Custer's and Keogh's Tactical Malfeasance Jun 9, 2011 15:00:22 GMT -5
Post by Gerry on Jun 9, 2011 15:00:22 GMT -5
The question of why Co C was sent out to Finley Ridge can be answered in this way: They were not.
The model I use is: This group of Co C was a blocking skirmish to hold back the Indians crossing Ford B and moving up Deep Coulee, allowing Co E and F to join up with Co L and I.
We do have to consider we had an advance movement to Ford B coming down Medicine Tail Coulee, Co E, F, C.
Pvt Thompson on the river bottom south Boyer’s Bluff, first hears a heavy volley of rifle shots sown the stream followed by a scattering fire. ”Looking through the opening down the stream I could see Custer’s command drawn up in battle line two men deep in a half circle facing the Indians who were crossing the river both above and below them.” This location would be on the flats between the road culvert of Deep Coulee and GGHill. The Indians crossing the LBH above, Real Bird Crossing or Minneconjou crossing and below the troops, Ford B MTC.
“The horses were held back behind and inside of the circle of skirmishers.”…”The village which was in a perfect state of turmoil.”…”Hordes of savages had gained a footing on the right bank of the river and had driven the soldiers back a short distance.” The soldiers are now falling back up Deep Coulee, moving toward Calhoun Hill. Thompson described the circling of the Indians as they moved up Deep Coulee and the soldiers were driven back.
”scores of Indians had stationed themselves on the bluffs overlooking the village “ From atop Boyer’s Bluff many Indians watched this part of the battle. By this time Ford B and Deep Coulee were amass with warriors heading up to Calhoun Hill soon to flank the hill to the east and north.
“Looking in the direction of the battle I saw that the cavalry were being driven towards the foot of a small hill,” Finely/Finkle Ridge. Thompson’s view point watching the cavalry from Ford B, up past GGH, up the north face of Deep Coulee and the last thing he could see is Finely Ridge, Calhoun Hill is out of view of Thompson.
That is the reasoning that I believe Finely Ridge was not deployed from Calhoun Hill, west down the ridge, but instead was used as a defensive stand to stop the Indians coming up Deep Coulee and was occupied by the troops being driven out of Ford B. This is what Thompson is describing. The Indians are between Thompson and the troops who advanced down to Ford B. The continuous circling of the Indians and the eventual charge into the troops by LWM leads to the destruction of Co C followed by the flanking of Calhoun.
The opening skirmish Thompson has first, a battle line two men deep in a half circle facing the Indians crossing the river. This would not be all three companies.
He then describes the horses held back inside the circle of skirmishers.
The soldiers are driven back.
The Indians continue to cross Ford B and up Deep Coulee.
The soldiers are driven towards the foot of a small hill, the circling continues, until the Troops on Finley/Finkle Ridge are destroyed.
This occurrence is not the end of the battle, for Thompson has some other items to deal with before the ”firing in the direction of the battlefield ceased” He watches and discribes Ford B to Finley/Finkle Ridge.