Posts Tagged ‘Thompson’

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.

 


Little Bighorn Timeline: The Morning of June 25, 1876

Based on John S. Gray’s tables in Custer’s Last Campaign: Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed unless noted otherwise. Several people commented on this  timeline when it was originally published on LittleBighorn.info; those comments are in italics.

June 25, 1876

AM

12:30: The main column left the Busby camp on a night march under Lieutenant Colonel George Custer

2:50: 1st Lieutenant Charles Varnum (left) and scouts arrived at a pocket below the Crow’s Nest. 

3:15: The main column arrived at Halt 1 on Davis Creek where it was still dark. Local time was Mountain Standard Time minus 13 minutes to allow for sun transit at 12:13 at Busby and Crow Agency, Montana Territory. On a clear, moonless night, the first streaks of day appear at 1:55 local time. A pocket watch like that which belonged to 2nd Lieutenant George Wallace could be read at 2:45 a.m. It was daylight at 3:00 [Reno Court of Inquiry: Proceedings of a Court of Inquiry in the Case of Major Marcus A. Reno (RCOI): Wallace, Captain Myles Moylan, Captain Frederick Benteen]. Visibility was clear to the horizon by 3:18 although you could not read print until 3:30. (All based on personal observation from divide.) Wallace’s Official Report stated the night march ended about 2:00 (Federal View, p. 65). 1st Lieutenant Edward Godfrey (The Godfrey Diary of the Battle of the Little Bighorn, p. 10) halted the night march about 2 o’clock (RCOI, Scout George Herendeen) and marched until probably 2:00. “As soon as the first faint streaks of daylight appeared, we moved into a grove where we were ordered to unsaddle and rest for several hours” (Peter Thompson’s Narrative of the Little Bighorn, p. 95).

3:40: Two Crows saw the Sioux village at the Little Bighorn for the first time. From accounts by Red Star (later known as Strikes the Bear) and Little Sioux, this could have been as early as just after 3:00 a.m. Easily visible by 3:00 local time–personal observation.

3:50: Varnum was awakened for the climb to the peak. Not later than 3:15 since Varnum (Northwestern Fights and Fighters, p. 340) said he got to the Crow’s Nest about 2:30, slept 45 minutes and was awakened when it was just daylight, probably closer to 3:00 a.m. 

4:00: Varnum and the scouts study the village in the Little Bighorn Valley. 

5:00: Varnum and the scouts saw the breakfast smoke at the Halt 1 camp. 

5:20: Varnum sent two Ree scouts with a note to Custer who was still at Halt 1. It was possible for Varnum to have sent the messengers significantly earlier; e.g., 4.30 a.m. Varnum in Northwestern Fights and Fighters said 4:45 or 5:00. Translated to local time that is closer to 3:30, more likely since Interpreter Frederick Girard (left) and the Ree scouts say Custer got Varnum’s message at 4:00 or when the sun was just rising = 4:09 local time. Note that Gray’s use of “Halt 1” can be/is somewhat confusing since Wallace uses “Halt 1″ to refer to the halt at the divide and ” Halt 2″ to identify the halt over the divide when Benteen was sent to the left. I now think it possible Varnum was using headquarters time so he sent the messenger at 3:40 a.m. This fits with the messenger arriving as reported by the Rees as the sun was rising at 4:13 a.m. 

5:40: The Crows saw two Sioux west of the Divide. 

6:20: Varnum led a sortie against the two Sioux.

6:40: Varnum returns to the Crow’s Nest, unsuccessful. 

7:10: The scouts saw two Sioux crossing the divide. 

7:20: The two Ree couriers arrived at the Halt 1 camp from the Crow’s Nest. The assumption that the main courier travelled so slowly (less than 3 mph) is very doubtful and the journey time could easily be half the 2 hours claimed here. Cf. note above Girard and the Rees put it at 4:00-4:09 (Girard in Once Their Home, p. 263; Arikara Narrative of Custer’s Campaign and the Battle of the Little Bighorn, p. 149).

7:30: Custer read Varnum’s note, indicating that a village had been spotted in the Little Bighorn Valley. 

7:45: Sergeant William Curtiss left the Halt 1 camp on the back trail in search of a lost pack. 

8:00: Custer’s Crow’s Nest party (Fred Girard, Bloody Knife (left), Red Star, Little Brave, and Bobtail Bull) left Halt 1 for the Crow’s Nest. If the above comments are correct, Custer could have departed at least one and possibly two hours earlier. (I now think Custer rode around the camp before 5:00 a.m. to tell troop commanders that the column would not march at the standard 5:00 a.m. but to be ready by 8:00 a.m. This would have been the time Custer expected to return from the Crow’s Nest. Custer departed at or soon after 5:00 a.m. for the Crow’s Net and arrived there as reported by WMRH at 6:00 a.m. (The Custer Myth : A Source Book of Custeriana, p. 15). Varnum recalled that Custer arrived from the coffee camp with the column, not before it. Herendeen and Packer Benjamin Franklin Churchill made the departure from the early halt at 7:00 or 7:30 (RCOI) Donohue (Fatal Day, p. 20) thought the column left at 6:00. Remembered times are always earlier than Wallace’s official time. The Edgerly Narrative in Research Review (1986), p. 5, says Custer went up to the Crow’s Nest about 9 a.m., “when the column halted, the command having previously halted from 2 to 5, without unsaddling” Herendeen (Custer Myth, p. 262) “About nine o’clock on the morning of the 25th of June and the last day of our march Custer halted his troops and concealed them as well as he could. . . (then he went to the Crow’s Nest) . . . Custer was gone perhaps an hour or an hour and a half.”

8:05: Custer’s party was spotted by two Sioux as seen from the Crow’s Nest. Varnum saw two Sioux meeting Custer’s party. 

8:25: Curtiss party sights Cheyennes rifling through the lost pack. 

8:45: Command under Reno departed Halt 1 camp and moved toward the Crow’s Nest. I now think the column marched at 7:25 a.m. under Captain Tom Custer and met the irate George Custer on his return from the Crow’s Nest as he had ordered the column to stay put (see various Girard accounts). 

9:00: Custer’s party arrived at the Crow’s Nest. 

9:00+: Custer studied the valley and discussed the findings. 

10:07: Custer and the scouts watched the command arrive at the Halt 2 camp on Davis Creek for concealment. 

10:20: Custer’s party left the Crow’s Nest with Varnum’s party. Curtiss’ party arrived at the Halt 2 camp and reported seeing the Cheyennes with the lost pack. 

10:30: Custer and the scouts are met by Captain Thomas Custer with Sergeant Curtiss’ news. 

10:35: Custer-Varnum party arrived at the Halt 2 camp. Cheyennes were spying. There is some evidence (1st Lieutenant Charles De Rudio, 2nd Lieutenant Luther Hare in Custer in ’76: Walter Camp’s Notes on the Custer Fight) that Custer made a second visit to the Crow’s Nest; the time taken for this would not be more than 30 minutes if Halt 2 was near the Crow’s Nest. 

10:50: At officer’s call, Custer decided they will attack. Benteen (RCOI) and Edgerly (Custer Myth, pp. 216, 219) put officers’ call at 10:00, after Custer had been on the Crow’s Nest for about an hour (Research Review, 1986). See also Donohue in Fatal Day, pp. 20-21. Herendeen very early therefore very reliable put it between 10:00-10:30 (Custer Myth, p. 280).

11:45: Command under Custer departed Halt 2 camp and moved down Davis Creek. This departure time assumes the command halted within 0.75 mile of the Divide. It is likely that they were actually at least twice as far as this since participants reported the column as being concealed in a ravine. This would pull forward the departure time by 15 minutes or so. Hare, DeRudio, Varnum agreed that the column was halted 1/4 to 1/2 mile east of the divide.

To be continued. . . .

This Week in Little Bighorn History

Thomas Henry French (left) was born on March 4, 1843, in Baltimore, Maryland, and he died on March 27, 1882, at Planters House in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. He was originally buried in the National Cemetery there but was later moved to Holy Rood Cemetery in Washington, D.C. He was the Captain of M Company who commanded his men in the valley and hilltop fights during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

John Charles Creighton (right) was born in Massillon, Ohio, on March 4, 1850. He was a Private in Company K who was in the hilltop fight.

Thomas Joseph Callen died in Yonkers, New York, on March 5, 1908, and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions there.

Thomas Patrick Downing
 was born on March 6, 1856, in Limerick, Ireland. He was a Private in Company I who was killed with Custer’s Column. He was buried in the mass grave on Last Stand Hill.

John Foley of Ireland died at Barnes Hospital in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 1926, and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

James Calhoun (left) married Margaret Emma Custer on March 7, 1872. He was the First Lieutenant of Company C who commanded Company L during the battle. Maggie Custer lost her husband, three brothers (GeorgeTom, and Boston) and a nephew (Autie Reed) in that battle.

Edwin Philip Eckerson was born on March 8, 1850, in Fort Vancouver, Washington. He was the Second Lieutenant of Company L, but he was not present at the battle because he was enroute.

Charles William Larned (right) was born in New York, New York, on March 9, 1850. He was an 1870 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was the Second Lieutenant in Company F. He was not present at the battle due to detached service.

James Boggs was born on March 10, 1846, in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company H who was not present at the battle. He was discharged for medical reasons on May 15, 1876.

Morris H. Thompson was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on March 10, 1852. He was a Private in Company E who was not present during the battle due to detached service.


This Week in Little Bighorn History

Martin Personeus died in Carlinsville, Illinois, on December 24, 1889. He was a Private in Company L who was on detached service during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Giovanni Martini (left) died on December 24, 1922, in Brooklyn, New York, and was buried in Cypress Hills National Cemetery there. He was the Trumpeter for Company H who brought the famous “be quick” note to Benteen.

John James Carey died in Malone, Grays Harbor County, Washington, on December 24, 1929, and was buried in Pioneer Cemetery in Centralia, Lewis County, Washington. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Merry Christmas!

Thomas W. Coleman was born on December 25, 1849, in Troy, New York. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Edwin B. Wight was born in Casco, Maine, on December 25, 1851. He was a Private in Company B who was on detached service during the battle.

William Millard Caldwell married Blanche Miller on December 25, 1887, in Clearfield, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company B who was on detached service during the battle.

Thomas Wilford Harrison (right) died on December 25, 1917, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and was buried in the Holy Cross Cemetery in Yeadon, Pennsylvania. He was a Sergeant for Company D who was in the hilltop fight.

Max Hoehn was born in Berlin, Germany, on December 26, 1854. He was a Private in Company L who stayed with the regimental papers at Powder River so he was not in the battle.

Stephen Cowley (left) was born on December 26, 1846, in Sligo, Ireland. He was a Private in Company D who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Yellowstone Depot.

Timothy Haley was born on December 26, 1846, in Cork, Ireland. He was a Private in Company H who participated in the hilltop fight. He died on December 31, 1913, in Washington, D.C., and was buried at the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there.

John Meyers died on December 26, 1877, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory and was buried in the Custer National Cemetery in Montana. He was the Saddler for Company C, and he participated in the hilltop fight.

John J. Fay and John Fox both died in Washington, D.C., on December 26, 1932, and both were buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. Both were Privates in Company D. Fay participated in the valley and hilltop fights, and Fox was in the hilltop fight.

Wilson McConnell died on December 27, 1906, in King, Wisconsin, and was buried in the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Peter Thompson was born in Markinch, County Fife, Scotland, on December 28, 1843. He died in Hot Springs, South Dakota, on December 3, 1928, and was buried in the Masonic Section of the West Cemetery in Lead, South Dakota. He was Private in Company C who was wounded in the hilltop fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

David McWilliams committed suicide at Fort Meade, South Dakota, on December 28, 1881, and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company H who was not in the battle because he had been shot in the leg on the Far West on June 6, 1876.

Three were killed at the Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, on December 29, 1890, and were buried at the Fort Riley Post Cemetery in Kansas.:

  • Richard Winick Corwine who was a Private in Company A on detached service during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
  • Gustave Korn who was a Private in Company I and participated in the hilltop fight.
  • George Daniel Wallace who was a Second Lieutenant in command of Company G during the Battle of the Little Bighorn and fought in the valley and hilltop fights.

Frank Hunter died on December 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. , and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company F who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

William Jackson (left) died at Cutbank Creek on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana on December 30, 1899. He was a scout who participated in the valley fight.

David W. Lewis died on December 30, 1914, at the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company B who was confined during the battle.

William Henry Miller died in San Antonio, Texas, on December 30, 1914, and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was the Blacksmith for Company E who was with the pack train and 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

This week we honor two of the men who received the Medal of Honor as a result of their valiant efforts during the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

Thomas Joseph Callen died in Yonkers, New York, on March 5, 1908, and was buried in Holy Sepulchre Cemetery in East Orange, New Jersey. He was a Private in Company B who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions there.

Other Seventh Cavalry milestones this week include:

Thomas Patrick Downing was born on March 6, 1856, in Limerick, Ireland. He was a Private in Company I who was killed with Custer’s Column. He was buried in the mass grave on Last Stand Hill.

John Foley died at Barnes Hospital in Washington, D.C., on March 6, 1926, and was buried in the Soldier’s Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

James Calhoun married Margaret Emma Custer on March 7, 1872. Maggie Custer lost her husband, three brothers (George, Tom, and Boston) and a nephew, Autie Reed, during the battle.

Charles William Larned was born in New York, New York, on March 9, 1850. He was an 1870 graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point who was on detached service at the time of the battle.

Morris H. Thompson was born in Waukegan, Illinois, on March 10, 1852. He was a Private in Company E who was not present during the battle due to detached service.

Charles A. Windolph, who was also known as Charles Wrangel, died on March 11, 1950, in Lead, South Dakota, and was buried in the Black Hills National Cemetery in Sturgis. He was the last white survivor of the battle. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight, for which he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor.

This Week in Little Bighorn History

  • Max Hoehn was born in Berlin, Germany, on December 26, 1854. He stayed with the regimental papers at Powder River so he was not in the battle.
  • Timothy Haley was born on December 26, 1846, in Cork, Ireland, and died on December 31, 1913, in Washington, D.C., and was buried there.
  • John Meyers died on December 26, 1877, at Fort Abraham Lincoln in the Dakota Territory and was buried in the Custer National Cemetery in Montana.
  • John J. Fay and John Fox both died in Washington, D.C., on December 26, 1932, and both were buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there.
  • Wilson McConnell died on December 27, 1906, in King, Wisconsin, and was buried in the Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery there.
  • Peter Thompson was born in Markinch, County Fife, Scotland, on December 28, 1843. He died in Hot Springs, South Dakota, on December 3, 1928.
  • David McWilliams died at Fort Meade, South Dakota, on December 28, 1881, and was buried in the National Cemetery there.
  • Three of the men were killed at Battle of Wounded Knee in South Dakota, on December 29, 1890, and are buried at the Fort Riley Post Cemetery in Kansas.:
    • Richard Winick Corwine who was on detached service during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
    • Gustave Korn who became the caretaker of Comanche, the only horse that survived the Battle of the Little Bighorn. (See books below.)
    • George Daniel Wallace who commanded Company G during the Battle of the Little Bighorn and fought in the valley and hilltop fights.
  • Frank Hunter died on December 29, 1899, in Washington, D.C. He was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.
  • William Jackson died at Cutbank Creek on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana on December 30, 1899. He was in the valley fight.
  • David W. Lewis died on December 30, 1914, at the Government Hospital for the Insane in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery.
  • William Henry Miller died in San Antonio, Texas, on December 30, 1914, and was buried in the National Cemetery there.