Kanipe's Ride to the Pack Train Oct 13, 2009 16:15:47 GMT -5
Post by bc on Oct 13, 2009 16:15:47 GMT -5
We know more about the men of Custer's companies and who might have been a stragglers simply because we know that all the other men were killed. I'm sure there were stragglers from Reno's and Benteen's companies. There could be none from McDougall's. There is a possibility that more men from Custer's companies dropped out because those companies had been on the Reno Scout.
Burkman said that Custer sent him back because he didn't want extra horses taken into the battle. This appears to be confirmed by Capt Yates' orderly who was sent back with Yates' extra mount. So some of the men from Custer's companies were leading extra horses belonging to officers and probably some led extra troop horses. I've am not sure that the band's horses were distributed to the companies.
I'd concur that there wasn't much official record keeping except for the morning report/daily return and any unofficial written records in notebooks didn't survive the battle.
Regarding Kanipe, Benteen gives him credence as a messenger in his written report and I don't recall his RCOI testimony about it but if Benteen thought he was messenger, then I have no reason to doubt Benteen. I still think it was common to use sergeants as messengers.
At what point was Burkman and Yates' orderly sent to the rear? Sounds like a clear indication to me when Yates and Custer thought they were headed into battle.