Pennington's model: "LBH: A Comprehensive Study" Jul 20, 2011 14:44:08 GMT -5
Post by keogh on Jul 20, 2011 14:44:08 GMT -5
I would agree with this. However, I believe this was a leaders recon as opposed to a general advance of 5 companies to attack at MTF. I do think Custer went down there with HQ and the Gray Horse troop.
Thompson on the bluffs; views Reno's charge down the valley, by this time all of Reno's three companies in line. Thompson drops down to the valley floor, the village is quiet. Soon views Custer at the river, one half hour before Custer's fight start. Custer returns over Boyer's Bluff and talks to Hairy Moccasin and asks "How is IT" Hairy responses "Reno is fighting hard in the valley". Martini’s account puts the troops down in MTC.
I agree with you up to this point. The timing fits very well for this scenario, and it is supported by witness accounts.
As Custer returns from the recon; he dispatches Martini.
I would disagree with this interpretation. The timing does not fit. According to Martin's testimony, he was sent back with his message to Benteen just as the command reaches MTC. He arrived to deliver his message to Benteen about 45 min later and close to a mile after Kanipe. There is no way the timing can fit if Martin waits for Custer to conduct his leaders recon to Thompson's ford and return again. And Martin never claimed that he did. He arrived only 15 minutes or so after Kanipe passed Benteen.
The troops advance toward Ford B
I believe Martin was describing the beginning of Custer's recon down to the Bouyer's bluff region with the Gray Horse troop. He mistakenly interprets this move as Custer going to attack immediately at Ford B with his entire command.
and Martini eventually looks back and can see the troops in combat, falling back.
My interpretation of this statement is that Martin turns back as he rides up the side of Cedar Coulee and sees the remaining 4 companies of Custer's command surmounting East Ridge. This move would appear to Martin as Custer falling back from Ford B. In reality, Custer has not yet engaged the Indians at MTF yet, as Custer has not even reached Bouyer's Bluff to conduct his recon. The shooting Martin hears are a few sporatic shots fired by Wolf Tooth's band at the 4 remaining companies on the eastern ridges.
By the time Martini reaches 3411 area and views the Reno fight, they are all falling back to the river.
Martin gives two different accounts of this. In one account he claims that Reno was still in the valley fighting on his skirmish line. In a different account, Martin claims that he cannot see Reno's command at all. This would suggest to me that as Martin arrives at the southern end of Sharpshooter Ridge, Reno was just then falling back to the timber position. Martin is still a good 20-25 minutes from reaching Benteen.