for awhile; the ending phase only lasted "as long as it takes a hungry man to eat a meal."
      This is a quote from Sitting Bull, who never took part in the Battle, he only made an appearance long after the fight took place, and the Women and old men were mutilating, and looting the dead.

      There are plenty of Indians accounts. there are plenty of Quotes from warriors that actually fought, like Yellow Nose, Little Hawk, Flying By, Standing Bear, Two Moon etc, that say

      "the Soldiers on what they call Custer Hill was a long desperate fight, as the Soldiers were fighting god, severely charges were made, but the soldiers were not ready to die yet "Yellow Nose."

      A great single source for the Indian Accounts of the Custer Fight is Gregory Michno's, "Lakota Noon". Even if you do not agree with his conclusions, it is still has a ton of 1rst hand information that must have taken a decade to dig up all of it, and pick through it. It is written more like a PHd dissertation, but it is still a interesting read.
      Thanks for the recommendations; but the close in fighting did not last very long. I have read "Lakota Noon" and it is a very good book; even it doesn't conflict with a long range skirmish fight that quickly became overwhelming.

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      • Originally posted by Legionnaire66 View Post
        Thanks for the recommendations; but the close in fighting did not last very long. I have read "Lakota Noon" and it is a very good book; even it doesn't conflict with a long range skirmish fight that quickly became overwhelming.
        You read a different Lakota Noon than I did. Close in fighting with guns never does last long that is not the issue, the Custer Fight according to Michno lasted at least two hours, to two and a half hours. But it was fought at long distance, it would be a death sentence for anyone on either side to get in close, before onside was so depleted that it could not target enough incoming fast enough. According to Yellow Nose, and others, this last assult on Custer Hills was when the Indians suffered most of their anywhere between 30 and 130- or 300 casualties, we can never know that. Still 2 to 2 1/2 hrs is a long fricken fire fight, especially given the terrain. this is not an urban or jungle setting where you can go from cover to cover, they are sitting there exposed, and every minute is random luck, not getting hit by the quick pot shots from some jerk, who can just duck right back down below the ridge. That crap would exhaust the nerves of anyone no matter how ballsy after a few minutes.

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        • Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
          Custer split his force into four groups. His Battalion had five Troops and Benteen and Reno each had three Troops. The last Troop was with the Pack Train. Benteen rode up after a leisurely search for the Camp and found Reno's Battalion in bad shape. Custer was not in sight, but the fight was within hearing distance. Benteen decided that staying on Reno Hill was the correct thing to do. The Pack train also showed up there. I don't think Custer was in a salvable situation by the time the rest of the 7th Cavalry got together.

          Pruitt
          Actually, Benteen and Reno, followed Weir's D Company to what today is known as Weir Point. There they saw some kind of battle or aftermath, probably at Calhoun Hill. Indians from that spot began to move in the direction of Weir Point. It was there that at Benteen's suggestion - "This is one hell of a place to fight Indians" that everyone returned to the area where Reno's disorganized battalion gathered. They formed a perimeter on the edge of a swale.
          Last edited by MontanaKid; 16 Nov 15, 15:44.
          No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

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          • Times difficult to come by.

            We only have estimates of time from combing warriors accounts after the fact (often many years after the fact) The problem is that the only survivors of the Custer Fight, the victorious Indians, did not have watches. The white man's concept of time was not theirs. So we have a lot of vague references. How long does a hungry man take to eat his dinner? Who knows, but it is a mistake to assign a time to it. He was likely speaking a common idiom to say that in his opinion that part of the battle did not last long. I might say an idiom like "scarce as hen's teeth" even though what I speaking about is a lot less scarce than hen's teeth.
            No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

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            • Originally posted by MontanaKid View Post
              Actually, Benteen and Reno, followed Weir's D Company to what today is known as Weir Point. There they saw some kind of battle or aftermath, probably at Calhoun Hill. Indians from that spot began to move in the direction of Weir Point. It was there that at Benteen's suggestion - "This is one hell of a place to fight Indians" that everyone returned to the area where Reno's disorganized battalion gathered. They formed a perimeter on the edge of a swale.
              Followed is kind of a generous term. What happened was the rest of the regiment started leaving without them, and they had to go so they didn't lose complete authority.

              As far as what they actually saw, is hard to say. from what the first arrivals said, I always took it as that they saw the later part of the fighting at the Keogh and Calhoun fight, which to them looking through the dust, , was that Custer must have been repulsed and was withdrawing, which is sort of what happened, just through the dust of the fighting, and the natural haze of that time of year, they could not see that Custer was in fact pinned down in the distance. Of Course Benteen didn't take much time to decide that their was nothing to see here, and even though he said that their was a massive waive of Indians coming, it evidently was not so severe that he felt the need to order a rear guard, as one would do even if there was no enemy in sight, you would want to have a rear guard while your command was basically inside out.

              According to Godfrey, who ordered the rear guard, there was no serious opposition at that time. That would be because most of the Indians, were moving towards Custers position, where the fight was still likely picking up steam, which is why I would say the Custer battalion, or troop fight lasted at least 2 1/2 from the time Benteen Reached Reno. Plenty of time to do something other than wait in the sun for the enemy to comeback.

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              • Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post
                Followed is kind of a generous term. What happened was the rest of the regiment started leaving without them, and they had to go so they didn't lose complete authority.

                As far as what they actually saw, is hard to say. from what the first arrivals said, I always took it as that they saw the later part of the fighting at the Keogh and Calhoun fight, which to them looking through the dust, , was that Custer must have been repulsed and was withdrawing, which is sort of what happened, just through the dust of the fighting, and the natural haze of that time of year, they could not see that Custer was in fact pinned down in the distance. Of Course Benteen didn't take much time to decide that their was nothing to see here, and even though he said that their was a massive waive of Indians coming, it evidently was not so severe that he felt the need to order a rear guard, as one would do even if there was no enemy in sight, you would want to have a rear guard while your command was basically inside out.

                According to Godfrey, who ordered the rear guard, there was no serious opposition at that time. That would be because most of the Indians, were moving towards Custers position, where the fight was still likely picking up steam, which is why I would say the Custer battalion, or troop fight lasted at least 2 1/2 from the time Benteen Reached Reno. Plenty of time to do something other than wait in the sun for the enemy to comeback.
                Just to be clear, I make no excuse for the behavior of Benteen or Reno. They were under orders to join Custer. They should have followed their orders. Benteen showed Reno the note from Cooke. Weir, angry that the order wasn't being promptly followed rode himself to the high point hat bears his name to have a look-see. The rest of D Troop followed. And soon Benteen and the rest of his battalion followed them. Reno, who had wounded to carry, was still strung along the trial north to Weir Point when the Benteen battalion returned to the south.

                The Calhoun site is just short of a mile closer to Weir Point than Last Stand Hill, so it stands to reason it was that fight, or at least the end of it, that was seen from the high point. With the dust and black powder that was airborne from the Calhoun fight, it would have been impossible to see Last Stand Hill or any other fighting that may have been going on downslope of LSH.
                Benteen saw where to go, but elected to go no further.
                No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

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                • How would Reno have an order to join Custer... his mission was to attack the village. He failed, then retreated to a defensive position. When/what order to join Custer?
                  SPORTS FREAK/ PANZERBLITZ COMMANDER/ CC2 COMMANDER

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                  • Originally posted by dgfred View Post
                    How would Reno have an order to join Custer... his mission was to attack the village. He failed, then retreated to a defensive position. When/what order to join Custer?
                    Benteen made Reno aware of Custer's order. As, I said, Benteen showed him Cooke's note. Reno had already abandoned his original assignment by Custer. He was bound to go to Custer. The "proof" is that Reno attempted to do exactly that. He had his battalion moving along the trail toward Weir Point when he got word Benteen was pulling back. No commander doubted what his duty was on that day. They just decided not to follow through.
                    No one has greater love than this, to lay down one's life for one's friends John 15:13

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                    • Originally posted by FluffyBunnyFeet View Post

                      No the land in the surrounding valley was worked many times, once the natives were gone.

                      Te purpose of the campaign was not to drive them anywhere except back onto the reservation, the last thing they wanted the Indians to do was break camp and scatter.

                      In no way would harassing the village so they could come after him a good approach, as the Indians would only fight just as long as it took for the women and children to get out of the area and then they would leave the battlefield. Harassing the enemy on bad defensive ground is basically exactly what ended up happening once the initiative of the battle was lost. It didn't work out well

                      And no Mule Carts would not have made a difference, they would have been to far behind to make it to the fight, but I'm sure the Indians would have found those wagon wheels useful for the after battle festivities
                      Well, FBF, given that Jean Baptiste Falcon was outnumbered fifteen to one, and had hunters and their families rather than trained Cavalry, and held off the Sioux for two whole days until thy broke off the attack, perhaps the US Army needed a whole lot of Canadian Metis....

                      Last edited by marktwain; 14 May 19, 15:17.
                      The trout who swims against the current gets the most oxygen..

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