Posts Tagged ‘Herendeen’

This Week in Little Bighorn History

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 died in Washington, D.C., on June 11, 1910, and was buried in the U.S. Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a First Sergeant in Company A who was wounded 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. 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 A. Windolph (left), 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.

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

 

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: