Posts Tagged ‘Coleman’

This Week in Little Bighorn History

William G. Hardy was born on December 20, 1849, on Staten Island, New York. He was a bugler for Company A and fought in both the valley and hilltop fights. He died on April 7, 1919, in San Francisco, California, and is buried in the San Francisco National Cemetery, The Presidio. See below for books and miniatures of buglers.

Other Seventh Cavalry anniversaries this week include:

  • Hiram Wallace Sager died in Spokane, Washington, on December 21, 1907. He was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.
  • Luther Rector Hare died on December 22, 1929, in Washington, D.C, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • Johann Michael Vetter was born in Hessen, Germany, on December 23, 1853. He was killed during the battle.
  • Joseph Carroll died on December 23, 1904, in Danville, Illinois, and was buried in the National Cemetery there.
  • Martin Personeus died in Carlinsville, Illinois, on December 24, 1889. He was on detached service during the battle.
  • Giovanni Martini died on December 24, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York. He brought the famous “be quick” note to Benteen.
  • John James Carey died in Malone, Grays Harbor County, Washington, on December 24, 1929.
  • Thomas W. Coleman was born on December 25, 1849, in Troy, New York. He was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.
  • Edwin B. Wight was born in Casco, Maine, on December 25, 1851. He was on detached service during the battle.
  • Thomas Wilford Harrison died on December 25, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was buried in Yeadon, Pennsylvania.


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: