Posts Tagged ‘Hammon’

This Week in Little Bighorn History

Charles Braden (left) died on January 15, 1919, in Highland Falls, New York, and was buried at the U.S. Military Academy Post Cemetery. He was an 1869 graduate of the Academy who married Jeanette Devin, the daughter of General Thomas Casimer Devin, who was said to be one of the best and most effective Union commanders in the Civil War. Braden was not present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn due to wounds suffered during an Indian attack on his camp on the Yellowstone River on August 11, 1873. He was granted a leave of absence on March 13, 1874, until he retired due to disability on June 28, 1878.

Other Seventh Cavalry anniversaries this week include:

Fremont Kipp died in Washington, D.C., on January 16, 1938, and was buried there in the U.S. Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery.

Young Hawk died on January 16, 1915, in Elbowoods, North Dakota, and was buried in the Indian Scout Cemetery in McLean County, North Dakota.

Francis Hegner died in Kenockee Township, Michigan, on January 17, 1891. He was on detached service during the battle, so he was not present.

Francis Marion Gibson died on January 17, 1919, in New York City and was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. He was the brother-in-law of Donald McIntosh.

Joseph Carroll was born in New York, New York, on January 19, 1847. He was a member of the band, so he was not present at the battle.

John E. Hammon died on January 19, 1909, in Sturgis, South Dakota, and was buried there in the Bear Butte Cemetery. He was a Corporal in Company G and was in the hilltop and valley fights.

Henry Harrison Davis was born on January 20, 1846, in Bellvernon, Virginia. He was a Private in Company M and was in the hilltop and valley fights. He died around 1905.

John J. Rafter was born in Lansingburgh, New York, on January 20, 1851, and died on January 16, 1927, in Leavenworth, Kansas. He was buried in the Mount Calvary Cemetery in Leavenworth.

August B. Siefert died on January 20, 1921, in Highland Park, Illinois, and was buried in the Fort Sheridan Cemetery in Highwood, Illinois. He was with Company K during the hilltop fight.

Stephen Cowley was married in County Mayo, Ireland, to Bridget Agnes Moore on January 21, 1871. He was on detached service at Yellowstone Depot, so he was not present at the battle.

Joseph Kneubuhler died on January 21, 1917, in San Diego, California.  He was a member of the band, so he was not present at the battle.

Christian C. Boisen died in Fort Smith, Arkansas, on January 21, 1923, and was buried at the National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who was in the hilltop fight.

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: