Post by keogh on Aug 31, 2015 14:09:00 GMT -5
Aug 31, 2015 11:19:07 GMT -5 Rancher said:Gerard job was interpreter or translater he was not a Scout. The Crow (Absorka) Indians and Custer's Arickara Indians were the scouts. Throughout Gerard did not do his job. His job was to report facts to the commander. Gerard reported his judgement instead.
I agree with you that Gerard reported his judgement of the facts, as he understood them to be, that day.
Custer obviously didn't value it because he pawned Gerard off on Reno.
I would suggest that Custer did value Gerard's presence, as Custer himself had reversed Reno's decision to leave Gerard off the expedition. Gerard was sent into the valley with Reno simply because that's where the Ree scouts were sent to drive off the Sioux pony herds. Gerard's place was with the Rees and nowhere else. The same holds true for Isaiah Dorman. He wasn't pawned off on Reno because Custer had no use for him. Same goes for Charley Reynolds and Herendeen. All the scouts and interpreters were sent into the valley with Reno's advance.
Reno stated he wouldn't believe a word Gerard said.
This is probably true, considering the bad blood that existed between Reno and Gerard even before the expedition began.
The obvious example is his declaring the "Indians running like devils" then supposidly sending word back by the adjuvant back behind a knoll where no one could see back to Custer to correct his former gaff.
I don't think Gerard needed to correct any gaffe. At the time he made his observation of the Indians "running like devils," the small group of Indians he saw were doing just that. No correction needed. His later message that the Indians in the valley that Reno was advancing towards were not running away, but coming out in force to oppose his advance also turned out to be true, and likely influenced Custer to turn up the bluffs with his 5 companies in reaction to that important information.
I suspect the latter never happened because it would be very difficult for the adjuvant to reach Custer in time to write the order Trumpeter Martin left with to Benteen.
I believe you are wrong here, rancher. I suspect you have Custer turning up to the bluffs well over a mile east of the river, but our primary sources (Kanipe, O'Neil) tell us that Custer only did so between 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of the river, and well within reach of the Adjutant to reach him with Gerard's message before turning up to the bluffs. In fact, it would have taken the Adjutant roughly 5 minutes to cover that ground to deliver his message. According to our participant timeline here, Martin would leave with his message to Benteen roughly 30 minutes after Cooke delivered Gerard's message to Custer.
No doubt Gerard had self preservation skills and could travel the country on his own without getting lost but I think you all are giving to much credit to him.
I am not surprised you would think that. Personally, I find Gerard's accounts to be, on the whole, very reliable.
Reno, not a likeable man was were he was supposed to be and that is were he could see, where he could inspect so he could make the decisions. It was not his job to form the men up but that of his leutenants and his sargeants. It was he job to lead the charge out to break the encirclement and lead the retreat and search for better realestate.
Reno can be castigated for choosing not to use his trumpeters to relay his commands for his troops to mount and properly form up before busting out of the timber position and heading for the hills. By not doing so, he left nearly 1/2 of an entire company or more behind to be butchered or abandoned in the timber -- not to mention his wounded, and those unable to ride.
The Indians were in a ditch or revene 250 yards infront of him and in the cottonwoods. Remember 3 fell in the first "volley" while they were in the timber.
The ravine you refer to was described as being about 400 yards in front of Reno's skirmish line, not his timber position, which was even further away and well out of range from any warriors choosing to fire at them from within it. The 3 who fell in the first (and only) volley fired into the timber were not hit by Indians within that ravine. They were hit by warriors who had advanced up to the very perimeter of Reno's timber position because Reno (or his troop commanders) had allowed their men to fall back to their horses within the timber and had abandoned all pretense of defending the timber perimeter, thus allowing the enemy to come within close firing quarters at the upper edge of the embankment.