"Search and Rescue" Oct 20, 2011 1:35:27 GMT -5
Post by El Crab on Oct 20, 2011 1:35:27 GMT -5
Oct 19, 2011 4:48:45 GMT -5 @yantaylor said:Hi EC, I have seen posts before about the fact that both Benteen and Reno could have thought that Custer’s men were still intact and he was taking his command away to form a defence similar to what they had done, but when they finally reached Weir Point, they must have had a good idea that Custer was in big trouble, despite of all the smoke and dust. I raised this point before about what Benteen could have done, and I come up with two factors:
1/ his heart say’s attack and try to rescue as many as we can.
2/ his mind say’s, take what’s left of the Regiment back to Reno Hill and live to fight another day.
Looks like option 2 was his goal.
I would hazard a guess that the idea that every man in Custer's 5 companies was destroyed wasn't exactly common among the men with Reno and Benteen. Custer, after all, had the strongest command in terms of numbers, and several of the companies were likely thought of with great regard.
But that's not the point. The point is what is an officer's duty when orders are not forthcoming from his commanding officer? Whatever it is that Reno should have done, I highly doubt it was anywhere near what he chose to do.
Benteen is credited with showing up and saving Reno's command, but it appears that word spread among the warriors that there was another battle brewing. And with that, there were no longer Indians in Reno's presence. In fact, I believe it is said that most Indians didn't even pursue the troopers after they got across the river. I can't recall where I read that. But once those that survived got up the bluffs, they weren't as much as harrassed. And that would seem to be true, given the accounts of Benteen's arrival and the lack of action from anyone. No skirmish lines, no attempts to form any perimeter. It is said that if the Indians had returned at that moment, there wasn't much to stop them from annihilating Reno's command at that moment.
Maybe Fred or one of the other veterans of our military could answer this question:
Absent orders from your CO, what would you think would be the right thing to do in that situation?