The following observation of the 7th Cavalry moving out to contact with a potential enemy was made by Capt. Charles King of the 5th Cavalry in August 1876, as recorded on page 72 in his book Campaigning With Crook. It reflects the level of mounted training in the field the 7th was noted for:
"Another minute and I have reached the bluff, and there got a good view of the coming host. Indians! I should say so -- scores of them, darting about in equal excitement to our own. But no Indians are they who keep in close column along that fringe of trees; no Indians are they whose compact squadrons are moving diagonally out across the broad plain, taking equal intervals, then coming squarely towards us at a rapid trot. Then look! Each company, as it comes forward, opens out like the fan of practiced coquette, and a sheaf of skirmishers is launched to the front. Something in the snap and style of the whole movement stamps them at once. There is no need of fluttering guidon and stirring trumpet call to identify them; I know the Seventh Cavalry at a glance, and swing my campaign hat in delighted welcome."
"The more I see of movement here (Little Big Horn Battlefield), the more I have admiration for Custer, and I am satisfied his like will not be found very soon again.”
~ Gen. Nelson Miles, Commanding General of the Army ------
"With our cherished ones deliverance within our grasp we waited breathless two hours, for the order that never came."
This would be post Custer. Where did these trained troopers come from in such a short time?
It takes more than a short time to accomplish such mounted training. Greenhorns they were not. And King's statement "Something in the snap and style of the whole movement stamps them at once. There is no need of fluttering guidon and stirring trumpet call to identify them; I know the Seventh Cavalry at a glance" would indicate that he had seen this level of training and field craft before and identified it immediately with the 7th Cavalry. His previous knowledge of the 7th Cavalry and its reputation when making that observation was during Custer's tenure as its commander.
King left account of the battle, showing a retreat in eschelon, over the west flank of Deep Coulee which rallied on Custer's Hill and concluded below it. One company or force punched out around Calhoun, to get nailed at LSH. There's even a map. King served with Hart, who formerly commanded Company C, 7th Cavalry and who visited the battleground in July of 1877 certainly and probably earlier in marches with a four company strong battalion of the 5th, to sweep the Bighorn free of hostiles.
Here is the battle article, www.erbzine.com/craft/king1.html published in 1890 - it stung Godfrey into his renowned postscript and later revelations. No map though.......
Obviously, King thought in straight lines (linear) as most soldiers then were trained to, and expected their armies to in battle. In fact, there were and are complete regulations about how to do everything in lines with centre and flanks. It's very, very, odd but that is how it worked. Even when they were deployed in a circle, it was an irregular line..........
Last Edit: Mar 14, 2016 19:02:11 GMT -5 by herosrest
If it walks like a duck, sounds like a duck, and looks like a duck ~ it is probably a goose.