(P) - Indicates the man's name appears on the promotion petition.
1st Sgt Hohmeyer Sgts James, W. Ogden Cpls Brown Meyer Eagen Trumpeters McElroy Moonie Pvts Baker Barth Boyle Brogan Connor Darris Davis Farrell Hiley (Forbes) Heim Henderson, J. Henderson, S. Huber Knecht O'Connor Rees Rood Schele Smallwood Smith, A. Smith, James (1) Smith, James (2) Stafford Stella Torrey Van Sant Walker Present and presumed killed with Custer - 35
Also Present Sgt Riley - Wounded and sent to Ft Lincoln. Farrier Spencer (P) Blacksmith Miller (P) Saddler Shields (P) - Wounded Pvts Berwald (P) James, J. (Cassalla) Kimm Lange (P, Graham copied the name as Henry Sango on the petition) Liddiard - Killed (Reno Hill) McKenna Reese (P) Total Also Present - 11 Total EM Present with Company - 47
Cpl Mason - Accounted for with Regt HQ, Reno's HQ Pvt Abbotts - Accounted for with Regt HQ, Reno's HQ Detachment, Dr. DeWolfe's Hospital Attendant - Present at the Battle.
Terrry's Column Sgt Murphy - ? Pvt Pendle - Hospital Attendant for Dr. Williams ?
Department of Dakota Pvt O'Toole - ?
Far West Pvt Ackison -Sick
Yellowstone/Powder River Depot Pvts Bromwell - Sick Chapman
Ft Lincoln Sgt Wells - Possible furlough Pvts Bruns Gilbert McCann - In confinement Howard (Thompson) Woodruff
Present at the battle and enlisted for the first time between 25 Jun and 31 Oct 75.
Pvts - 2 Darris - Enlisted 9 Sep 75 - Assigned to Co E 29 Oct 75 - Civil War service (1st NJ Cav Aug 61 - May 65) - Prior occupation was farmer Farrell - Enlisted 29 Sep 75 - Assigned to Co E 29 Oct 75
Note - Pvt Abbotts was on DS as a Hospital Attendant and is accounted for with Reno's HQ.
I have reviewed rch's fine efforts in the independent research section. And I am NOT doubting his abilites, nor trying to impune his excellent work. But I am merely asking these questions, because of an inconsistancy. Both of the numbers used below were reported by more than 1 man at the Reno Inquiry.
They reported 28 from E killed and buried, on a line outside of Deep Ravine.
Seemingly another 22 were reported killed and buried in deep ravine, this according to Benteen.
These two numbers of course add up to 50. But rch's roster only lists 47 men. Which is correct?
Matching bodies buried and where with regimental returns is virtually impossible as so many were unable to be identified.
Good insight. However the Inquiry records are quite clear on how many were found, and while I only mentioned one for the #22, there were others who cooberated that number, and where they were, one of which was T. Goldin.
I am merely pointing out a discrepency between what we know, and what we dont. And asking if anyone, knows why? And for now I am un-accepting of the standard, "we don't know": Because there were eyewitnesses who testified to those numbers. While there may have been vast mutilations, that I am also sure of, a man only has 2 arms, 2 legs, 2 hands and one head. Head count anyone?
I have adjusted the company rosters to make allowance from men who were at the battle, but who were known to be serving away from their companies. I count the orderlies for Lts Varnum and Hare as being with the Scout Detachment. The orderlies for Wallace, Hodgson, and Reno, and medical attendants and orderlies (where known) are counted with Reno's HQ. The same applies to the men serving with Custer's HQ.
The companies with Custer have an additional problem, because we have the names of the men who were at the battle, but who didn't die with their companies.
For Company E, I presume that 35 E company men were killed while serving with their company and with Custer.
One E Company man was present at the battle, because he was serving as a medical attendant for Dr DeWolfe. He is counted with Reno's HQ and not with his company. Another E company man was with Reno as part of the HQ fatigue detail.
For the Companies with Custer, I have an additional category, "Also Present." Some of these men were assigned to the pack train. Some were probably drop outs or men tending extra horses or orderlies. For most of these men we don't know exactly why they were not with Custer.
As nearly as I can tell, Company E had 35 men killed with Custer and 11 Also Present for a total of 46
Finally two men was present at the battle but detached away from the company and serving under another HQ.
Of the 11 also present, one man was killed and 2 were wounded.
E Company lost 37 enlisted men killed, but the most who could have been killed on Custer's field was 35.
The reason I have drawn these distinctions is that I was trying to get as close to possible to the fighting strength of the companies.
Benteen, RCOI— The bodies in [Deep] the ravine were within 50 to 75 yards of the river.  Benteen thought there were 22 bodies in there.  Very interesting: “They could not shoot out of the ravine and they certainly did not go into it to shoot out of it.” 
DeRudio, RCOI— The dead bodies in the ravine off LSH were 150 to 200 yards from the river.  He saw a heap of men in a gully and the dead horses nearest the river were gray. [Camp/Hammer, Custer in 76
PVT G. W. Glenn, H Company— “In Crazy Horse gully or washout there were bodies lying thick, and some of the men exclaimed, ‘Here lies the whole command.’” [Camp/Hammer; 136]
Godfrey— Graham, The Custer Myth. From a 1908 revision Godfrey made to his 1892 Century Magazinearticle.
There were 42 bodies and 39 dead horses on Custer Hill.  In all the stuff I have read about Godfrey, this is as close as he ever got to Deep Ravine; he never mentioned it, as far as I can find.
Luke Hare, RCOI— Hare mentioned the 28 men of E Company—in a coulee—and he assisted in burying them. [299 and 304]
SGT Kanipe (C)—[Camp/Hammer] Once beyond Custer hill and moving along the SSL, Kanipe said, “I next went along the line of dead bodies toward the river, and riding along the edge of the deep gully about 2,000 feet from where the monument now stands, I counted 28 bodies in this gulch. The only one I thought I recognized at the time was Mitch Bouyer. I am not positive about this… Having seen those bodies in the gulch I am at a loss to understand the absence of markers there.” [95-96, FN 15]
PVT Dennis Lynch (F)—[Camp/Hammer] 1. Saw Seventh Infantry troopers carrying dead men out of deep gully. After seven were carried out, Lynch remarked there were still a lot in there. “Lynch says these men in gully were carried up and buried on the ridge.”  2. One of the men in the deep gully was Timothy Donnelly (F).  3. Lynch identified CPL Briody by the sailor tattoo on his arm.  4. Groesbeck (Vickory), Voss, and Donovan (there was no Donovan in the Seventh Cavalry) lay near Custer.  Glenn claimed Voss was found nearest to the LBH. 5. At another time, Lynch claimed the Seventh Infantry buried the bodies where they fell and did not move them out of the deep gully and onto the ridge for burial. [140, FN 4] 6. He said the coulee lay “about 600-700 yards over the ridge from where the general was found.” [140, fn 4] 7. One interesting point is Lynch apparently told Camp the bodies were carried up the south side of the gully, 7 of them already laid on the bank when Lynch arrived. 
McDougall, RCOI— Reno ordered McDougall to bury E Company (McDougall had commanded E for 5 years). About half of them were found in a ravine, the other half in a “line” outside. “All the men were lying on their faces, and appeared to have been shot mostly in the side.”  [Camp/Hammer] “There were few or no dead cavalry horses between top of ridge and deep ravine where Company E men were found.” [72; Camp’s words, told by McDougall] McDougall said there were only a few bodies between the deep gully and where Custer lay. He was sure there were less than 12 and might not have been more than 6.  In McDougall’s letter of 18May1909 from Wellesville, NY, addressed to Godfrey, he says, “he found most of E troop in the ravine. Does he mean in the deep gully? Were there as many as 28? Yes. All the bodies in the deep gully were buried in the gully—none was carried out. Homeyer was in there and Hughes.” 
Moylan, RCOI— Moylan described finding “twenty-odd bodies of E Company” in the ravine marked “H” on the map used at the inquiry. This was clearly Deep Ravine, not Cemetery Ravine. He also described seeing the marks on the “almost perpendicular” wall they had tried to scramble up, the marks extending only half way up.  This was 1/2 to 3/4 mile from the river. 
CPL Stanislaus Roy (A)—[Camp/Hammer] “I helped to bury the bodies [Foley and Butler] on west slope of ridge, and we wound up with E Troop men over near the gully.” 
LT Richard E. Thompson, Acting Commissary of Subsistence—[Camp/Hammer] 1. Only 9-10 men between Custer and the gully.  2. Thought there were about 34 bodies in the gully.  3. Mark Kellogg’s body was found about 3/4 mile from Custer, down near the river on a hillside 100 yards from the river. 
LT George Wallace, RCOI— “… There was a second ravine running into the river [Deep Ravine]; back of that another ravine [Cemetery Ravine?] running in another direction, making General Custer’s last stand on a T-shaped ridge. It was not the highest point, there was a higher point between it and the river back of that about 200 yards was a still higher ridge.”  Men in the deep ravine were from E Company. 
As for Company E, it went into the battle with 2 officers and 49 EM. It had both officers and 36 EM killed with Custer. The 13 other enlisted men are accounted for as follows:
SAD Shields, William M. – Possibly a straggler; WIA in the buttocks, on Reno Hill. Buried in Post Cemetery, Fort Sill, OK. Michno says he was at PRD, but this is probably incorrect, especially since he was wounded.
PVT Abbotts, Harry—Extra duty as hospital attendant with Reno since 17May76. Michno claims he remained at FAL during the campaign and was a hospital orderly there. This is incorrect. Smalley carries him as DeWolf’s attendant.
PVT Pendtle (also, Pandtle), Christopher—Extra duty as hospital attendant, originally with Dr. Porter. Hammer lists him with Dr. Williams on the “Far West,” since 17May76, but Smalley contradicts that, saying he was at the battle.
PVT Reese, William (aka, Ruse)—Hammer claims he fought on Reno hill. May have been a straggler, though Michno says he may have been at PRD (doubtful!).
Thought to be with packs or other duty—
SGT Riley, James T. (or F.)—With pack train (Overfield). WIA in back and left leg.
BSM Miller, Henry—With pack train, though Michno says he could have been at PRD.
FAR Spencer, Abel B. – With packs (Hammer), but Michno says PRD.
PVT Berwald, Frank—Hammer claims he was assigned to the pack train and fought with Reno on the hilltop. Michno agrees.
PVT James, John (aka, John Cassella)—With pack train.
PVT Kimm, John G. –With pack train (Overfield).
PVT Lange, Henry August—With pack train (Overfield). While not listed as wounded, Hammer says he received a pension for “injuries received in the LBH River fight.”
PVT Liddiard, Herod T. – With pack train, but counted among the dead. Shot in abdomen on Reno Hill. Died 27Jun. Another account has him lying down to take a shot (he was apparently a good shot) and talking with some men. When they noticed he had stopped talking, they saw blood around the rim of his hat. He had been shot in the head. Hammer and Smalley agree with this.
PVT McKenna, John—Overfield and Hammer list him with the pack train, but Michno claims he was not at the battle and was not listed on the 30Jun76 muster roll.
Then you have those men left at the Powder River Depot (3 EM)—
SGT Murphy, Lawrence—Scott claims he was on Reno Hill, but this is probably wrong as everyone else lists him at PRD.
PVT Bromwell, Latrobe—Became sick on Rosebud Creek; sent back to PRD.
PVT Chapman, William H. (aka, William H. Dutton)—Was transferred from Company B on 1Jun76, in the field.
Detached to Department HQ—
PVT O’Toole, Francis—b. County Mayo, Ireland, 1839. Blue eyes, brown hair, fair complexion; 5’9” tall. Enlisted 1872. Detached service to Department HQ as an orderly.
Other Campaign Detachments—
PVT Ackison, David—On steamer “Far West,” sick with consumption.
CPT Charles Stilliman Ilsley—Detached service as ADC to BG John Pope since 30Jan68.
SGT Wells, John S. — Relieved as 1SG, 1May76. On leave.
PVT Bruns (also, Brumm), Carl August—At Ft Lincoln for duty.
PVT Gilbert, Julius—At Fort Lincoln for duty.
PVT Hutter, Anton—At Washington, D. C., insane asylum 9Jun72.
PVT McCann, Patrick—Confined at Fort Lincoln 17May76
PVT Thompson, Morris H. (aka, Howard, Frank)—At Fort Lincoln for duty.
PVT Woodruff, Jerry—At Fort Lincoln for duty.
Some interesting notes for E Company—
• Rode on Reno’s recon • 1LT Smith’s body was the only one from Company E found on Custer Hill. Rest of Company E dead was found on the SSL and in Deep Ravine. None were found in either the Keogh or Calhoun sectors. (Fox) • At least 8 Company E bodies were identified in Deep Ravine. • 2 officers, 37 EM KIA (includes 36 EM with Custer and 1 EM attached to Reno with packs); 7 NCOs from this company were killed. One E Company man was the soldier whose horse bolted, crossed the Little Bighorn at Ford B and rode into Indian camp (Gray). • 2 WIA • Strength: ◊ Assigned at FAL, 17May76: 3 officers, 61 EM ♠ 1 officer, 8 EM did not accompany ◊ Leaving FAL: 2 officers, 53 EM ♠ 3 EM left at PRD ♠ 1 EM sick ◊ At LBH: 2 officers, 49 EM • Length of Service, EM (includes NCOs): ◊ at PRD or other: ♠ less than 6 months service: 1 ♠ 6 months to 1 year: 0 ♠ 1 to 2 years: 0 ♠ 2 to 5 years: 3 ♠ 5+ years: 1 ◊ at LBH: ♠ less than 6 months service: 0 ♠ 6 months to 1 year: 2 ♠ 1 to 2 years: 9 ♠ 2 to 5 years: 24 ♠ 5+ years: 14 • Enlisted men born in a foreign country: 22 (44.9%) ◊ Ireland: 9 ◊ Germany/ Prussia: 7 ◊ England: 2 ◊ Wales: 1 ◊ Italy: 1 ◊ Greece: 1 ◊ Poland: 1 ◊ Total non-English speaking: 10 (20.4%) • American-born enlisted personnel: 27 (55.1%)
Boston, I believe the extra troopers counted in the ravine might have come from other companies. I know that one or more F Co. troopers were also identified down there. The name Brown comes to mind off the top of my head. There might have been a few of Keogh's battalion that made there way down there too.
Its also a possibility that Boston Custer, Autie Reed and Mitch Bouyer were counted among the bodies in the vicinity leading down to the ravine. The latter for sure.
"The more I see of movement here (Little Big Horn Battlefield), the more I have admiration for Custer, and I am satisfied his like will not be found very soon again.”
~ Gen. Nelson Miles, Commanding General of the Army ------
"With our cherished ones deliverance within our grasp we waited breathless for the order that never came."
Keogh - YES! ;D Someone give that man a cigar with his bourbon!!! This is one I thought Fred would get, because Benteen did say that he thought that Custer's men didn't fight in Companies. This one astute observation by Benteen is the key to the whole battle there!
Ok, I am willing to accept & say that 28 men, perhaps most of them a platoon from company E, along with Mitch Bouyer died "on a line outside of the ravine. The other platoon of that company, E, died in a (note a!) ravine, whose makeup was that of another or other company(s). And the number of men found there? 22!
rch, your numbers on E company are I believe correct, as are Freds. This is what happens when we compartmentalize this battle. For example: A company on a scout to a battlefield: The commander see's and reports seeing 1 soldier being seen and that he was wounded, then another person from that same recon company seeing a different soldier, also wounded and reports his actual name. One and the same soldier?
Now I for one am not ever going to say that Benteen didn't count, couldn't count 22 men's heads lying in that ravine. It's just too accurate of an accounting! Why not just say about 20? And it was "in" that ravine where they were found and buried! And NOT as G. MIchno in his article reported in the June issue of Wild West magazine. ;D (strike one - Keogh)
There probably should be a Deep Ravine thread and a South Skirmish Line thread.
I don't believe the numbers and identification anywhere on the battlefield are absolutely accurate.
As I understand Fred's post Benteen thought there were 22 men in the ravine and other thought there were more or less.
Custer's HQ had about 20 Officers, EM, and Civilians, Cos E and F 73 for a total of 93. To that can be added Capt Custer and some other survivors of Cos C, I, and L. So the total found from the ravine to the top of Custer Hill would be about 100.
My opinion is that the men originally buried in the ravine where removed probably by men of the 7th Inf, and there remains will eventually be found under most of the markers that line the ravine's side.
The best way for me to answer your question, for now: And respond to your comments is the following:
Letter from: Theodore Goldin to Albert W. Johnson Jan. 13, 1930
I formed my opinion on what we saw when visiting the field on the 27th with Bradley and again...on the 28th... We turned in at an opening following a well-marked trail of shod horses not very far from the southwest corner of the present fenced enclosure. This brought us to the first group of several soldiers, now (then) marked by headstones, and it was from this point we discovered the faint trail leading along the lower edge of the bluff to the point where we found the men and horses of smith's troop (the same one's Benteen observed ) in what proved to be a cul-de-sac and men and horses were piled up together, and the odor was such that we did not get down to them, but shoveled dirt from the top covering them in one big grave.
Benteen said he thought there were 22 men in the ravine. At the RCOI, his exact words were, “If I am not mistaken there were 22. They could not shoot out of the ravine and they certainly did not go into it to shoot out of it.” 
I have no idea what you guys are referring to with “50.” If you read that long, gaseous post of mine, above (# 8, Nov. 21), you will see the most used figure was 28, so I have no clue how you add the 28 to Benteen’s 22, especially when he was not that sure of the precise number. Throughout this whole thing, Benteen’s “numbers,” per se were not all that accurate, i.e., distances, body counts, etc.
Also, read the Dennis Lynch post, above. That should answer some questions. As for burials, markers, who-was-found-where…:
There were numerous accounts of bodies seen in a [D]eep [R]avine: • 1SG Ryan (M): 18 or 20 men of E Company. • CPT Benteen (H): 22 bodies. • CPT Moylan (A): 20-odd bodies of E Company. • LT Godfrey (K): 28 men of Smith’s troop. • LT Hare (K): 28 bodies of Smith’s troop in a coulee in skirmish order. • SGT Kanipe (C): rode along the edge of a deep gully and counted 28 bodies in there [Michno: Camp). • LT Richard Thompson (6th Inf.): maybe 34 bodies in a gully [Michno: Camp]. • LT Edward Maguire (Engineers): drew a map showing 28 bodies in one particular ravine. • LT Edward McClernand (2nd Cavalry): 28 bodies of Smith’s troop were found at the lower end of the line in a deep coulee. • COL John Gibbon (7th Inf.): 40 or 50 bodies were found in a valley running perpendicular to the river. • Walter Camp interviewed two Sioux warriors, Good Voiced Elk (Hunkpapa), who claimed 25 to 30 died in a gully; and He Dog (Oglala) who corroborated the number of 28.
• 1877 LTC Michael Sheridan and CPT Henry Nowlan, Co. I, 7th Cavalry: officers exhumed and reburied according to family wishes.
From Michno, The Mystery of E Troop, p. 181: Sheridan and Nowlan moved up the Yellowstone and Big Horn to Post Number Two (later renamed Fort Custer). It was still under construction by soldiers of the 11th Infantry under command of LTC George P. Buell. Coffins were built. The expedition now consisted of Sheridan and CPT Nowlan, LT Hugh L. Scott and 88 men of Nowlan’s Company I, 7th Cavalry. The guides were George Herendeen and John Baronette. The interpreter was Thomas H. LeForgé and 8 Crows, including Curley, Half Yellow Face, and White Man Runs Him. They reached the field of battle on 2Jul77. A month later, LTG Phil Sheridan and MG George Crook arrived and had the graves re-mounded and re-marked.
• 1879 CPT George K. Sanderson, 11th Infantry: some cleaning up. Built cordwood cairn and filled it with more exposed remains, man and horse. Replaced headboards and re-painted inscriptions. Nothing done in Deep Ravine.
• 1881 LT Charles F. Roe, 2nd Cavalry: whatever skeletal remains were found were placed in a mass grave on Custer Hill. ◊ Original sites marked with a stake. ◊ Obelisk erected at the mass grave, about 6 feet from where Custer’s remains were found. ◊ 10 feet from the base of the monument and on all four sides, Roe’s men dug a trench and filled it with all the remains of the troopers they could find. ◊ Nothing marked in Deep Ravine. ◊ In a 6Oct1908 letter to Walter Camp, Roe wrote that he had found the bodies of 267 officers and EM; however, 263 men died at the battle ground, with 5 others dying of wounds at a later date.
• 1890 CPT Owen Sweet, 25th Infantry: ◊ 246 marble markers set on original sites + obvious overage: 202 for Custer (wrong number) and 44 for Reno site (also wrong number). ◊ Nothing put in Deep Ravine.
• Since 1890 ◊ Six more marble markers have been set up. That makes an overage of 42.
• In a random sampling of marker sites, Richard Fox estimated 91% of 43 “paired marker sites” showed only one body had been buried there. He therefore eliminates 43 of the 252 markers (209 remaining) in determining where men fell.
• Scott estimates 27 to 44 men were killed in the area between Custer Hill and Deep Ravine. This includes the SSL.
• Michno in The Mystery of E Troop, p. 218, claims 44 grave markers on the main branch of the SSL, 7 on the southeast branch, and 4 more across Deep Ravine (55 total).
• Markers 55—possibly PVT Gustav Klein (F), and 56, CPL William Teeman (F)—are too close to Custer Hill to be considered part of the SSL.
• Dr. Lord is at grave Marker 17 on the lower SSL (the so-called “fugitive line”).
• LT Sturgis: Marker 48, set in Cemetery Ravine along the SSL.
• Scott says Custer, 5 officers, and perhaps 40 EM lay on Custer/Last Stand Hill. 28 names are documented: 14 PVTs: Ygnatz Stungewitz (C); Willis B. Wright (C); Anton Dohman (F); Gustav Klein (F); William H. Lerock (F); Werner L. Liemann (F); Edward C. Driscoll (I); Archibald McIlhargey (I); John E. Mitchell (I); John Parker (I); Francis T. Hughes (L); Charles McCarthy (L); Oscar F. Pardee (L); and Thomas S. Tweed (L). ◊ 2 civilians: Boston Custer (QM) and Autie Reed. ◊ 1 surgeon: Dr. George Lord (HQ) (Marker 17 for Lord is on the SSL) ◊ 1 trumpeter: Henry Voss (HQ) ◊ 4 NCOs: SGM William Sharrow (HQ); 1SG Michael Kenney (F); SGT John H. Groesbeck (F); CPL William Teeman (F). ◊ SGT Robert Hughes’ (K) body was most likely the one found at the head of Deep Ravine, though there is a remote chance he was killed on Custer Hill. Supposedly identified by CPT McDougall. ◊ 6 officers: GAC (HQ); William Cooke (HQ); Tom Custer (C-HQ); Algernon Smith (E); George Yates (F); William Van W. Reily (F). ◊ Presently, 52 markers are located on Custer Hill.
• Liddic presents his own description of where bodies were found, Vanishing Victory, p. 164.
• Grouped near Custer around the top of the knoll: LT Cooke (HQ); PVT Driscoll (I); PVT Parker (I); LT Smith (E); SGT John Vickory-Groesbeck (F); TMP Voss (HQ); PVT McCarthy (L). ◊Deep Ravine: SGT Hughes (K) and PVT Tim Donnelly (F). ◊ On a rise above Deep Ravine: CPL John Briody (F). ◊ Farthest north on the battlefield, opposite the present parking lot on the east side of the service entrance road: SGM Sharrow (HQ). ◊ Lower west side, down the slope from the monument, about 100 yards from GAC: Boston Custer and Autie Reed. ◊ About 20 feet southeast of GAC, on a hillside: Dr. Lord (HQ).
• 2LT Richard Thompson, Terry’s Acting Commissary of Subsistence, said there were only 9 or 10 men found between Custer and the gully (27Jun76). (Hammer/Camp, Custer in 76, p. 248)
• After Crazy Horse’s charge split the soldiers in half, one group continued to head for Custer Hill, the second group—the more southern one—went down the slope on the eastern side of the ridge, i.e., into the Keogh sector.
• Up to 70 cavalry markers in this sector: 30 [C and L] + 70 [C, I, and L] = 100. This indicates possibly as few as 21 of the 121 officers and EM who remained with the Keogh battalion, made it to Custer Hill.
• Archaeological evidence indicates very low-level soldier responses; points to close-in fighting by the Indians.
• Keogh’s body and those of a number of his men were found near a cluster of bushes. ◊ SGT Varden ◊ SGT Bustard ◊ CPL Wild ◊ TMP Patton ◊ PVT Lloyd
• Cemetery Ridge is a broad, flat ridge, sloping west from Custer Hill and less than 1 mile long. It widens at the bottom, with about a 100-foot drop at its end; one mile from Calhoun Hill. Evidence suggests organized cavalry firing from this ridge, at Indians in the “Flats” and emerging from Deep Ravine.
• 6 cavalry markers were once located on Cemetery Ridge where visitors’ center is now located.
• Increasing pressure and the loss of its horses soon forced Company E to leave the ridge and rejoin Company F in the Basin.
• The remnants of the right wing were now reaching Custer Hill and the left wing moved up from the Basin to join them. Before this, the left wing had not occupied Custer Hill (Michno disagrees with this).
• Company F—still mounted—probably rode up to Custer Hill to intercept the remnants of the right wing. Company E—mostly unmounted—straggled behind. As they were leaving the Basin, a couple of right wing soldiers may have spilled over the west side of Custer Ridge and joined the left wing before it made Custer Hill.
• Custer Hill: about 3/4 miles from Calhoun Hill; heavy vegetation that year.
• 43 cavalry markers on Custer Hill, though the most accurate count is 42 dead (Scott says there are 52 markers within the fenced area). Best guesses: At least 21 were from Company F, including 2 officers and 2 NCOs; 9 documented. ◊ At least 5 from Company I, including LT Porter, whose body was never identified. ◊ At least 4 from Company L. ◊ 1 from Company E (LT Smith). ◊ At least 4 from Company C (including Tom Custer, who probably rode with HQ and was therefore with HQ and left wing) + possibly LT Harrington, whose body was never found and is not included in the 42 total. ◊ 7 from HQ, including civilians This totals 42.
• Godfrey claimed to have counted 42 bodies and 39 horses on Last Stand Hill. (Liddic, Vanishing Victory, p. 162)
• “DeRudio remembered that many of these horses were ‘sorrels’ from ‘C.’ If so, and DeRudio was quite positive about this, they could have been from a couple of ‘sets of fours’ who had retreated to this position.” (Liddic, p. 162; FN Hammer)
• Large number of dead cavalry horses at this end of the battlefield indicates soldiers managed to control their mounts until late in the battle. ◊ 39 counted ◊ a few grays ◊ probably a few from the R wing ◊ mostly Company F’s horses ◊ 6 sorrels (C Co.) (Liddic, Vanishing Victory, p. 154; FN Hammer)
• As Companies F and E arrived at Custer Hill, along with the remains of the right wing, Custer probably had only about 100 men remaining, counting himself.
• Once on the hill, officers restored some semblance of order. ◊ 7 markers in Calhoun Coulee [all C] + 12 on Calhoun Ridge [all C] + 11 on Calhoun Hill [all L] + 70 in Keogh sector/Custer Ridge + 2 (1SG Butler and PVT Short or CPL Foley) + 6 on Cemetery Ridge + 1 (M. Kellogg) + 1 trooper from Company E killed at Ford B = 110. This assumes no one was killed when left wing moved up Deep Coulee to Calhoun Hill. ◊ This means only about 20 men from the right wing made it back to Custer Hill. ◊ Fox says about 102 gathered on Custer Hill.
• Fighting was desultory, with Indians creeping up rather than charging. From Marquis, Wooden Leg: ◊ The bushes were filled with Indians.  ◊ Wooden Leg was watching most of this from a distance now, remaining on his horse. After a while, he dismounted and crawled forward with other warriors.  [At this point, Wooden Leg alluded to a “band of soldiers [who] rode down toward the river.” He said that after they were killed, he re-mounted. This is obviously not the same group of “40” he spoke of earlier.] ◊ He now rode around “into the gulch north from the west end of the soldier ridge.” All the troops were dead except for a small band at the west end of the ridge, hidden behind dead horses.  [This “gulch” appears to be the one forming the north slope of Cemetery Ridge, where the Indian memorial is today and possibly the same ravine Custer rode down on his way to Ford D. His “west end of the ridge” is probably somewhat lower than the top of Last Stand Hill—the top of the SSL—and he is probably referring to Yates and the remnants of F Company.] ◊ Indians were still creeping toward these men.  ◊ Wooden Leg now dismounted in the gulch. He says, “From the gulch where I was I could see the north slope of the ridge covered by the hidden Indians.”  [This certainly seems like the north slope of Cemetery Ridge.] ◊ Wooden Leg talks of a Sioux warrior wearing a war bonnet and lying down behind a clump of sage on the hillside a short distance from where the monument and the iron fence are. Many others were with this warrior. Wooden Leg saw him shot in the forehead.  [This position indicates Wooden Leg came up from the Cemetery Ridge side, not from out of Deep Ravine.]
• Cheyenne to the north and east, Sioux to the south and west (Liddic, Vanishing Victory, p. 157)
• Final rush was short; siege and final rush measured only in minutes.
• Early in this final episode, about 45 troopers, mostly from Company E, dashed downhill towards the LBH, either to drive off Indians who were moving closer, or to enable horsemen to ride for help.
• Liddic agrees with Fox that the final action took place in this area, as opposed to Calhoun Hill. (Vanishing Victory, p. 157)
• South Skirmish Line Ridge is actually a low-lying, elongated rise, sloping gently from Custer Hill and runs about 2,000 feet, ending near Deep Ravine. It is bordered on the north (or right side coming down from Custer Hill) by what is today known as Cemetery Ravine.
• “Dr. Kuhlman first brought to the battle students’ attention the South Skirmish Line.” (Liddic, Vanishing Victory, p. 158) “It has been said of Dr. Kuhlman ‘that he is right 100 times for every time he is wrong.’” (Liddic, p. 158 FN, Stewart to Frank Mercatante, 1962; Steve Moses collection.)
• Early in this final episode, about 41-45 troopers dashed downhill on this ridge, towards the LBH, apparently on trumpet command; organized charge. The Indians estimated about 5-9 mounted, maybe as many as 40 on foot. Probably 30 of these men were from Company E. LT Smith’s body was found on Custer Hill, so he was probably already dead. The horsemen turned south, in the direction they had come from, towards Reno’s position, obviously riding for help. It is probably a good bet then, the 40 or so dismounted troopers were an organized diversion. This left approximately ± 57 on Custer Hill.
• “Wooden Leg remembered a band of soldiers rode down and dismounted near the head of Deep Ravine.”
• Liddic has Custer positioning E Company on this ridge as soon as the command returned from the Ford D area. (Vanishing Victory, p. 158)
• As these 40 ± charged, the Indians backed off, then charged, forcing many of the soldiers into Deep Ravine. Michno disagrees with this, saying that the Indians were already in Deep Ravine and actually fired at the troopers who were fending off attackers from the north (or from what is now the cemetery grounds and Cemetery Ridge) forcing the soldiers toward Cemetery Ravine. This is also why so many of these troopers were found shot in the back. Several troopers managed to get close to the LBH in their attempt to escape.
• There is an interesting comment in Willert, LBH Diary, p. 451. In a footnote he writes: “Curiously, there are only two white markers along the north slope beyond Custer’s last position. However, on a map, drawn by Captain Benteen after the battle, he indicated that bodies were seen by him down the north slope. He noted on the map: ‘… Ravine off here containing 30 bodies which were not found nor buried.’” Willert cites Graham’s endpaper to the Reno Court (Abstract). Could Benteen have been referring to Cemetery Ravine or north of Custer Hill?
• There is no evidence of an organized cavalry formation or resistance, or even a skirmish line. It was a melee, with no form of tactical order. Michno discusses LTC Michael Sheridan’s testimony at the Reno Inquiry. Sheridan “acknowledged that troops killed in a charge would be more scattered than those killed while resisting (a point to be considered in assessing the validity of the SSL with its regularity of bodies).
• It appears Indians were in this sector first.
• Liddic writes that the suicide boys—among the last warriors to enter the fight—charged “up the level area from the national cemetery and charged right into” E Company. Within 30 minutes of the suicide boys’ attack, the battle was over. (Vanishing Victory, p. 159)
• Soldiers evidently deployed in an attempt to counter the perceived threat. If so, this deployment, per se, did not last long enough to establish an effective skirmish line. Evidence points to soldiers originating from Custer Hill. Data suggest troopers only briefly occupied SSL and probably passed rapidly over this ridge, into Deep Ravine.
• Best evidence says 28 bodies were found in Deep Ravine, 13 near the ravine’s headwall: ◊ 8 of 12 bodies identified in Deep Ravine belonged to Company E. ◊ 2 from Company F. ◊ 1 from Company L. ◊ possibly, 1 SGT from HQ (Hughes, attached to HQ from Co. K).
• Near the end of the fighting, several troopers (5+... 7?) dashed south and were killed just below crest of Custer Ridge, 600-1300 feet from the obelisk. 7-10 others dashed towards LBH into Deep Ravine.
N. B. — Kate Bighead claimed the sequence of the battle varied somewhat from generally thought. After the SSL had been overrun was when Calhoun’s defense collapsed, the fighting moving on to Keogh’s company. After Keogh was destroyed, the only remaining soldiers were those on Last Stand Hill. (Liddic, Vanishing Victory, p. 160) Liddic himself doesn’t agree: “At the same time ‘E’ was being assaulted, White Bull and possibly Crazy Horse continued north along the ridge and confronted the last of Custer’s men who were making the final stand on Last Stand Knoll” (p. 162).
• The last soldier killed was supposedly killed by the two sons of the Santee Sioux, “Red Top” (Inkpaduta). These would probably be Red Horse and Sounds The Ground As He Walks. [CPT J. S. Poland’s report; Graham, The Custer Myth, p. 46]