Custer's flanker recon detail on the bluffs Dec 28, 2010 14:13:46 GMT -5
Post by conz on Dec 28, 2010 14:13:46 GMT -5
Dec 28, 2010 11:33:28 GMT -5 @calamityannie said:
The best way to answer your previous queries is your own observation:
Okay...that's viable. He was HOPING that the village wouldn't be alerted by the time he got there. So he was trying to beat any messengers back to the village (if there were any, which he wasn't convinced that there were) before they could be alarmed.
That's just one model. My personal model is that Custer believed his regiment was discovered from the Crow's Nest, well before he ever got back to his officer's call. So he wanted to either catch the village before it could move, or at least get a start on its pursuit.
But note that he would be expecting a long pursuit as a real possibility...lasting for DAYS. He would not want to burn up his horses in the first two hours of that pursuit.
To even attempt this would mean that he was GAMBLING ALL on catching the village. Because if he really burned up his horses going down Ash Creek, if the village were already beginning its move, he would never have a hope of catching them in the next few days. His regiment would have to report to Terry with blown mounts, needing days to recover, I think.
Was he so sure he could catch the village that afternoon that he would burn up his command on that guess? I don't think so, but many will.
And the best evidence for this is when the Indian scouts apparently refused to pursue the 40 to 50 Indians fleeing down Ash Creek, and Custer according to those who reported this incident, said that he would send Reno and his men in pursuit of them if they wouldn't immediately take pursuit, which he did.
Well, now this is after Lone Tipi, less than two miles from Ford A.
There is a good question as to whether Reno's mission was actually a pursuit of a small band of Indians fleeing from the Lone Tipi campsite, or if it was really Custer dispatching Reno as an advance guard to make contact with the larger village down the LBH river (as his scouts had already told him about when he gave Reno his orders).