Supplementum: Timeline for LBH Battle Aug 23, 2017 16:27:54 GMT -5
Post by keogh on Aug 23, 2017 16:27:54 GMT -5
I don't think it will be too hard to get those worms back in the can. You have Wallace and others claiming that they halted at about 10 am. We also have participants telling us that Custer's last Officer's Call was held shortly after 10 am.
I hate to open up another can so soon but after this conversation it comes to my attention that troops were not on the move when Custer returned from the Crows nest. Do you have any idea of where this story first originated? I get the feeling that this is another one of the many myths about this crazy event.
Let's see what the participants said about this event:
Lt. Godfrey (Field Notes): About 8 a.m. on June 25 the command moved from Halt 1 on the divide to Halt 2 (about 4 miles). Prior to this move, Custer came around to all the companies (before he left for the Crows Nest) and informed them that the Indian village was in view. Then they continued the march. At Halt 2, the command hid in a ravine near the divide; soon came a report of Sgt. Curtiss finding the box of lost hardtack, etc. Crow scouts also reported the command seen by hostiles. Tom Custer rode out to the Crows Nest to report this news to the General and the General returned to their bivouac and had Officer's Call sounded. Godfrey goes to Headquarters and hears Bloody Knife say they would find enough Sioux to keep them fighting for 2 or 3 days. Custer laughed and said he thought they would get through them in one day. Custer announces they will move to attack immediately -- officers to prepare their companies for battle. They cross the divide....
Lt. Godfrey gives us a very accurate picture of events in the passage above. First he says the command moved out about 8 a.m. from Halt #1. I have this event occurring at about 8:30 a.m. This would place the arrival of the lead elements of the command at Halt #2 at about 9:45 a.m. Tom Custer and Calhoun ride out towards the Crows Nest and meet the General between at some time between 9:45 and 10:00 a.m. to report on the box of lost hardtack being discovered by the hostiles. The General returns to his command at Halt #2 at sometime between 10:00 and 10:10 a.m. whereupon he has his last Officer's Call, likely between 10:20 and 10:40 a.m. The officers then went to prepare their companies for battle between 10:40 and 10:50 a.m. during which time Custer goes up to the divide for his second look into the valley, this time with DeRudio's field glasses. The Regiment moves out to cross the divide shortly thereafter, about 10:55 a.m. fulfilling Custer's desires that they "move to attack immediately". Godfrey does not indicate an unnecessary and illogical delay of an hour and a half, as Lt. Wallace would have us believe.
Lt. Edgerly (The Custer Myth, 1881 account): When General Custer came down from the hill, Officer's Call was sounded. The officers all went to where he was and he told us that ... we would press on as quickly as we could and attack them in the village if possible.... He then ordered troop commanders to mount their troops and report when they were in readiness to move on. In about a minute, every troop commander had reported.
Lt. Edgerly tells us that the command had all reached Halt #2 at about 10 a.m. When Custer returned from the Crows Nest a bit later, presumably about 10:10 a.m., Officer's Call was sounded, whereupon the officers were told that they "would press on as quickly as they could" and attack the hostiles "in the village if possible", thus indicating the need for speed at this point. When Officer's Call ended, presumably about 10:30 or 10:40 a.m., the troop commanders were told to "mount their troops and report when they were in readiness to move on. In about a minute , every troop commander had reported." Lt. Edgerly tells us here that there was no hour and a half delay before moving out to cross the divide, as Lt. Wallace would infer from his deceptive itinerary. That extended delay makes no sense whatsoever.
Lt. Edgerly (RCOI): Officers Call was at 10 a.m. on June 25, about 1/4 mile east of the divide.
Edgerly agrees with most other sources that Officer's Call was at about 10 a.m. and that Halt #2 was about 1/4 mile east of the divide.
Lt. Edgerly (letter to wife, 7/4/76): we ... moved on again till about 10 a.m. when Officer's Call was sounded again. After nearly an hour's rest and a reconnaissance by Gen'l. Custer and some scouts, we were told that the Indians had undoubtedly discovered our presence as several had been seen on the bluffs, and the only thing for us to do was to move on them at once. . . . We then mounted and moved forward about half a mile, halted and he (Custer) reassigned the companies into battalions....
Edgerly says that the command reached Halt #2 about 10 a.m., followed shortly thereafter by Officer's Call (after the return of Custer and his scouts from their reconnaisance at the Crows Nest). He says that the command rested at Halt #2 for "nearly an hour's rest". Which indicates that the command rested from about 10 a.m. until some time just before 11 a.m. when they moved out again to cross the divide.
Col. Benteen (RCOI): Officer's Call was held at 10 a.m.
Col. Benteen agrees with the majority of our participants that the last Officer's Call, held shortly after the command reached Halt #2, was held about 10 a.m.