Ford A area? May 16, 2010 8:22:53 GMT -5
Post by fred on May 16, 2010 8:22:53 GMT -5
May 16, 2010 7:22:15 GMT -5 @conz said:2. The ford site was an elevation below the level of the plain, just like the entire LBH was...no exceptions, I would think.
You can't prove that! If you go there today, that isn't the case at all. And who's to say the entire river - length was uniform? I'll grant you that the bushes and the trees-- the local flora-- was similar, but the land configuration? C'mon!
Yes, I do believe the area was almost EXACTLY like Reno's timber area later...it is a very similar terrain feature, fords, banks, trees, glades, and all.
You're making this stuff up, Clair! Prove it!
You see that the testimony, as all in this battle, contradicts itself in many ways, so we have to use logic to work out what is probably closest to the truth...trees, or no trees? They say both above.
No they don't! One said a lot; one said a little. No one said "none." Perception! One man's glass is half - empty; one man's glass is half - full. That doesn't bother me at all. Put the two together and it tells me there were trees there, not just brush. As for the distance estimates, they too are no big deal. It tells me the depth of the foliage was not that great, and certainly no 400 yards! Four hundred yards is close to a quarter - mile. Two hundred yards is a dash.
Down in a bank where you can't see the plain as you cross, or you could see down the valley as you were crossing? There are more quotes than shown above that say the Soldiers couldn't see the plain as they were crossing until they got up and out the other side.
Oh, yeah! Where? You say "got up"; there is no evidence for that. Got up, what? a foot? I say, "got through." There is evidence for that [see above]. The "climbing" was done by Custer. Sure, they couldn't see down the valley; there were trees and bushes in their way; 50 to 200 yards - worth. There was no clambering up steep - sided bluffs.
Also remember to figure in where Reno sent his first messenger from (what caused him to send that messenger), and where he and his command waited until after he determined his second messenger wasn't coming back, either.
Reno was in the middle of the river when Gerard, first, and then Herendeen told him the Indians were coming up the valley, not retreating. That's undoubtedly when Reno sent McIlhargey back. Why is that so limiting a factor? He probably sent the second messenger when he was fully across. Since both messengers died with Custer and Goldin (the scallawag!) alludes to one or both of them when he claims he was sent back), we know both McIlhargey and Mitchell caught up with Custer pretty quickly. That means they weren't sent that far apart. Nervous Reno? Sure.
But do you honestly believe after all Reno had gone through, after receiving his rders as they were worded, after busting butt to get to the river, after prohibiting any stopping or drinking, that Reno would have sat on the west back for more than 60 seconds to wait for word from Custer? Especially since Reno must have believed Custer was right behind him?
As you know, I've always suspected that Reno spent more time in all this fording activity than is easily revealed in the record...it may have seemed "quick" to some observers, but there is a lot of stuff going on here.
Correct, and why would that have to be done in slow - motion? That's the "picnic theory," Clair! How long does it take to gulp a mouthful of water? How long does it take to jump off one's horse, re-cinch the girth, and get back on? No campfires were lit on the west bank; no coffee brewed. These guys were bustin' ass, and all the evidence tells us that was the case. Anything else is theory-- "model"-- over fact.
There may be some duplication below, but go through it and tell me where this crossing was so much lower than the prairie and tell me where this thing took so long to effectuate:
Wallace, G. D., LT-- After a few hundred yards they reached the ford of the LBH used by the Indians. Wallace considered the horses pretty tired by the time the command reached Ford A. Men were tired and the horses worn out. Water was belly deep to the horses.
Reno, M. A., MAJ-- Reno said he halted at the river [Ford A area] for 10 minutes or less, to gather the battalion.
Porter, H. R.-- Reno moved out at a trot—Porter thought some of the men might be galloping—following a heavy trail, then crossing the river. “Some” of the men stopped and watered their horses. Porter watered his there. The watering was done as the command passed through. Porter felt the horses were in pretty good condition, many wanting to run.
O'Neill, T., PVT, G-- Remembers Ford A as having a high bank.
Ryan, J., 1SG, M-- The LBH River was about 3 feet deep with some quicksand and a very strong current.
Varnum, C. A., LT-- Varnum was asked if he knew of the condition of the men and horses. He responded that he did not know, but that he himself, was exhausted and only the excitement kept him in the saddle. Did not see anyone stop to water his horse; column moving rapidly.
Morris, W. E., PVT, M-- French directed SGT O’Harra to make sure the sets of 4’s closed up and O’Harra stood in the river [at Ford A] to make sure no one stopped to water his horse. Morris did, pretending not to hear O’Harra’s yelling at him. Morris stated categorically that “the outfit” did not stop to water the horses.
Roy, S., CPL, A-- “The command was rushed across the river in great haste and no water was got by horses or men of my remembrance of that crossing."
DeRudio, C., LT-- The column was moving at a trot and there was no delay at the ford. Reno was the first man in the stream. DeRudio saw a few hostiles before crossing. DeRudio felt the wait at Ford A was not long, but it did take some time to cross and water horses, then re-assemble. Reno watered his horses.
Hare, L., LT-- Some men were watering their horses when Hare passed them. Hare crossed the river and rode to the edge of the timber. He could see Indians to the left driving ponies down the valley. He paused to fix his saddle blanket and when he remounted the command was coming out of the timber.
Culbertson, F., SGT, A-- There was a short, 5 to 8 minute delay, in crossing, to close up the column.
Gerard, F.-- According to Gerard, there was no time lost, no delay, at the ford. As the command was crossing the river, he rode 75 yards back, spent only a minute with Cooke, rode the 75 yards back and crossed. The troops were 500 yards away. He followed after them, overtaking them on the left, moved with them—side by side—then dropped behind to check his horse. He was never within 200 yards of any company until they stopped to form the skirmish line.
If Gerard spent only a minute with Cooke, why would Reno have to spend so much time re-forming. These guys were soldiers; this was a military operation. Where is and why do we need all this delay?