Go back to the testimony. When Maguire gave the 8/10 estimate, what was he really saying?
Q. I find a dotted line from C to a line on the bluff markd RENO'S SKIRMISH LINE, what is the length of that line? A. 8/10 of a mile.
Q. How many men, i ask you as a soldier, would it take to cover a skirmish line of that length...? A. I dont even know what the intervals are. If you state the distance he set his men apart i can tell.
Q. Does that dotted line certainly indicate the length of Maj Reno's skirmish line? A. No sir, I did not intend it to. I did not suppose the line would reach across there with the number of men he had.
He goes on to say that the line was really there more to indicate the general direction of the skirmishing. He did not examine the field and all he knew about it was hearsay from "some officer".
There's nothing to Maguire's estimate. He said so himself.
I intended to give my opinion about the Maguire map by reading Maguires testimony.However though I see some of Maguires statements (he was the first witness called) I have read his entire testimony and don't see this exchange as you have posted. My RCOI copy reads 1995 by Stackpole books, is there a more current or updated version that includes this exchange?
Last Edit: Jul 19, 2010 11:52:26 GMT -5 by benteen
Here is part of what DeRudio said in his July 5, 76 letter from the Jellystone camp:
"Everything being as was ordered, we started on a gallop and for two miles pursued on the verge of an immense and blinding cloud of dust raised by the madly flying savages ahead of us. The dust cloud was so dense that we could distinguished nothing, so Col. Reno halted the battalion and after dismounting, formed a skirmish line-the right flank resting on the edge of a dry thickly wooded creek. While the horses were being led to shelter in the wood, the Indians opened a galling fire on us which was immediately responded to, the skirmish continuing for about one-half hour. It was now discovered that on the other side of the creek, in a park-like clearing, there were a few lodges, and the whole line crossed the creek to find the lodges deserted, and be received by about two hundred yelping, yelling redskins. The fire from the numerically superior force necessitated a retreat which was almost impossible, as we were now surrounded by warriors. When we entered the engagement we were only 100 strong and the fire of the enemy had made havoc in our little band. When we were half way over the creek, I, being in the rear, noticed a guidon planted on the side we had left and returned to take it. When coming through the wood, the guidon entangled itself in the branches and slipped out of my hand. I dismounted to pick it up and led my horse to the south bank of the creek. As I was about to mount, my horse was struck with a bullet, and becoming frightened, he ran into the Indians, leaving me dismounted in the company of about 300 Sioux not more than 50 yards distant. They poured a whistling volley at me, but I was not wounded, and managed to escape to the thicket near by, where I would have an opportunity of defending myself and selling my life at a good high figure. In the thicket I found Mr. Girard [Fred Gerard] , the interpreter; a half-breed Indian; and Private O'Neill [Private Thomas F. O'Neill], of Co. "G", 7th Cav. The first two of the quartet had their horses, while O'Neill like myself, was dismounted. I told the owners of the horses that the presence of the animals would betray us, suggesting at the same time that they be stampeded. They declined to act on the suggestion and I left them and crawled through the thick underwood into the deep dry bottom of the creek, where I could not easily be discovered, and from whence I hoped to be able under cover of darkness to steal out and rejoin the command. I had not been in this hiding place more than 10 minutes when I heard several pistol shots fired in my immediate vicinity, and shortly thereafter came the silvery, but to me diabolical voices of several squaws. I raised my head with great caution to see what the women were at and to discover their exact location. I found the women at the revolting work of scalping a soldier who was perhaps not yet dead. Two of the ladies were cutting away, while two others performed a sort of war dance around the body and its mutilators. I will not attempt to describe to you my feelings at witnessing the disgusting performance. * * * Finally the squaws went away, probably to hunt for more victims and I employed the time thinking of my perilous position."
I think this is consistent with what Peter Thompson saw regarding the guidon and camp.
DeRudio talks about the dry thickly wooded creek which sounds to me like Otter Creek before you get to the Garryowen loop. The horses were taken into the wood which suggests to me the timber area on the brow northwest of the Pitsch house. They crossed the dry creek and saw the camp in the park like clearing which to me suggests the south side of the Garryowen loop where Dustin/Vaughn put the timber. There was some fighting there. DeRudio then comes back to the dry creek to his horse. He doesn't mention the timber fight or Reno's Retreat/charge which suggests to me that he was separated from Reno which is one reason why they were left behind. Otter creek probably runs into the LBH somewhere north of the brow which sits just northeast of the Pitsch house upon which brow Pitsch found most of his relics. The dry Otter creek could also run into a dry loop of the LBH between the Garryowen loop and the Pitsch loop.
I should add here, to the record, what LT Varnum says about the village and Reno's attacking it through the timber:
"When I had been on the line ten or fifteen minutes, I heard somebody say that ‘G’ company was going to charge a portion of the village down through the woods, or something to that effect…I was on my horse and I rode down into the timber to go with the company that was going to charge the village. In the timber there is a little glade or opening, and I know in riding in onto this opening I could see the stream in one direction, so we must have been near the stream; and I could see the line of the opening in front, and I supposed there was a detached portion of the village on the other side of the stream, and that was where they were going…I saw Col Reno there. He was right with ‘G ‘ company, evidently deploying it, or assisting to deploy it to go through the woods. The company was on the down stream side of the opening and I said: ‘I am going to charge!’ or something like that, and I rode to where the Colonel was…"
At this point Reno tells Varnum to go see what was going on with the skirmish line on the plain, and then Varnum goes back and finds the line along the timber, and Moylan has him go east and bring the led horses up behind the company, from whence they departed the timber.
There is a LOT of time for Reno to account for with G Company in the woods, while the other two companies were on the skirmish line, and then on the timber line. What were they doing all that time? Probably 30 minutes or so?
General of the Army (Medicine Man/Chief))
Has the location of Benteen's given skirmishers in the valley, ever been deduced?
From the New York Herald, August 8, 1876 - About three miles from the point where Reno crossed the ford I met a sergeant bringing orders to the commanding officer of the rear guard, Captain McDougall, Company B, to hurry up the pack trains. A mile further I was met by my trumpeter, bringing a written order from Lieutenant Cook, the adjutant of the regiment, to this effect: "Benteen, come on; big village; be quick; bring packs." and a postscript saying, "Bring packs."
A mile or a mile and a half further on I first came in sight of the valley of the Little Big Horn. About twelve or fifteen dismounted men were fighting on the plain with Indians charging and recharging them.
The body numbered about 900 at this time. Colonel Reno's mounted party 'were retiring across the river to the bluffs. I did not recognize till later what part of the command this was, but it was clear that they had been beaten. I then marched my command in line to their succor. On reaching the bluff I reported to Colonel Reno and first learned that the command had been separated and that Custer was not in that part of the field, and no one of Reno's command was able to inform me of the whereabouts of General Custer.
Last Edit: Dec 7, 2018 2:25:39 GMT -5 by moderator
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck ~ it is probably a goose.