Posts Tagged ‘Petring’

This Week in Little Bighorn History

 

This week many will celebrate St. Patrick’s Day whether or not they have Irish ancestry. One of our celebrants this week was born in Ireland on St. Patrick’s Day!

 

Seventh Cavalry milestones this week include:

  • George A. Bott was born on March 12, 1853, in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He was a Private in Company A who fought in the valley and hilltop fights.
  • Thomas Blake died in New York City on March 12, 1927. He was a Private in Company A who fought in the valley and hilltop fights and died in the city of his birth on March 12, 1927.
  • George Washington Wylie died on March 13, 1931, in Kansas City, Missouri. He was a Corporal in Company D who participated in the hilltop fight.
  • Henry Petring married his wife Louisa on March 14, 1881. He was a Private in Company G who participated in the valley and hilltop fights where he was wounded in the eye and hip.
  • Patrick Corcoran was born in Canada on March 15, 1844. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight. He was wounded in the right shoulder on June 26, 1876.
  • Thomas Ward Custer was born on March 15, 1846, in New Rumley, Ohio. He was awarded two Medals of Honors for his actions during the Civil War, and he died at Little Bighorn.
  • Charles H. Welch was born in New York City on March 16, 1845. He was a Private in Company D who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the hilltop fight.
  • John Weiss was born on March 16, 1849, in Cincinnati, Ohio. He was  a Private in Company A who was not present at the battle due to detached service.

Daniel Newell was born on March 17, 1847, in County Rascommon, Ireland. He was a Private in Company M who participated in the valley and hilltop fights where he was wounded.


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: