B'east, in your opinion from actual observation is the viewshed a useful tool? I know it has limitation because it is advertised as such.
I think it is helpful if nothing more than encouraging a discussion on how Custer's 5 companies were fixed and destroyed. It works best when it was used by Clair to show what a single individual in a single location such as Pvt Peter Thompson could not see such as LSH. The area where he could see would be subject to depressions and vegetative concealment.
The entire regiment rode past the mouth of that fork. Why did Custer call Reno over?
Timeliness is important when making the best available choices. There was no guarantee that Indians would be using SFRC but if they were Herendeen would know they could flee up it and by the time Custer reached the junction they would be gone. Benteen was sent on an angle that would intercept Indians fleeing up SFRC.
Finding SFRC would be harder since they would be looking for fleeing Indians and not the LBH river.
Remember Benteen states valley hunting ad infinitum. He does not state LBH river hunting ad infinitum. Indians could and do change camp areas but the river is always in the same valley. I think you have to ride the ups and downs in the Benteen Scout area to see why it would feel like ad infinitum. Custer knew from the view from a Crow's Nest that there several drainages coming from the Wolf Mountains and at least one was known to have Indians camping, traveling, and a battle site.
Post by benteeneast on Aug 5, 2019 19:02:54 GMT -5
I think we can agree that Benteen reached a point where Gibson could look into SFRC long before Indians camped at that junction would run from Custer. Custer sent Benteen on a line where he be able to block travel in SFRC and then send a message to Custer. A fast rider could make it down Noname in time to contact Custer in Reno Creek in my opinion. Since Gibson saw no Indians there was no need to inform Custer.
This seems like basic tactics and communication for horseback cavalry units.
Again think about it. If Benteen originally had been ordered to go the LBH there is no need to send messengers. Custer wanted him to find the valley that Herendeen told him about in my opinion.
How much time have you spent reviewing the vast literature on the battle..?
About every five years for about the last fifty years I check and read whatever book had come out. I know just enough to be dangerous so I decided I was going too fast. I have Fox and Gray on the way. I also ordered the back copy of that ridges article you recommend as well as I have Wagner on my list as self-imposed prerequisites. I was a kid when I mowed some yards to watch Little Bigman. Read every book at the library on the battle at that time. I keep coming back to it.