Post by benteeneast on Jun 9, 2021 10:11:12 GMT -5
1. Reno's attack on the village was fine. Did he stop early? I don't think so. He saw the enemy, knew he had to dismount his men to fight them as they were not trained to fight mounted - I think of them more as dragoons. He spread them out on line - correct move, and he did so in time to secure his horses, and get the line set.
2. Reno falling back on the Timber, was that warranted? Yes, I think so - he was securing his exposed flank, and no way you want your men flanked by Lakota. Protecting your flank is Cavalry Tactics 101. This seems to have been more or less orderly, depending on French's comments (as he was the exposed flank).
3. Reno leaving the Timber was that warranted? I don't think so. Enough comments earlier on the thread, but that position was secure enough where several stranded men, made their escape back to Reno's Hill later on without even being seen by 1000 warriors going back and forth. This would leave me to believe that it could have been secured. Definitely better access to water.
4, Reno states that he didn't know where Custer was, but he knew Custer was on the other side of the river - he had left the main column on that side. He had to know that Custer wasn't fleeing south, so pretty safe that Reno with combat experience, would reasonably assume that Custer is flanking the village (if he wan't told this by other parties that just happened to have been killed) - yes Cavalry Tactics 102. The - I didn't know where Custer was line - from Reno I think is an outright fabrication, he had an idea that Custer was moving on the other side of the river; and if he did the skirmish line makes even more sense, as it pulls out the warriors toward him and makes the village more vulnerable to being flanked.
5. Therefore, I doubt Malfeasance is correct, but how about a bad tactical decision, based on underestimating the Lakota ability to close and wipe out his retreating men. It seems obvious that Reno knew that his men could not fight mounted, because this is why he dismounted them on the skirmish line, so to "charge" with men that can't fight mounted would be incompetent. I think again an underestimation on how quick the Lakota were able to close on retreating men who did not fire on them -- it stunned the US Cavalry at the Rosebud, and it stunned Major Reno.
Some above are blaming Custer for Reno's poor decision (Custer made enough errors even if only based on assumptions to lose his 5 companies), but really Reno made a bad tactical error. Would Benteen had made the decision to charge himself out of the bottom - In my opinion - no way. Does that mean Custer lives or not - maybe not - because if Benteen goes to the sound of the first guns, he is probably supporting Reno.
Maybe we need a role reversal thread, what if Benteen led the attack on the village and not Reno?
I agree with everything you state, except I think your number 3 is the issue. I believe it is your opinion that timber was defensible and, therefore, your point in your number 3. If you believe, as Reno states, that it was not defensible, would your best available choice remain the same?
I think the stranded men are a different issue. They were not a threat to the village and, therefore, not worth losing lives to kill them.
In regards to Benteen, I believe the valley was SFRC, and Indians could use it to escape and therefore, Custer could depend on Benteen to prevent the escape and hold them until Custer could get there.