Little Bighorn Timeline: The Afternoon of June 25, 1876

Based on John S. Gray’s tables in Custer’s Last Campaign: Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed unless noted otherwise. Several people commented on this timeline when it was originally published on LittleBighorn.info; those comments are in italics.

June 25, 1876

PM 

Noon: Command passed the Crow’s Nest and crossed the Divide. There is substantial testimony that the time for this event was significantly earlier.

12:05: Command at Halt 3; General George Custer assigned the battalions. This is 2nd Lieutenant George Wallace‘s Halt 2, about 1/2 mile west of the divide. Captain Thomas McDougall (left) [in Reno Court of Inquiry: Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry in the Case of Major Marcus A. Reno (RCOI)] stated, “On June 25th, about 11 o’clock a.m., I reported to General Custer for orders. He told me to take charge of the pack train and act as rear guard.” If Wallace’s watch (itinerary) was set to Headquarters St. Paul time — and 1st Lieutenant Edward Settles Godfrey said definitely that “Our watches were not changed (RCOI)” — Wallace’s 12:05 is approximately = 10:45 local time, within 15 minutes of McDougall’s recalled 11:00. Cf. Friedman, recalled time is accurate within one hour excluding the possibility of chance in Memory & Cognition 15.6 (1987): 518-20. 

12:12: Custer-Reno battalions left the divide halt to descend to Reno Creek. Captain Frederick Benteen‘s battalion left the divide halt on an off-trail scout to the left. It is unlikely that all three columns actually set off at precisely the same time but the impact is only a few minutes. 

12:32: The pack train left the divide halt on Custer’s trail. 

1:20: Benteen’s battalion arrived at upper No-Name Creek and turned down it. On a high ridge ahead, 1st Lieutenant Francis Gibson (left) found the Little Bighorn valley empty. Many years later Lt. Gibson expressed doubt that he had actually viewed the correct valley (see interview with Camp).

2:00: Custer-Reno battalions passed No-Name Creek. Reno was called to the right bank.  Sergeant Daniel Kanipe and 1st Sergeant John Ryan, as well as Reno, say Reno was called to the right bank near the Lone Tepee. This subtracts a mile from Gray’s itinerary. 

2:15: Custer-Reno battalions passed the lone tepee. Custer’s battalion left down the right bank of Reno Creek. The scouts reported Sioux in the Little Bighorn Valley. Custer ordered Reno to lead out at a trot. 

2:17: Boston Custer trots ahead of the pack train to overtake Custer. 

2:32: Benteen’s battalion arrived at Reno Creek, 1/4 mile above the mouth of No-Name Creek. They saw the pack train 3/4 mile above. Boston Custer joins them. Benteen (The Custer Myth, p. 180) recalled being at the morass at 1:00 p.m., Godfrey thought 2:00. Assuming Hutchins/Knipe are right about the location of the morass, it is near the mouth of the South Fork. 

2:37: Benteen’s battalion reached the morass to water the horses. Boston Custer trotted on. 

2:43: Custer’s battalion trotted to the flat right behind Reno. The scouts reported the Sioux were alarming the village. Reno was ordered to charge taking Adjutant William W. Cooke (left). Custer sent two scouts to the bluff who joined Reno. 

2:45: Boston Custer passed the lone tepee. 

2:47: At the North Fork, Reno’s battalion crossed to the left bank of Reno Creek.

2:51: Custer’s battalion made a fast walk to the North Fork and halted to water. 

2:53: Reno’s battalion crossed to the left bank of the Little Bighorn River at Ford A where it halted to water the horses and reform. The troops and the scouts saw the Sioux attacking.

2:55: Cooke left to report to Custer. 

2:57: Benteen’s battalion departed the morass as the packtrain arrived. The packtrain halted to water and close up. 

3:01: Cooke reported the Sioux were attacking Reno. Custer’s battalion started down the right bank of the Little Bighorn River, leaving the north fork of Reno Creek. 

3:03: Reno’s battalion left Ford A and started its charge down the left bank of the Little Bighorn River. If Reno crossed Reno Creek near the Lone tepee at 2:00 according to Wallace’s watch, he was about 3-3.5 miles from Ford A. The column proceeded at a trot or “slow gallop” for 15 minutes, again according to Wallace. This would cover about 2 miles at 7.5-8 mph. Wallace said Reno was ordered to attack about 2:15. He took the gallop and covered the remaining mile to the river in about 5 minutes (gallop 9-11 mph in Upton, 1 mile in 6 minutes according to Cooke), and crossed at Ford A at 2:20 in Wallace’s recollection. Using Anders’/Graham’s 1 hour 20 minute difference between local time and official Headquarters time, then Reno crossed Ford A near 1:00, consistent with recollections of Interpreter Frederick Girard, Acting Assistant Surgeon Henry Porter, Kanipe, and Taylor. Gray added 43 minutes and at least two miles between Reno’s crossing of the creek and fording the Little Bighorn.

3:05: Reno’s battalion saw Custer or the scouts on the right bank bluff. 

3:10: Pony captors leave the Reno charge to capture Sioux herd. 2nd Lieutenant Luther Hare (left) (Custer in ’76, p. 65) said he and the Rees rode down the valley while Reno was watering the horses (i.e., crossing river?) and the Rees took off from him about a mile down river. Private William Jackson (William Jackson, William Jackson, Indian Scout: His True Story Told by His Friend,, p.135) said scouts rode out ahead of Reno and turned straight down valley. 

3:12: Benteen’s battalion walked past the lone tepee. 

3:13: Reno’s battalion saw Custer’s battalion at Reno Hill. Custer’s battalion saw Reno charge the village. 

3:15: Sgt. Daniel Kanipe left for Capt. Frederick Benteen and the pack train.

3:17: The pack train left the morass. 

3:18: Reno’s battalion halted and formed a skirmish line. They saw Custer’s battalion on the bluffs, disappearing. Custer’s battalion passed Sharpshooter Ridge and entered Cedar Coulee. Reno’s attack/formation of skirmish line occurred about midday, probably 1:00 pm. 

3:20: Little Sioux (Ree), Strikes Two (Ree), Red Star (Ree), Boy Chief (Ree), One Feather (Ree), Bull Stands in Water (Ree), and Whole Buffalo (Sioux) diverged from Reno’s charge and drove captured Sioux ponies up the bluff. They were joined there by seven stragglers who lagged behind on Custer’s trail and never crossed the Little Bighorn: Soldier (Ree), Stabbed (Ree), Bull (Ree), White Eagle (Ree), Red Wolf (Ree), Strikes the Lodge (Ree), and Charging Bull (Ree). If they left the column at 3:10 (above), how could they diverge from Reno’s charge at 3:20? 

3:23: Custer’s battalion arrived at the bend of Cedar Coulee and halted. 

3:24: Custer, his officers, Guide Mitch Bouyer (left) and Curley left the bend on a side trip to Weir Peak. 

3:26: Three Crows left the halted command at the bend of Cedar Coulee (off-trail). Goes Ahead (The Teepee Book, 2.6, June 1916, p.604) says scouts were told to make their escape at the trenches of the Reno-Benteen site. 

3:28: Custer’s party arrived at Weir Peak and saw the village and Reno skirmishing. 

3:28.5: The three Crows halted on the bluff above Weir Peak. 

3:30: 1st Lieutenant Charles DeRudio (left) saw Custer’s party at Weir Point. Custer’s party saw the concealed route to Ford B and the village. Not possible to identify individual and/or clothing on Weir from valley position. Who DeRedio saw remains open to question. 

3:31: Custer and officers left Weir Peak to return to the command. The Arikara were fired on by the last of Custer’s column as it was disappearing over Weir (on the eastern edge), crossed Kanipe’s route, encountered stragglers left behind Custer’s column. Custer in ’76, 180-1; Arikara Narrative of Custer’s Campaign and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, 115-6. 

3:32: The pack train passed the lone tepee. 

3:32.5: Boston Custer passed Reno Hill. The Reno fight would have been visible for the next five minutes. 

3:33: Reno withdrew the battalion into the timber. The three Crows saw Reno’s skirmish, fired at the Sioux, and left. 

3:34: Custer returned to the halt at the bend from Weir Peak. Trumpeter John Martin (left) left Custer’s battalion at the bend of Cedar Coulee for Benteen. Custer started down Cedar Coulee. 

3:36: Pony captors overtook and passed Sergeant Kanipe. 

3:38: John Martin met Boston Custer at the head of Cedar Coulee. 

3:39: The three Crows halted, had a drink in the Little Bighorn River, and captured five ponies. 

3:40: John Martin saw Reno’s battalion fighting in the timber. 

3:40:5: Benteen’s battalion met the Rees driving the Sioux ponies. 

3:42: Sergeant Daniel Kanipe met Benteen’s battalion with a verbal message from Custer. 

3:45: Little Sioux (Ree), Strikes Two (Ree), Red Star (Ree), Boy Chief (Ree), One Feather (Ree), Bull Stands in Water (Ree), Whole Buffalo (Sioux), Soldier (Ree), Stabbed (Ree), Bull (Ree), White Eagle (Ree), Red Wolf (Ree), Strikes the Lodge (Ree), and Charging Bull (Ree) drove the herd of Sioux ponies back to the packtrain and halted. Pretty Face (Ree) was with the packs until this time. 

3:46.5: Custer’s battalion halted at the mouth of Cedar Coulee. 

3:48: The pack train met Kanipe who had Custer’s message. 

3:49: Boston Custer overtakes Custer’s battalion at the mouth of Cedar Coulee with news. The three Crows continued upriver. 

3:52: Black Fox (Ree) (left) was at the bluffs and joined the three Crows who were given a Sioux pony. 

3:53: Reno ‘s battalion began its retreat upstream. Girard (RCOI) puts this about 2:00. His watch, giving timing of sunrise near 4:00 a.m. local time and full dark at 9:00 p.m., reflects local time fairly closely. Additionally, Girard’s watch times closely match the captured Rosebud watch timing the entire fight from skirmish line to the surround on Reno Hill from 1-4. It is, per Hardorff, extremely unlikely that Crook, who was headquartered in Omaha, would have set his command watches to San Francisco time. Headquarters is where the general is, and the general had been in the field (Douglas, Wyoming, approximates headquarters) for more than a year. Headquarters time is what the general says it is–why set watches an hour and a half off daybreak, noon? 

3:55: Rees switched to fresh Sioux ponies and started back to Reno. Custer’s battalion saw signals by Mitch Boyer and Curley on Weir Ridge. 

3:56.5: Custer’s battalion started down Medicine Tail Coulee. 

3:58: Benteen’s battalion met Trumpeter John Martin at the flat where they heard firing. The three Crows passed Reno Hill and saw Reno’s retreat. 

4:00: Reno’s battalion retreats across the Little Bighorn River. Bobtail Bull (Ree) and Little Brave (Ree) (left) had been killed on the east bank by this time. 

4:02: Benteen’s battalion took Custer’s trail at the North Fork. 

4:04: Custer’s battalion halted in Medicine Tail Coulee where Boyer and Curley joined them. 

4:04:5: The packtrain was overtaken by the Rees who were returning to Reno Hill. 

4:05: Young Hawk’s party was trapped on the east bank bottom by the Sioux and fought. Scout George Herendeen‘s party scrambled back to the timber from the retreat. 

4:06: Benteen’s battalion saw Reno’s retreat at the knoll and halted. 

4:08: Captain George Yates‘ battalion (Companies F and E, off-trail) left the separation halt down Medicine Tail Coulee. Custer’s battalion (Companies C, I, and L) left the separation halt north out of Medicine Tail Coulee. 

4:10: Benteen’s battalion met three Crows and one Ree and left the halt. Reno’s battalion climbed the bluffs obliquely to Reno Hill. Private William Baker (1/2 Ree), Private William Cross (Ree, 1/2 Sioux), Red Bear (Ree horse herder), White Cloud (Sioux rear guard), Ma-tok-sha (Sioux), and Caroo (Sioux) arrived at Reno Hill. Red Bear and White Cloud left to join the pony captors. Herendeen’s party met 12 troopers who had been left in the timber. 

4:15: Red Bear and White Cloud met three Crows and Black Fox and halted to await the return of the Crows. 

4:16: Custer’s battalion arrived on Luce Ridge and halted on the defensive position. 

4:18: Yates’ battalion arrived at Ford B. Light firing over the Little Bighorn began. Custer’s battalion saw and heard the firing. 

4:20: Benteen’s battalion reached Reno Hill and joined Reno’s battalion. Three Crows and Black Fox arrived. The three Crows left to go downstream, passing Reno Hill, to find Reno’s two Crows. Custer’s battalion saw the Sioux coming up Medicine Tail Coulee to attack. (MF, I think the Gray time of 4.20 for Benteen on Reno Hill is completely wrong and the time to be used is either 2:30 p.m. as per the Official Army Report or 3:45 p.m., which was Wallace’s headquarters time estimate based on his testimony at RCOI which he miscalculated as being 4:00 p.m. Gray’s understanding of the time of events by this stage is so wrong that it is not really possible to comment further. There is no primary source evidence to support Gray’s 4:20 p.m. for this meeting.) 

4:23: Yates’ battalion crossed Deep Coulee and arrived on the cutbank unopposed. Custer’s battalion saw Yates start up the west rim of Deep Coulee. 

4:25: Red Bear and White Cloud left for Reno Hill when the Crows failed to return. Custer’s battalion pinned down the Sioux with heaving firing. Young Hawk‘s party and Herendeen’s party heard heavy Custer firing downstream. Reno left in search of 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Hodgson‘s body.

4:27: The pack train halted at the flat to close up. 1st Lieutenant Edward Mathey sighted smoke. Custer’s battalion left Luce Ridge to meet Yates downstream. 

4:30: Black Fox arrived at Reno Hill. Red Bear and White Cloud arrived for the second time. Young Hawk’s party and Herendeen’s party saw the Sioux leave the upper valley. The three Crows arrived at Sharpshooter Hill and heard Custer’s battalion firing. 

4:32: Little Sioux, Strikes Two, Red Star, Boy Chief, One Feather, Bull Stands in Water, Whole Buffalo, Soldier, Stabbed, Bull, White Eagle, Red Wolf, Strikes the Lodge, Charging Bull, and Pretty Face returned to Reno Hill with the ponies from the lone tepee and were greeted by Red Bear and White Cloud. Custer’s battalion arrived at Nye-Cartwright Ridge. 

4:33: Yates’ battalion ascended the west rim of Deep Coulee. The Sioux attacked its flanks. 

4:38: Custer’s battalion fired at the Sioux on their left flank while negotiating a crossing of upper Deep Coulee. 

4:40: Three Crows arrived at Reno Hill, reporting to Red Star that two Crows were killed.

4:45: Young Hawk’s party left for Reno Hill. Three Crows left for their home village. 

4:46: Yates’ battalion fought on foot to the reunion point. Custer’s battalion joined Yates. 

4:47: The packtrain left the flat and saw the troops on Reno Hill. 

4:50: Reno returned from his search for Hodgson and talked with 2nd Lieutenant Charles Varnum. Curley left Custer’s battalion for the mouth of the Bighorn. 

4:52: Reno dispatches 2nd Lieutenant Luther Hare to speed up the ammunition mules. 

4:55: The sound of Custer’s volleys prompted Captain Thomas B. Weir (left) to ask to move downstream. 

4:57: The packtrain was at the North Fork and took Custer’s trail.

To be continued. . . .

Little Bighorn Timeline: The Morning of June 25, 1876

Based on John S. Gray’s tables in Custer’s Last Campaign: Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed unless noted otherwise. Several people commented on this  timeline when it was originally published on LittleBighorn.info; those comments are in italics.

June 25, 1876

AM

12:30: The main column left the Busby camp on a night march under Lieutenant Colonel George Custer

2:50: 1st Lieutenant Charles Varnum (left) and scouts arrived at a pocket below the Crow’s Nest. 

3:15: The main column arrived at Halt 1 on Davis Creek where it was still dark. Local time was Mountain Standard Time minus 13 minutes to allow for sun transit at 12:13 at Busby and Crow Agency, Montana Territory. On a clear, moonless night, the first streaks of day appear at 1:55 local time. A pocket watch like that which belonged to 2nd Lieutenant George Wallace could be read at 2:45 a.m. It was daylight at 3:00 [Reno Court of Inquiry: Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry in the Case of Major Marcus A. Reno (RCOI): Wallace, Captain Myles Moylan, Captain Frederick Benteen]. Visibility was clear to the horizon by 3:18 although you could not read print until 3:30. (All based on personal observation from divide.) Wallace’s Official Report stated the night march ended about 2:00 (Federal View, p. 65). 1st Lieutenant Edward Godfrey (The Godfrey Diary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, p. 10) halted the night march about 2 o’clock (RCOI, Scout George Herendeen) and marched until probably 2:00. “As soon as the first faint streaks of daylight appeared, we moved into a grove where we were ordered to unsaddle and rest for several hours” (Peter Thompson’s Narrative of the Little Bighorn, p. 95).

3:40: Two Crows saw the Sioux village at the Little Bighorn for the first time. From accounts by Red Star (later known as Strikes the Bear) and Little Sioux, this could have been as early as just after 3:00 a.m. Easily visible by 3:00 local time–personal observation.

3:50: Varnum was awakened for the climb to the peak. Not later than 3:15 since Varnum (Northwestern Fights and Fighters, p. 340) said he got to the Crow’s Nest about 2:30, slept 45 minutes and was awakened when it was just daylight, probably closer to 3:00 a.m. 

4:00: Varnum and the scouts study the village in the Little Bighorn Valley. 

5:00: Varnum and the scouts saw the breakfast smoke at the Halt 1 camp. 

5:20: Varnum sent two Ree scouts with a note to Custer who was still at Halt 1. It was possible for Varnum to have sent the messengers significantly earlier; e.g., 4.30 a.m. Varnum in Northwestern Fights and Fighters said 4:45 or 5:00. Translated to local time that is closer to 3:30, more likely since Interpreter Frederick Girard (left) and the Ree scouts say Custer got Varnum’s message at 4:00 or when the sun was just rising = 4:09 local time. Note that Gray’s use of “Halt 1” can be/is somewhat confusing since Wallace uses “Halt 1″ to refer to the halt at the divide and ” Halt 2″ to identify the halt over the divide when Benteen was sent to the left. I now think it possible Varnum was using headquarters time so he sent the messenger at 3:40 a.m. This fits with the messenger arriving as reported by the Rees as the sun was rising at 4:13 a.m. 

5:40: The Crows saw two Sioux west of the Divide. 

6:20: Varnum led a sortie against the two Sioux.

6:40: Varnum returns to the Crow’s Nest, unsuccessful. 

7:10: The scouts saw two Sioux crossing the divide. 

7:20: The two Ree couriers arrived at the Halt 1 camp from the Crow’s Nest. The assumption that the main courier travelled so slowly (less than 3 mph) is very doubtful and the journey time could easily be half the 2 hours claimed here. Cf. note above Girard and the Rees put it at 4:00-4:09 (Girard in Once Their Home, p. 263; Arikara Narrative of Custer’s Campaign and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, p. 149).

7:30: Custer read Varnum’s note, indicating that a village had been spotted in the Little Bighorn Valley. 

7:45: Sergeant William Curtiss left the Halt 1 camp on the back trail in search of a lost pack. 

8:00: Custer’s Crow’s Nest party (Fred Girard, Bloody Knife (left), Red Star, Little Brave, and Bobtail Bull) left Halt 1 for the Crow’s Nest. If the above comments are correct, Custer could have departed at least one and possibly two hours earlier. (I now think Custer rode around the camp before 5:00 a.m. to tell troop commanders that the column would not march at the standard 5:00 a.m. but to be ready by 8:00 a.m. This would have been the time Custer expected to return from the Crow’s Nest. Custer departed at or soon after 5:00 a.m. for the Crow’s Net and arrived there as reported by WMRH at 6:00 a.m. (The Custer Myth : A Source Book of Custeriana, p. 15). Varnum recalled that Custer arrived from the coffee camp with the column, not before it. Herendeen and Packer Benjamin Franklin Churchill made the departure from the early halt at 7:00 or 7:30 (RCOI) Donohue (Fatal Day, p. 20) thought the column left at 6:00. Remembered times are always earlier than Wallace’s official time. The Edgerly Narrative in Research Review (1986), p. 5, says Custer went up to the Crow’s Nest about 9 a.m., “when the column halted, the command having previously halted from 2 to 5, without unsaddling” Herendeen (Custer Myth, p. 262) “About nine o’clock on the morning of the 25th of June and the last day of our march Custer halted his troops and concealed them as well as he could. . . (then he went to the Crow’s Nest) . . . Custer was gone perhaps an hour or an hour and a half.”

8:05: Custer’s party was spotted by two Sioux as seen from the Crow’s Nest. Varnum saw two Sioux meeting Custer’s party. 

8:25: Curtiss party sights Cheyennes rifling through the lost pack. 

8:45: Command under Reno departed Halt 1 camp and moved toward the Crow’s Nest. I now think the column marched at 7:25 a.m. under Captain Tom Custer and met the irate George Custer on his return from the Crow’s Nest as he had ordered the column to stay put (see various Girard accounts). 

9:00: Custer’s party arrived at the Crow’s Nest. 

9:00+: Custer studied the valley and discussed the findings. 

10:07: Custer and the scouts watched the command arrive at the Halt 2 camp on Davis Creek for concealment. 

10:20: Custer’s party left the Crow’s Nest with Varnum’s party. Curtiss’ party arrived at the Halt 2 camp and reported seeing the Cheyennes with the lost pack. 

10:30: Custer and the scouts are met by Captain Thomas Custer with Sergeant Curtiss’ news. 

10:35: Custer-Varnum party arrived at the Halt 2 camp. Cheyennes were spying. There is some evidence (1st Lieutenant Charles De Rudio, 2nd Lieutenant Luther Hare in Custer in ’76: Walter Camp’s Notes on the Custer Fight) that Custer made a second visit to the Crow’s Nest; the time taken for this would not be more than 30 minutes if Halt 2 was near the Crow’s Nest. 

10:50: At officer’s call, Custer decided they will attack. Benteen (RCOI) and Edgerly (Custer Myth, pp. 216, 219) put officers’ call at 10:00, after Custer had been on the Crow’s Nest for about an hour (Research Review, 1986). See also Donohue in Fatal Day, pp. 20-21. Herendeen very early therefore very reliable put it between 10:00-10:30 (Custer Myth, p. 280).

11:45: Command under Custer departed Halt 2 camp and moved down Davis Creek. This departure time assumes the command halted within 0.75 mile of the Divide. It is likely that they were actually at least twice as far as this since participants reported the column as being concealed in a ravine. This would pull forward the departure time by 15 minutes or so. Hare, DeRudio, Varnum agreed that the column was halted 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of the divide.

To be continued. . . .

This Week in Little Bighorn History

George B. Herendeen (left) died on June 17, 1919, in Havre, Montana, and was buried in Harlem Cemetery in Harlem, Montana. He was a Scout who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

Henry James Nowlan was born on June 18, 1837, on the Corfu Ionian Islands. He was a First Lieutenant with the Quartermaster who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Ferdinand Klawitter was born in Conitz, Berlin, Germany, on June 19, 1836. He was a Private with Company B who was not present due to detached service.

Charles William Larned (left) died on June 19, 1911, in Danville, New York, and was buried in the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point, New York. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company F who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Charles Albert Varnum (right) was born in Troy, New York, on June 21, 1849. He was a Second Lieutenant in Company A who commanded the scouts. He participated in the valley and hilltop fights and was wounded.

Luther Rector Hare married Virginia Hancock on June 21, 1878. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company K who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

Frank K. Lombard died in San Diego, California, on June 21, 1917. His burial location remains unknown. He was a Private with the Band and was not present at the battle.

George Custer (right) met with General Alfred Terry and Colonel John Gibbon aboard the steamer Far West on June 21, 1876.

Frederick William Benteen (left) died on June 22, 1898, in Atlanta, Georgia. He was originally buried in the Westview Cemetery in Atlanta but was reinterred in Arlington National Cemetery in November 1902. He was the Captain of Company H who commanded a battalion during the battle. He led a scouting party and was wounded during the hilltop fight.

Charles H. Welch died in LaSalle, Colorado, on June 22, 1915, and was buried in the Evans Cemetery in Evans, Colorado. He was a Private in Company D who participated in the hilltop fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

Carl August Bruns was born on June 23, 1830, in Brunswick, Germany. He was a Private with Company E who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

John Brightfield was born in Dearborn County, Indiana, on June 23, 1853. He was a Private with Company C who was killed with Custer’s Column.


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Joseph Bates, who was also known as John or Joseph Murphy, was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on June 10, 1838. He was a Private with Company M who participated in the valley and hilltop fights at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Elmer Babcock was born on June 10, 1856, in Pharsalia, Chenango County, New York. He was a Private in Company L who was killed with Custer’s Column.

Samuel Davis Sturgis (left) was born in Shippensburg, Pennsylvania, on June 11, 1822. Colonel Sturgis was an 1846 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was Commanding the 7th Regiment of Cavalry at the time of the battle but was on detached service in St. Louis, Missouri, at the time. Unfortunately, his son, Second Lieutenant James Garland Sturgis was with Company E during the battle and was killed.

Edward D. Pigford was born on June 11, 1856, in West Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company M who was wounded during the valley and hilltop fights.

William Heyn (right) died in Washington, D.C., on June 11, 1910, and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a First Sergeant in Company A who was wounded in his left knee during the valley and hilltop fights.

Peter Eixenberger was born on June 12, 1860, in Munich, Germany. He was a Private with the Band; therefore, he was not present at the battle.

Peter Gannon died at Fort Assinniboine, Montana Territory, on June 12, 1886. He was first buried in a cemetery there and later reinterred in the Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Sergeant in Company B who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Michael Murphy died on June 12, 1904, at the Soldiers’ Home in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

John H. Day died in Monroe, Ouachita Parish, Louisiana, on June 13, 1894, and was buried in the Old City Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company H who participated in the hilltop fight.

George Anderson was born on June 14, 1841, in St. Catherines, Canada. He was a Private in Company K who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

John Samuel Ragsdale married Verna Bell Owen on June 14, 1926, but they divorced after 1940. He was a Private in Company A who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Christopher Pendle  (left) was born on June 15, 1849, in Bavaria, Germany, and died on June 4, 1923, in Gardenville, Washington. His remains were cremated, and it is not known where they were dispersed. He was a Private in Company E who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

James O’Neill was born in Liverpool, England, on June 15, 1851. He was a Private in Company B who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Charles Windolph, who was also known as Charles Wrangel, married Mary Jones on June 15, 1882. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight. He was awarded both the Medal of Honor and the Purple Heart for his service during the battle.

 

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Black Calf (Hani-katil), who was also known as Boy Chief, died on June 4, 1922, in Armstrong, North Dakota. He was an Arikara Scout who was with Reno’s Column during the battle. He was buried with the name Boy Chief in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota.

Crawford Selby was born on June 5, 1845, in Ashland County, Ohio. He was a Saddler with Company G who was killed during the retreat from the valley fight.

Michael John Walsh was born in Ireland on June 6, 1852. He was a Private in Company H who was not present at the battle due to detached service

John Jordan Crittenden (left) was born in Frankfort, Kentucky, on June 7, 1854. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company L who was killed with Custer’s Column.

Willis B. Wright was born on June 7, 1859, in Oskaloosa, Iowa. He was a Private with Company C who was killed with Custer’s Column.

Strikes the Bear, who was known as Red Star at the time of the battle, died in Ree, North Dakota, on June 7, 1929. He was an Arikara Scout who was with Reno’s Column when it crossed the river.

Bear Comes Out (Matokianpap), who was also known as Comes the Bear and Old Caddoo, died on June 8, 1878, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, and was buried in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota. He was a Scout with Reno’s Column but did not cross the river.

Michael Crowe died at Fort Yates in the Dakota Territory on June 8, 1883, and was buried in Keokuk National Cemetery in Keokuk, Iowa. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

James W. Butler died in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, on June 8, 1924, and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company F who was not present due to detached service.

Michael C. Caddle was born on June 9, 1844, in Dublin, Ireland. He was a Sergeant in Company I who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

William M. Harris died on June 9, 1885, in Berea, Madison County, Kentucky, in a gunfight, and was buried in the Ballard/Jarman Cemetery in Bobtown, Kentucky. He was later reinterred in Camp Nelson National Cemetery in Nicholsville, Kentucky. He was a Private in Company D who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the hilltop fight.

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Levi Madison Thornberry died in Palmer Township, Ohio, on May 27, 1902, and was buried in Watertown Cemetery in Watertown, Ohio. He was a Private in Company M who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

John Stuart Stuart-Forbes was born on May 28, 1849, in Rugby, England. He was a Private with Company E who was killed with Custer’s Column.

William G. Abrams died in Sioux City, Iowa, on May 28, 1901, and was buried in Floyd Cemetery there. He was a Private with Company L who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Thomas Russell died in Letterman Hospital at the Presidio in San Francisco, California, on May 28, 1926, and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was a Sergeant in Company D who participated in the hilltop fight.

William Winer Cooke (left) was born on May 29, 1846, in Mt. Pleasant, Ontario, Canada. He was a First Lieutenant who served as the Regimental Adjutant. He was killed with Custer’s Column.

Winfield Scott Edgerly (right) died in Farmington, New Hampshire, on May 29, 1846, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington Virginia. He was a Second Lieutenant in Company L who participated in scouting duty and in the hilltop fight.

Charles Theodore Wiedman was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on May 29, 1855, and died on May 15, 1921, in Oatman, Arizona. He was buried in Mountain View Cemetery in Kingman, Arizona. He was a Private in Company M who participated in the valley and hilltop fights, during which he was wounded.

Henry Jackson was born on May 31, 1837, in Canterbury, England. He was a First Lieutenant in Company F who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

John J. “Jack” Mahoney (left) was born in Cork, Ireland, on May 31, 1845. He was a Private in Company C who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

Goes Ahead  (right) died at the Crow Agency in Montana on May 31, 1919, and was buried in the Custer National Cemetery there. He was a Scout who rode with Custer’s Column and participated in the hilltop fight.

Otto Emil Voit died on June 1, 1906, in Louisville, Kentucky, and was buried in Saint Stephens Cemetery there. He was a saddler for Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight.

John A. Bailey died in St. Paul, Minnesota, on June 2, 1915,  in an elevator accident. He was buried in the Fort Snelling National Cemetery in Minneapolis, Minnesota. He was a saddler for Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

White Man Runs Him (left) died at Lodge Grass, Montana, on June 2, 1929, and was buried in Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency in Montana. He was a Scout who was with Custer’s Column and in the hilltop fight.

 

 

 

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Hiram Erastus Brown, who was also known as Erastus Graves Brown, died in Watervliet, New York, on May 20, 1904, and was buried in the Albany Rural Cemetery in Menands, Albany County, New York.  He was a Private in Company F who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

James Bustard was born on May 21, 1844, in Drumbar, County Donegal, Ireland. He was a Sergeant in Company I who was killed with Custer’s Column.

Thomas Mower McDougall was born at Fort Crawford, Wisconsin, on May 21, 1845. He was a Captain, commanding Company B during the battle, and was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Hugo Findeisen committed suicide on May 21, 1881, at Fort Hamilton, New York, and was buried in the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn. He was a Sergeant in Company L who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Curley (left) died of pneumonia at the Crow Agency in Montana on May 21, 1923, and was buried in the Custer National Cemetery there. He was a Scout who rode with Custer’s Column.

Louis Baumgartner died on May 22, 1895, in Washington, D.C., and was buried at St. Elizabeth’s Hospital East Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company A who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

William C. Williams died in Norfolk, Virginia, on May 22, 1919, and was buried in the New Vienna IOOF Cemetery in New Vienna, Ohio. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight.

Michael Vincent Sheridan was born on May 24, 1840, in Somerset, Ohio. He was the youngest brother of General Philip Henry Sheridan and often served on his staff. He was the Captain of Company L at the time of the battle but he was not present due to detached service.

William Clemens Slaper married his wife Sarah on May 25, 1882. He was a Private in Company M who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

Ami Cheever was born on May 26, 1849, in Elizabeth, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company L who was killed in the hilltop fight.

Christian C. Boisen was born in Denmark on May 26, 1840. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Samuel James Foster died on May 26, 1884, in Manchester, Kentucky. He was a Private in Company A who participated in the valley and hilltop fights and was wounded.


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Jacob Adams (left) died in Vincennes, Knox County, Indiana, on May 13, 1934, and was buried in Mt. Calvary Catholic Cemetery there. He was a Private with Company H who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

Charles Banks died on May 14, 1901, in Highland Falls, New York, and was buried in the United States Military Academy Post Cemetery at West Point. He was a Private in Company L who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

Charles Theodore Wiedman died on May 15, 1921, in Oatman, Arizona, and was buried five days later at the Mountain View Cemetery in Kingman, Arizona. He was a Private in Company M who participated in the valley fight and was wounded in the hilltop fight,

James Hurd was born in Jessamine County, Kentucky, on May 16, 1850. He was a Private in Company D who participated in the hilltop fight.

George Eiseman was born on May 16, 1854, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company C who was killed with Custer’s Column and was buried on Last Stand Hill.

The Seventh Cavalry left Fort Abraham Lincoln on May 17, 1876.

Ferdinand Klawitter (left) died in Nax, North Dakota, on May 17, 1924, and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bismarck, North Dakota. He was a Private in Company B who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Herbert H. Arnold was born on May 19, 1853, in Rocky Hill, Connecticut. He was a Private in Company C who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Fort Abraham Lincoln.

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

James E. Moore was born on May 6, 1849, in Hebron, Ohio. He was a Farrier with Company B who was with the pack train and later participated in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Charles Clinton Barnett was born on May 7, 1857, in Camden, Ohio. He was a Private in Company G who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Crow Tribe was concluded on May 7, 1868.

John Fitzgerald died in New York City on May 7, 1900. He was the Farrier for Company C who participated in the hilltop fight.

Soldier, an Arikara Scout, died on May 7, 1921, and was buried in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota. His gravestone states, “Served his country as an Indian Scout.” He was with Reno’s Column, but he did not cross the river.

Good Elk (Wah-nee), an Arikara Scout who was also known as Red Bear, died in Nishu, North Dakota, on May 7, 1934. He participated in the valley fight.

Charles Sanders was born on May 8, 1842, in Altenberg, Germany. He was a Private in Company D who served as the Orderly for Lt. Edgerly and participated in the hilltop fight.

Edward Garlick was born in Chertsey, England, on May 8, 1846. He was the First Sergeant for Company G who was on furlough at the time of the battle.

Jeremiah Campbell died on May 8, 1884, in Decatur, Illinois, and was buried in Westside Cemetery in Moweaqua, Shelby County, Illinois. He was a Sergeant in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show opened in London on May 9, 1887, and featured some Indians who participated in the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Jasper Marshall died in Pleasant Hill, Ohio, on May 9, 1920, and was buried in the Pleasant Hill Cemetery. He was a Private with Company L who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

The Treaty of Fort Laramie with the Northern Cheyenne and Northern Arapahoe was concluded on May 10, 1868.

William Earl Smith died on May 10, 1918, in South Deerfield, Franklin County, Massachusetts, and was buried in the Brookside Cemetery there. He was a Corporal with Company B who was with the pack train and was wounded during the hilltop fight.

Charles Henry Bishop was born in Washington, D.C., on May 11, 1854. He was a Private with Company H who was wounded during the hilltop fight.

Francis Johnson Kennedy (left), who was also known as Francis Johnson, was born on May 12, 1854, in Pacific, Missouri. He was a Private in Company I who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

 

 

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

George Hose was born on April 29, 1850, in Hesse Cassel, Germany. He was a Corporal with Company K who participated in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Latrobe Bromwell died in Washington, D.C., on April 29, 1923, and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company E who was not present at the battle due to illness.

Henry Moore Harrington (left) was born on April 30, 1849, in Albion, New York.

Benjamin Beck died on April 30, 1910, in Camden, New Jersey. He was a Private with the Band, so he was not present on the campaign.

John R. Gray died in Worcester, Massachusetts, on April 30, 1915.

William Ephraim Morris was born on May 1, 1854, in Boston, Massachusetts. He was a Private in Company M who was wounded while participating in the valley and hilltop fights.

Michael C. Caddle died in Bismarck, North Dakota, on May 1, 1919, and was buried at the Fort Rice Cemetery in North Dakota. He was a Sergeant in Company I but was not present at the battle.

Henry August Lange died on May 1, 1928, in Chicago, Illinois, and was buried in the Mount Olivet Catholic Cemetery there. He was a Private with Company E who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Daniel Carroll died in Chicago on May 2, 1910, and was buried in the Mount Hope Cemetery there. He was a Sergeant with Company B at the time of the battle, but he was not present there due to detached service.

Sitting Bull (right) led his people into Canada on May 5, 1877.

John C. Wagoner died on May 5, 1899, in St. Paul, Minnesota. He was the Chief Packer with the pack train and was wounded in the hilltop fight.

Frederick William Myers died in Washington, D.C. on May 5, 1900, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. He was a Private in Company I who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Thomas Joseph CallanThomas Joseph Callan (left) died on May 5, 1908, in Yonkers, Westchester County, New York, and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.