Also here...what you can see looking north from 3411.
Note that if CH was here and looked over his shoulder and saw Custer's column, they must still have been on East Ridge (or moving toward Luce) AFTER Reno had already arrived with most of his command atop the bluff after his retreat.
So Custer's force was still near the mouth of Cedar Coulee when Reno finished his retreat, and just before Benteen met him.
Clair, I generally agree with your posts but have trouble envisioning an E Company charge toward Calhoun Hill, and a C Company charge that gets close to Greasy Grass Ridge.
Right...these are just conjectures. We know some kind of movement occurred in these two cases by body locations and Warrior statements, but we can't know what they were. We can only figure most probable.
C Company would have almost had to backtrack to get to GGR from CR without going into the coulee which was infested with warriors, and to my knowledge no positive IDs of E troopers were observed in the eastern part of the battlefield.
I don't think there were any Warriors in Calhoun Coulee when C Co made its move off Battle Ridge to Greasy Grass Ridge. They were all down at the Deep Ravine ford area, pinned down by fire off Battle Ridge and Calhoun. And off course the hundreds that were firing off Greasy Grass Ridge towards the rear of Calhoun Hill and C Co on Battle Ridge.
As for the E Co movement, they all "fell" in the gully between the cemetery and Calhoun Hill. That's where the 28 bodies were found, and now lost.
When a straight line is drawn from the northernmost corner of Custer Field to the southernmost, it's like drawing a line from second base to home plate. Of the 50 to 60 positive IDs cited in historical records, I'm unaware of any E Company bodies on the right side of the infield, ...
I think E Co will all be found just to the left of the pitcher's mound (from the catcher's view).
...or for that matter any C troopers identified on the third base side, except Tom Custer who was probably with HQ.
C Co moved from 2nd base to home plate. Their bodies are found scattered in the zone: 2nd base to pitcher's mound to home plate and over to 1st base. That's what happened when they were routed off Greasy Grass ridge in a "buffalo hunt" scenario...they all scattered. A few ended up on 3rd base at the end of the battle, but I think these were the survivors that made it back to 1st base, then 2nd base, and finally a few made it over to 3rd base where they died around Custer. Keogh died with his original company on 2nd base.
This is primarily why I've bought into Fox's conclusions. The reported Greasy Grass casualties were outside the field and I've never seen credible information pertaining to their company assignment(s). I've assumed they were C troops, likely the first casualties during the retrograde movement from MTC. Are you of the opinion a C detachment actually engaged warriors on GGR?
Take a re-look at "Where Custer Fell" for the best explanation of the theory I've described. It is originally Brian Pohanka's. Look especially for the locations of the C Co bodies.
Holy Cow ! For someone brand new to the study of this battle, these maps depicting possible troop movements are wonderful. What is truly interesting is to view these representations in rapid succession...one can almost see the battle. Excellent work ! Wayne
Thanks Wayne, and while this makes it a 'possible' model, it is in no way conclusive. There are other ways to create these body distributions as well. I came up with this incorporating other evidence, mainly combining logical cavalry officer decisions against situations described by Warrior testimony.
Students must always be aware that a spiffy presentation doesn't directly translate to proof and certainty. <g>
So keep the open mind, but this model will take you far in your studies, I think.
Thanks. The biggest question in this part of my model, for myself, is the timing of Yates' squadron returning from Fords D. Above I show them turning back before C Co is counterattacked, but it may have been the noise of that battle that caused Custer to turn Yates around back south.
If so, that would reduce the time E/F Troops spent in the cemetery area, perhaps by half.
Again, I did this a couple years ago under a challenge to explain how the markers got spread out the way that they did. I had developed the maneuvers, though, several years before that, when I visited the battlefield for the first time. It has evolved since then, with the C Co episode being explained to me by Brian Pohanka.
Another epiphany was Crazy Horse coming up Deep Ravine and over Battle Ridge, when I originally believed the older model of him going through Fords D and around the north (other models have him going across Ford B and to the east...he is all over the place <g>). I can't remember, though, where I got that, although I remember discussing it with the Park Historian during one of my visits. He let me walk down Deep Ravine, which back then you couldn't easily do. I think now there is a path, but I haven't been back in a while. Need to fix that...
First off the horses began to slow down 2 miles past the lone teepee. This allows Brennan to turn back as Thompson’s horse stops. This is the general location of Watson, Thompson, and Finkle.
This is Mathey's knoll, as I measured the route on GE. It would be at the top of the bluff, after the horses had grabbed a sip of water at the bottom. It IS a likely place for jaded horses to slow down...after a few second pause and sip and then a climb up a steep bluff.
This is the indicator; for the view of the valley is wide and long at this location. This allows Thompson’s sightings. Reno is making the charge. The Village is in view all the way to the Cheyenne camp down close to Ford B.
This I don't see. You can't see much beyond Garry Owen bend from anywhere south of Weir Hill. You certainly can't see Ford B. The best view along the bluff south of "3411" is Reno Hill, and you still can't see much of the village from there...only the first couple "circles" most likely...not even half the distance from the tip of Garry Owen bend to Ford B itself. The promontory that is "3411" blocks everthing north of the bend all along the bluff, pretty much. You DO get a fine look of the pony herds on the other side of the valley, though, and of Sitting Bull's personal village circle.
The troops ahead can fall out of view from Thompson any where between him and the saddle of SSR; for the terrain will allow that.
But only momentarily. He can still track then until they go over the saddle (north) and down into Cedar Coulee. Only from then on, has he lost them permanently, including any dust they might be raising.
Thompson is to the rear as everyone else have broke into a gallop. He describes the Troops disappearing and with a staggering horse moves forward then views Reno charge. There is very little difference, time or distance, between the two sightings.
Yeah...this is the hard, and important part to decipher. But it is implied that Custer has disappeared by the time Thompson watches Reno's advance down the valley. THIS is the important indicator, eh? From the bluff, you can easily see UP the valley, to the south where Reno is crossing at Ford A, forming up, and then moving down the valley. Only to the north can't you see. So unless he didn't notice the event (he was not looking that way), he could watch Reno from the very beginning of his "charge." I wager that Reno was some way down the valley before Thompson noticed him, since he was trudging north, watchful that way. But it wouldn't be too long before Thompson saw an entire battalion, on line, galloping down the valley below, so I doubt Reno completed even half way his advance before Thompson spies him. And this is AFTER he loses permanent sight of Custer's column, you see...not temporary loss of sight, is implied.
Custer and troops have now left 3411/SSR and are making their way towards MTC.
It is probable that the column did not stop, or for very long, as Custer watched Reno advance from 3411. Sources say the column went on down Cedar Coulee (again, some believe S MTC branch), without Custer, and the boss caught up with them near the bottom. But Thompson could probably not see Custer at 3411 anymore than he could see the coumn in the coulee...that saddle blocks all view north from the Reno Hill direction.
The Ree stolen ponies now reach the bluffs and move toward Reno Hill. Now up from the valley floor on the bluffs, Half Yellow Face heads south. Behind him to the North are the Rees probably close to the saddle of SSR. Thompson sees both groups of people as one event but it is two separate events unrelated. This allows Half Yellow Face to come out of the valley floor where he says and Thompson runs into him as Half Yellow Face continues moving south to signal Benteen. Both the Rees and Crows have crossed Ford A prior to Reno, and have now made their way around and up the bluffs as they described.
I think so, although I'm not as sure of you that it was Half Yellow Face that signalled Benteen. It could have been the other three Crows, Hairy Mocassin & crew.
If you move Thompson too far towards SSR Brennan can not fall out 2 miles past the lone teepee and talk to Thompson.
Could this not occur between Mathey point and Reno Hill?
If you move Thompson too far towards SSR Finkle can not drop back and Knipe take his place at SSR saddle. This is a good indicator that Finkle was a ways behind south, with Watson.
Again, couldn't all this happen between Reno Hill and Mathey point? From here, Finkle caught up with the column when it stopped briefly near the saddle (foot of SSR), where Kanipe was sent back, and the command probably loaded its weapons.
If you move Thompson too far towards SSR Thompson can not run into Half Yellow Face according to the accounts. HYF claim is he climbed the bluff south of Reno Hill.
I think he probably ran into HYF right near Reno Hill, and the Ree ponies right after Reno Hill.
If you move Thompson too far towards SSR the view of the village is partially removed. But any where on the ridge south of SSR; you would be able to see Reno.
Right...I think he can see Sitting Bull's personal village anywhere along here, until he is right up under the saddle, when 3411 blocks it. As soon as he is on the saddle, he can see the valley due west again, and a bit further, the village again.
If you move Thompson too far towards SSR the Reno charge would be forming skirmish lines.
I think Reno was in skirmish lines as Thompson is scampering down the bluff. I don't think he was in the timber yet. This is more strong evidence that Thompson was quite a ways up the bluff, on foot, before Reno even made his advance down the valley. Most of Reno's advance covered he time Thompson was crossing the Reno Hill defense area, seems to me.
The mile and one third is from where Thompson horse quits, to where Thompson drops down the bluffs. Remember Thompson is moving forward all the time, on staggering horse, walking the horse, and running on foot.
On my model, it is 1.54 mi. from Mathey point to where thompson left the bluff, so that works perfectly for me. He is probably making about 2-1/2 mph, so that is a 37-min walk. If Reno advanced from Ford A 15 min. after Custer's column went past Mathey's Point, it all works out perfectly...Thompson is near Reno Hill when Reno advances, and Custer's column is crossing the "saddle," where Varnum spots the grey horse company.
Thompson running in to Half Yellow Face and then the Rees ponies would put him ready to reach the saddle of SSR which Thompson describes as “the top of the hill”. (the water divide) Here comes the 5 Sioux Indians. As Thompson looks to his right into the ravine (this would be the head Cedar Creek) at the bottom is cherry bushes.
The indicators are 1: 2 miles past the lone teepee,
Mathey's point...where Custer's column first reaches the top of the bluff...
2: Brennan leaving Thompson,
Shortly after passing Mathey's point...
3: Finkle slowing up,
Half way between Mathey's point and Reno hill...
4: Knipe taking Finkle’s place at SSR saddle,
Right, and departing right after...Thompson is near Reno hill now.
5: the view of the village and Reno,
Right...about half way down the valley between Ford A and his dismount point...