Poll: Who Went to Medicine Tail Ford? Feb 23, 2010 10:24:09 GMT -5
Post by fred on Feb 23, 2010 10:24:09 GMT -5
All I ask is that you not misconstrue what I say.
It is my opinion that Custer sent Reno down the LBH valley with the express purpose of attacking the village. No more, no less. Custer's original plan was then a second, more powerful wave behind Reno. No more, no less.
When Custer heard Cooke's report that the Indians were coming out to meet Reno, it is my opinion that Custer thought he had lost full surprise and that these Indians would delay Reno enough to allow too many others to escape.
With the fleeing families, there had to have been other warriors. To me, that is a given.
This situation now meant Custer had to prevent such an exodus, otherwise the entire campaign was for nought and Terry would have had Custer's ass on a silver plate. The only choice now available to Custer to was end-run toward the north and try to head off the egress and attack from that direction. If an attack from there would help relieve the pressure on Reno, that was ancillary, and I would not suspect it even went through Custer's mind.
When Custer looked over the valley as Reno was forming his skirmish line, I believe Custer was pleased at what he saw. Reno was admirably busy and drawing Indians to him. Custer continued north.
He arrived at Luce Ridge, the highest point in the area, but it was still unclear how big the village was or exactly where the fleeing Indians were going. (Luce Ridge is the better part of a mile from the river and the bluffs come very close to the LBH and the Indians camped close to the river; you cannot see over the river bluffs... they are only a couple hundred feet lower than Luce.)
Custer took the Yates battalion and went to Ford B. To me, that is a very important point. Custer himself went toward the ford; he didn't just send Yates as some people think; that's nonsense. Can you just picture George Custer sitting back there while someone else did the reconning? Boy, I can't!
Anyway, that is what I think happened.