Posts Tagged ‘Bishop’

This Week in Little Bighorn History

George B. Herendeen was born on November 28, 1846, in Parkman Township, Geauga County, Ohio. He was a civilian scout who participated in the battle in the timber and on the hilltop. According to Gregory Michno (see “Misrepresented ‘Monster’ Major Marcus Reno“) Herendeen was largely responsible for assertions of Marcus Reno‘s cowardice:

Of all the witnesses called [at the Reno Court of Inquiry], only two were critical of Reno’s conduct in the valley. Civilian interpreter Frederic F. Girard, whom Reno had once fired, said he thought Reno could have held out in the timber as long as the ammunition lasted. (Left unsaid was that at the rate they had been firing, that would not likely have been more than another half-hour.) Civilian scout George Herendeen also disliked Reno. He said that when Bloody Knife was killed and another soldier hit, “Reno gave the order to dismount, and the soldiers had just struck the ground when he gave the order to mount, and then everything left the timber on a run.” Herendeen said the incident “demoralized him [Reno] a good deal,” but when pressed by court recorder Lieutenant Jesse M. Lee, Herendeen stated, “I am not saying that he is a coward at all.”

. . . An examination of the court record shows that 20 of the 23 eyewitnesses who testified to Reno’s conduct had neutral or favorable observations. Only three were unfavorable—and none of those damning. Yet scarcely mentioned is [Dr. Henry] Porter’s account of Reno’s statement, “We have got to get out of here—we have got to charge them!” Instead, Herendeen’s claim that Reno ordered a dismount and an immediate mount appears often in print. It seems incredible. One man claims Reno issued conflicting orders while extracting his command from a desperate situation, and it snowballs into an avalanche of cowardice and treachery.

For more of Greg Michno’s excellent research and writing, see the books listed at the end of this post.

Other milestones this week include:


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Stephen Cowley died on November 21, 1886. He was a Private in Company D who was on detached service at Yellowstone Depot during the battle.

Stephen Cowley was born in Sligo County, Ireland, his father was Michael Cowley, a butcher. He married Bridget Agnes Moore on January 21, 1871 in County Mayo, Ireland. He immigrated in the Spring of 1871 to the United States and immediately registered in the United States Army for the Civil and Indian Wars. He served with General Custer in Company B which was assigned the responsibility of guarding the pack train. His service continued and he was discharged from the Cavalry on September 10, 1882 at Fort Totten, North Dakota. . . .

Stephen and Bridget had 5 children, one son, Ambrose died at 5 months, those who survived are James Joseph, Stephen Joseph, Michael Joseph and Sadie Mary. Stephen died in November 1886 at Larimore, Grand Forks County, North Dakota. He is buried in the Bellevue Cemetery there. [Findagrave.com]

Other Seventh Cavalry anniversaries this week include:

  • Alexander Bishop was born on November 22, 1853, in Brooklyn, New York.
  • George Gaffney died in Washington, D.C., on November 22, 1916.
  • Charles Braden was born on November 23, 1847, in Detroit.
  • William Slaper was born on November 23, 1854, in Cincinnati.
  • George Blunt died on November 23, 1905, at the Joyce Hotel in Baltimore.
  • Augustus DeVoto died on November 23, 1923, in Tacoma, Washington.
  • Charles A. Campbell died on November 25, 1920, in Bismarck, North Dakota.
  • Joseph Tilford was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on November 26, 1828.
  • William Morris died in New York City on November 26, 1933.
  • Hiram Sager was born on November 27, 1850, in Westport, New York.
  • The Battle on the Washita was on November 27, 1868. See the books below for more about this infamous battle.