Did Custer disobey Terry's orders by crossing the divide? Mar 1, 2019 13:37:33 GMT -5
Post by benteeneast on Mar 1, 2019 13:37:33 GMT -5
In continuing down the Rosebud, even via Davis Creek, there was no specific intent other than 'perhaps as far as the headwaters of the Tongue' before turning for the Little Horn. There is considerable leeway for Custer as indeed there had to be with Gibbon to on at least as far as the forks of the Big and Little Horns, and future movements controlled by circumstances as they arose. The headwaters of the Tongue is the Ranchester area but there is a westerly route a little below where Kirkby is now which strikes Owl Creek to its mouth a mile above Lodgegrass. That route saves a days march to put 7th cavalry on Lodgegrass afternoon 25th June. The 2nd Cavalry recon of Little Bighorn valley in April 1876 located old campsites at Lodgegrass besides scouting the battlefield valley area and Tullock's Forks so they had some idea of where to look and scout.
As soon as evidence of the movement toward contact with Crook was discovered then Custer reaches a new decision point and it would be easier to defend. If you think knowing the Indians came out fight Crook is not significant then going the direction he did he could defend. There is no need to send Benteen since they would discover that they returned toward the Big Village.
Ask yourself why Custer sent Benteen and would it be necessary to do so if he follows the Indians back to the Big Village down the LBH instead of moving down Reno Creek?
Perhaps as far as the headwaters of the Tongue is negated because there is new and fresher information to be discovered just a little further upstream. At that point the arguments used for turning at Davis Creek are appropriate in my opinion and no need to continue further up the Rosebud. The orders change the movement to contact as originally written. Before reaching the LBH Custer peels off 9 companies that would have been together if they had moved in the LBH valley toward the Big Village.