Supplementum: Reno's advance to the Weir Peaks Oct 3, 2008 20:47:51 GMT -5
Post by keogh on Oct 3, 2008 20:47:51 GMT -5
What the officers of the 7th were willing to say in public differed vastly from what they would say in private to each other. Remember that Benteen's statements to Pvt. Goldin were made in a private letter to someone who was actually there....someone who would have known very well if those trumpets were never sounded at that time. The officers of the 7th were not about to publicly label Reno a coward or an incompetent, or suggest that he was not actually in command at that time. It would have reflected badly on the regiment's reputation and honor.
In fairness, my remark that H was the first to disengage was predjudicial. In a countermarch, returning in reverse order would be SOP. But there's a lot of testimony that leads me to believe that Reno was in command out there, if not physically present the entire time. For instance, Hare: "As soon as I got back from the pack train I went to Captain Weir, and when I came back, I met Major Reno going down." -- one supposes to assess matters. Most mention the fall back orders came from Hare who was Reno's adjutant.
I have no doubt that Hare was sent out by Reno well after Weir had already left on his unauthorized recon to Weir Point. This was done, in my view, for cya purposes more than anything else, but I would agree that Reno gave him the orders to do so. He indicates that he met Reno "going down" but does not mention how far out that might have been from Weir Point, probably not very far from Reno Hill.
Reno WAS out there at at least one point... Hare stated to Camp... Benteen and Reno were discussing matters, they were standing about 1/2 mile in rear of Co. D... We even have the "adjutant or no adjutant" comment from Hare indicating it was Reno's orders he questioned. I just don't see much to indicate that Benteen was running the show out there except Benteen's own accounts.
Reno issued the orders to fall back from Weir Point only after discussing the matter with Capt. Benteen, hence the many assumptions that it was Benteen's influence that caused him to do so. There is a great deal of doubt as to whether or not Reno ever made it to Weir Point. Depending exactly where along the Weir Point peaks D Co. was placed, 1/2 mile to the rear could have placed Reno well south of Weir Point itself. But this is another area that the officers of the 7th would be careful to cover up in their attempts to preserve their dignitas during this scenario.