Lt. W. W. Cooke - Adjutant Nov 16, 2017 17:17:33 GMT -5
Post by blaque on Nov 16, 2017 17:17:33 GMT -5
"In the short time we saw them (the three volunteers) returning over the high bluffs already alluded to. They were accompanied by a (Crow) scout who had a note from Terry to Custer saying Crow scouts had come into camp saying he (Custer) had been whipped but that it was not believed." Major M.A. Reno to Capt. E.W. Smith, 5 July 1876.
"Dr. Cooke has been informed by (one of) the Indians (Curly), that his son was the last of Custer's officers to fall and apparently he was shot several times before he succumbed." Chicago Times Herald, 9 July 1876.
"The Crow (Curly) who was with Gen. Custer but succeeded in escaping the slaughter says that the soldiers fought until their ammunition ran out, that Colonel Cook(sic) was the last officer to fall, that he charged the Sioux three times and each time drove them away from the hill where the final stand was made, that he was covered with blood and only after he fell did they (the Sioux) press their attack. Diary of Lt. John Carland, 30 June 1876.
"The Crow scout (Curly) who is here with us (Gen. Terry's command) and escaped the fight says that Will was the last officer to fall and that he charged the Sioux several times, each time driving them away and giving the troops time to rally on the hill where the last stand was made and that he fought with great bravery and that only after he fell did the fighting come to close." Capt. T.H. French to Dr. A.H. Cooke, 4 July 1876.
"I was introduced to the Indian scout (Curly) who miraculously escaped from General Custer's command and he says that Will was fighting to the very end and sold his life dearly." John Cooke to Mrs. A.H. Cooke, 5 August 1876.
John M. Cooke, Lt. Cooke's younger brother, joined Gen. Terry's command on the Yellowstone River at the beginning of August 1876 and was introduced to the "Indian scout" (Curly) by none other than Major Reno himself. Interestingly, John Cooke, "took the first scalp for Custer" in a sharp little skirmish with a party of Sioux on the Powder River, 29 July 1876, while en route to join Terry's command. William F. Cody, whom John met that August subsequently attached his own name to the claim, "first scalp for Custer."
"Among the civilians who took part in the fight was the brother of Col. Cook(sic) who was killed with Custer." The New York Herald, 7 August 1876.
With regard to scalps & the taking of scalps. The Cheyenne warrior Wooden Leg's account of scalping a dead soldier on Last Stand Hill with whiskers, "growing from both sides of his face and extending several inches below the chin" is often cited as strong evidence that this individual was responsible for removing one of Lieutenant Cooke's long "Lord Dundreary" chin whiskers. However, in describing this soldier Wooden Leg very clearly recalled that, "All of the beard hair was of a light yellow." If Wooden Leg's statement is true, then he never got anywhere close to Cooke. According to Lt. Cooke's own parents their oldest son was "6' 4" tall and had black hair." And given that I have had association with Cooke's descendants since childhood I can state that black hair is a Cooke family trait, along with premature baldness.
Cheers to all,
My hearty welcome to this forum, George!
I think it is sufficiently proved that Curley was nowhere near Custer’s command long before it reached MTC. And it is precisely this fact –that he took French leave very early in the action– what makes credible that he were able to reach a far and safe lookout and witness from there the Custer battle, with the help of a cheap glass he had. In spite of the distance I don’t think he had any difficulty in recognizing Cooke’s horse, prominently white; so that the Cooke stuff I would classify with that portion of the Curley data which sounds plausible.
I think, however, that Wooden Leg’s scalped victim was correctly identified as poor Cookey. Perhaps WL misrecalled the trophy (which he soon discarded) as yellowish because of the dust and sweat covering it; but eyewitnesses stated that one of Cooke’s sideburns had been scalped:
Lt. Hare (Camp’s 1910 interview): “He does not recall any scalped in group with Custer except Cooke, one of whose side burns had been cut off”.
Lt. DeRudio (Camp’s 1910 interview): “Cooke's sideburn had been scalped from one side of his face and his thighs were cut open in several places.”