I think you'll find that Marcus Reno was a dedicated military professional. I believe he always wanted to be a Soldier, and worked his way quite well through West Point. I think his intentions were always to remain a combat officer all his life, and he couldn't bring himself to take off the uniform until he was absolutely forced to. Reno may not have been the best Soldier, but he was a true one. Clair
Sounds like a "patriotic" post rather than a realistic one. Reno did not organize any rear guard at LBH. He fell back first. He left 30 men behind him. He was drunk in duty. He failed to give proper orders (mount up, dismount, mount up!). He never gave any support to Custer. He completely failed to his basic duty and to his mission.
Last Edit: Nov 17, 2018 4:35:34 GMT -5 by moderator
"As I stood looking at [Major Reno] I could not help wondering if he knew what his duty was. Here he was with about four hundred men surrounded by hordes of savages. If ever soldiers needed a good example it was here. Did he show such an example ? Did he show how a true soldier should act under difficulties? And die if needs be in the defense of his country ? No ! Instead of this he kept himself in a hole where there was no danger of being struck and no doubt he would have pulled the hole in after him if he could [have].”
From a Sgt. of Reno’s command: “One of the wounded of Reno's command, who is in the hospital here, says that at one time during the fight they heard the advance sounded on the trumpet from Indians; they all rose up, thinking it was Custer coming to reinforce them, and cheered lustily; when the Indians let forth a derisive yell at them, fired a terrible volley and made a charge” _____ Apparently Indians were using bugles to fool the soldiers.
Sgt. John Ryan: Major Reno . . . and, in fact all of the officers did all that they could in order to defeat the Indians, and some of the officers must have had a charmed life the way they stood up under this heavy fire.”
Pvt. William Slaper: “I observed Reno several times during the fighting on the bluffs, and can well remember his walking about among the men through the night. He would tap a man with his boot and remark, "Don't go to sleep, boys." I cannot understand why he was not shot down while walking about, as none of the troopers were able to make a move without drawing the fire of the Indians. I know it encouraged his fellow-officers as well as the troopers. I have read articles pertaining to this part of the battle of the Little Big Horn in which it was stated that Reno was drunk. This I brand as a lie. At no time did I observe the least indication of drunkenness on the man, nor see him use any liquor.”
Frank Huston (from accounts told to him by Indians): "I judge that Reno became rattled, but he did not stampede, and saved his command by pushing up the bluffs. That the battalion did stampede I concede, but the Indians had 'put the fear of God' into the men. Reno's record in the War between the States refutes any accusation of cowardice; but he was ignorant of Indian methods of fighting and made a convenient 'goat'.
Last Edit: Mar 26, 2016 2:04:36 GMT -5 by moderator
"What made Major Reno run away when he did I cannot positively know, and he didn’t tell me. (...) To turn ones back on Indians without being better mounted than they is throwing away life. When he started to that hill he had told me, not one minute before, that he was going to fight – it was in reply to a question of mine. "
So we have a wide number of reasons regarding Reno, the timber, and his retreat.
It's obvious that there is no clear-cut opinion on what was the best thing to do WHILE it was happening. Hind-sight is often used by many to determine Reno's actions.
Reno's action resulted in his command surviving. Custer's actions resulted in his command dying.
The main thing I have against Reno is the manner of his retreat. It seems there was very little effort at communication with his officers, and no attempt whatsoever to have any sort of organized rearguard. I have been told several times that there was no possibility of a rearguard, but I find that hard to believe. Surely there must have been some more organized way to pull off a retreat, if retreat was felt to be absolutely necessary?
And while we're on the subject of Ill-treatment toward women, we should also note that Reno himself is something of a rude, sexual brute. His drunkeness has led him to public indecency (whatever specifically that meant), and he made unwanted advances toward the wife of Captain James Bell while he was stationed at Fort Abercrombie. Rev.Wainwright became concerned enough to persuade the Bells to do something. Apparently some of these indecency complaints were waved because they occurred at parties when everyone was rather inebriated and up to no good. But I can at least state that Reno was not quite the foremost gentleman that one should look up to, to say the least.
Reno held his position 20 minutes in the timber. Great amount of time to plan anything.
Let's summarize your point of view: the 100 men who guard the pack train must not fight Benteen's men must not fight Reno's men who just fought the Indians must not fight
Well, if everyone has a good reason not to fight, why are we asking questions !
The "Sleeping" Seventh is on Reno Hill to stay. Custer should have known that half his regiment would choose to do anything BUT fighting. If Benteen received orders to join his superior, he could ignore them. If Reno had orders to take the fight to the enemy, he could ignore the orders. It's like the Indians: everyone can ignore an order. Can dismiss a chief. Can do whatever he wants. The Medal of Honors were taken on June 26, 1876, because the men were healthy enough to fight the Indians after a full-day rest on June 25 (when the Indians were slaughtering Custer a few miles away. Great show to watch).
For those who want to join the army, do it now, it is so fun, you can do whatever you want, even abandoning your comrades and ignoring orders.
It is no big deal! Have fun! Carpe Diem (on Reno Hill, a small, quiet area in Montana. Unfortunately, you have to bury the pieces of your comrades two days later, but you can still insult the dead bodies like your heroic, do-nothing Captain Benteen)
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2018 15:16:54 GMT -5 by moderator
Post by benteeneast on Apr 15, 2008 9:43:05 GMT -5
Again you mislead. Good thing I know what the definition of perjury is or I might think you are committing it. I have never stated Benteen must not fight and include him the number that could have gone past Weir Point. I include those remains of Reno's battalion that would be fit. As I stated there would be up to 200 that could have gone.
I do not believe that the pack train troopers should abandon the the pack train and advance. I believe they should find a secure place close to support the rest and defend the pack train. If they had chosen to go on from Weir Point then that would have been a place I think the pack train could have remained. I do not think you should carry the wounded into the battle and I don't think you do either you just want to count them to inflate the numbers. Thay could move up to the pack train position and the combination of those carrying the wounded and the pack train security would be sufficient to guard it. I do not believe that the wounded alone should remain with the pack train and the security force and those carrying the wounded abandon the wounded and pack animals.
It is your opinion that no fighting took place on Reno-Benteen after they caused the Indians to pursue them on the evening of the 25th? The medal of honor winners should give them back? Benteen never charged that evening? No troopers were wounded or died on Reno-Benteen?
Post by custerwest on Apr 15, 2008 11:22:38 GMT -5
How many bullets did Benteen's men shoot before, well, 7 p.m. ?
How many bullets did McDougall's company B and escort shoot before, well, 7 p.m. ?
As McDougall said, Reno Hill was quiet. How cute it is: 380 men laying on the grass while 210 of their friends are sounding the bugle a few miles away. The "Sleeping" Seventh. Benteen and Reno marked the regiment with awful dishonor. Even Wounded Knee seems a piece of cake regarding the dishonor of LBH.
Last Edit: Feb 17, 2018 15:18:14 GMT -5 by moderator
Post by custerwest on Feb 18, 2008 17:36:32 GMT -5
yes, another example of Reno's incompetence. Herendeen said that there was a very short trail in the timber and most of the soldiers barely fell down while retreating. Reno never checked out his way of retreat - not to say the rear guard or the organization...
tommyk - that is the precise evaluation Reno made and why he chose to leave the timber as recorded at RCOI. I think it was to large of an area for Reno to put up a good defense for an extended period of time. By that I mean a area good for defending should have close enough spacing between troopers where they can see each other and give support fire, 360 degree coverage so there is no flanking or rear attacks, cover for your troops but not even concealment for the enemy, fields of fire by the troopers of several hundred yards and overlapping with adjacent troopers.
Strangely, DeRudio and French said that the position was a very good one, an opinion shared by Colonel Gibbon, US General-in-chief Nelson Miles and Reno Court of Inquiry chairman Jesse Lee.