This Week in Little Bighorn History

Henry Petring (left) was born in Germany on November 29, 1853. He was a Private in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights, during which he was wounded in an eye and hip.

James Pym died on November 29, 1893, in Miles City, Montana, and was buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight where he was wounded in the right ankle. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

John Noonan committed suicide on November 30, 1878, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Corporal in Company L who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Powder River, Montana, where he guarded the cattle herd.

Thomas W. Coleman died in Sawtelle, California, on November 30, 1921, and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

William G. Abrams was born on December 1, 1840, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a Private in Company L who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight during the battle.

William H. Baker was born on December 3, 1848, in Golconda, Illinois. He was a Private in Company E who was killed with Custer’s Column during the battle.

Thomas James Stowers, (left) who claimed to be a Sole Survivor of the battle, was born on December 3, 1848, in Bucks County, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Frank Berwald (right) was born on December 3, 1852, in Posen, Poland. He was a Private in Company E who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Frank Volkenstine, who was also known as Frank Bowers, died on December 3, 1919, in Detroit, Michigan. He was a Private in Company M who was not present at the battle because he had been dishonorably discharged on May 31, 1876, in Fort Wayne, Michigan.

John F. Donohue died in Butte, Montana, on December 3, 1924, and was buried in Mount Moriah Cemetery in that city. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight during the battle.

Peter Thompson (left) died on December 3, 1928, in Hot Springs, South Dakota, and was buried in the Masonic Section of West Cemetery, in Lead, South Dakota. He was a Private in Company C who was wounded in the hilltop fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

John E. Hammon (right) was born in Lynchburg, Ohio, on December 4, 1857. He was a Corporal in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights.

John McCabe died on December 4, 1891, in Washington, D.C. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

John B. Ascough died in Columbus, Ohio, on December 4, 1903, and was buried in Old Greencastle Cemetery in Dayton, Montgomery County, Ohio. He was a Private in Company D who participated in the hilltop fight.

George A. Rudolph died on December 4, 1924, in Eddyville, New York, and was buried in Saint Peters Cemetery in Rosendale, Ulster County, New York. He was a Private in the Band, so he was not present at the battle. He was on detached service at Powder River, Montana.

Charles Henry Bishop died in East St. Louis, Illinois, on December 4, 1929, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Fairview Heights, St. Clair County, Illinois. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded during the hilltop fight.

John Samuel Ragsdale died on December 4, 1942, in Dayton, Ohio, and was buried in the Dayton National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company A who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Powder River, Montana.

George Armstrong Custer (left) was born on December 5, 1839, in New Rumley, Ohio. He was an 1861 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was in command during the battle.

Isaac Fowler (right) of Company C died on December 5, 1881, in Union City, Indiana, and was buried in the Union City Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company C who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

This Week in Little Bighorn History

Charles Henry Campbell died on November 25, 1920, in Bismarck, North Dakota, and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery there. He was a Private with Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Joseph Greene Tilford (left) was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on November 26, 1828. He was an 1851 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was a Major at the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was not present at the battle due to detached service.

William Ephraim Morris (right) died in New York City on November 26, 1933, and was buried in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. He was a Private in Company M who fought in the valley and hilltop fights and was wounded.

Hiram Wallace Sager was born on November 27, 1850, in Westport, New York. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

The Battle on the Washita was on November 27, 1868.

Morris H. Thompson died on November 27, 1911, in Cloverdale, California, and was buried in the Cloverdale Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company E who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

George B. Herendeen (left) 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.

John R. Steinker committed suicide by poisoning on November 28, 1876, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Farrier with Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry Petring (left) was born in Germany on November 29, 1853. He was a Private in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights, during which he was wounded in an eye and hip.

James Pym died on November 29, 1893, in Miles City, Montana, and was buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight where he was wounded in the right ankle. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

John Noonan committed suicide on November 30, 1878, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Corporal in Company L who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Thomas W. Coleman died in Sawtelle, California, on November 30, 1921, and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

This Week in Little Bighorn History

Charles A. Campbell died on November 25, 1920, in Bismarck, Burleigh County, North Dakota, and was buried in St. Mary’s Cemetery in Bismarck.

Joseph Greene Tilford (left) was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on November 26, 1828. He was an 1851 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was a Major at the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was not present at the battle due to detached service.

William Ephraim Morris (right) died in New York City on November 26, 1933, and was buried in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. He was a Private in Company M who fought in the valley and hilltop fights and was wounded.

Hiram Wallace Sager was born on November 27, 1850, in Westport, New York. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

The Battle on the Washita was on November 27, 1868.

Morris H. Thompson died on November 27, 1911, in Cloverdale, California, and was buried in the Cloverdale Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company E who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

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.

John R. Steinker committed suicide by poisoning on November 28, 1876, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Farrier with Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry Petring (left) was born in Germany on November 29, 1853. He was a Private in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights, during which he was wounded in an eye and hip.

James Pym died on November 29, 1893, in Miles City, Montana, and was buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight where he was wounded in the right ankle. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

John Noonan committed suicide on November 30, 1878, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Corporal in Company L who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Thomas W. Coleman died in Sawtelle, California, on November 30, 1921, and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

William G. Abrams was born on December 1, 1840, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a Private in Company L who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Joseph Green Tilford (left) was born in Georgetown, Kentucky, on November 26, 1828. He was an 1851 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was a Major at the time of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. He was not present at the battle due to detached service.

William Ephraim Morris died in New York City on November 26, 1933, and was buried in the Kensico Cemetery in Valhalla, New York. He was a Private in Company M who fought in the valley and hilltop fights and was wounded.

Hiram Wallace Sager was born on November 27, 1850, in Westport, New York. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

The Battle of the Washita was on November 27, 1868. See the books below for more about this infamous battle.

Morris H. Thompson died on November 27, 1911, in Cloverdale, California, and was buried in the Cloverdale Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company E who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

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.

John R. Steinker committed suicide by poisoning on November 28, 1876, at Fort Abraham Lincoln, Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Farrier with Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry Petring (left) was born in Germany on November 29, 1853. He was a Private in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights, during which he was wounded in an eye and hip.

James Pym died on November 29, 1893, in Miles City, Montana. He was shot and killed by a man who was “visiting” Pym’s wife and was buried in the Custer County Cemetery in Miles City. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight where he was wounded in the right ankle.

John Noonan committed suicide on November 30, 1878, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory, and was originally buried in the cemetery there. He was later reinterred at Custer National Cemetery on the Crow Agency, Montana. He was a Corporal in Company L who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Thomas W. Coleman died in Sawtelle, California, on November 30, 1921, and was buried in the Los Angeles National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and participated in the hilltop fight.

William G. Abrams was born on December 1, 1840, in Baltimore, Maryland. He was a Private in Company L who was with the pack train and participated 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: