The Baker Fight -- 8/14/1872 Jul 16, 2015 0:52:08 GMT -5
Post by keogh on Jul 16, 2015 0:52:08 GMT -5
Didn't Reno have about 140 troopers, plus a few scouts/guides, and was up against 1000+ warriors?
To be sure, 370 soldiers vs. 400 warriors would change things dramatically. Unfortunately, I don't believe there is any primary source evidence to support such a low number of warriors present at the Baker Fight. The Frontier History Alliance has already provided several primary source estimates of warrior numbers there that suggest Baker's command was outnumbered by odds of 4 or 5 to 1. Unless we have credible evidence to the contrary, we are forced to go with that evidence. To be fair, Reno had much greater numbers of warriors to contend with, but as pointed out by Capt. Ball's example of advancing 30 men onto the bluffs 400+ yards away from his nearest support, numerical superiority in Indian warfare does not hold the same weight as in conventional warfare. As it was, Capt. Ball's troop was outnumbered on those bluffs by at least 13 to 1 if you want to go with the unsupported figure of only 400 warriors. Even with those odds, he suffered no casualties whatsoever. And lets not forget that unlike Baker's command, Reno knew there were 9 more companies of Cavalry converging on his position in the valley that day. I think the main issue at hand is whether or not Reno had the ability to defend his position in the timber as well as Baker did in 1872.