This Week in Little Bighorn History

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 during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

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

Morris Hedding Thompson (left) 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. Like Martin Personeus, he was a cook who was on detached service at Fort Abraham Lincoln, charged with tending the company garden.

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, 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.

Misrepresented ‘Monster’ Major Marcus Reno” by Gregory Michno

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 Ballard Pym was murdered 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 was charged with guarding 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.

Henry Edward Haack was born in York County, Pennsylvania, on December 3, 1838. He was a Private in Company H who participated in the hilltop fight.

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 Francis Donohue (left in 1921) 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 (right) 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.

This Week in Little Bighorn History

Ernest Albert Garlington

Ernest Garlington (left) was born on February 20, 1853, in Newberry, South Carolina. He was a Second Lieutenant assigned to the Seventh Cavalry, but he was not present at the Battle of the Little Bighorn because he was on leave after graduation from the United States Military Academy at West Point.

Thomas Hughes, who was also known as Charlie Hughes, was born in County Mayo, Ireland, on February 21, 1845. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight.

Charles Ackerman married Ephresina Peterson on February 21, 1881, at Fort Totten. He was a Private in Company K who was not present during the battle due to detached service at the Powder River Depot.

Michael Vincent Sheridan (left) died on February 21, 1918, in Washington, D.C., and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. He was a Captain in Company L who was not present due to detached service as the aide-de-camp for his brother, General Philip Henry Sheridan. In June 1877, Michael Sheridan was in charge of the detachment that exhumed the remains of the officers from the battlefield.

Dennis Lynch (left) was born on February 22, 1848, in Cumberland, Maryland. He was a Private in Company F who was not at the battle due to detached service guarding Custer’s luggage aboard the steamer Far West.

William Gavin Capes (right) was born in Portland, Maine, on February 22, 1849. He was a Sergeant in Company M who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Powder River, Montana.

John Francis Donohue (left) was born on February 22, 1853, in Tipperary, Ireland. He was a Private in Company K who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

William Millard Caldwell (right) was born on February 22, 1857, in Curwensville, Pennsylvania. He was a Private in Company B who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Powder River, Montana.

Andrew Humes Nave (left) was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, on February 23, 1846. He was a Second Lieutenant in Company I, but he was not present at the battle due to illness.

Jan Mollar, who was also known as James Moller, died on February 23, 1928, in Deadwood, South Dakota, and was buried in the Mount Moriah Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight. See also 7th Cavalry Troopers in South Dakota.

George Arthur Rudolph was born in Meuterheim, Germany, on February 24, 1854. He was a Private in the Band who was not present at the battle due to detached service at Powder River, Montana.

Charles Louis Haak died on February 24, 1902, at the Soldiers Home in Washington, D.C., and was buried in its National Cemetery. He was a Private in Company I who was not present at the battle due to illness.

Joseph Greene Tilford (left) died in Washington, D.C., on February 24, 1911, and was buried in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. He was a Major who was not present at the battle; he was absent with leave in Europe.

 John Joseph Hackett died on February 25, 1904, at Fort Sheridan, Illinois, of heart disease and was buried in the cemetery there. He was a Private in Company G who served as an orderly for Lt. George Wallace and was wounded in his left arm while participating in the valley and hilltop fights.

George Walter Yates (left) was born on February 26, 1843, in Albany, New York. He was the Captain of Company F who was killed with Custer’s Column.

Andrew J. Moore was born in New Egypt, New Jersey, on February 26, 1854. He was a Private in Company G who fought in the valley and hilltop fights. While on Reno Hill, he received a gunshot wound in his spine and died the same day, June 26, 1876.

Joseph K. Ricketts died on February 26, 1909, in Dayton, Ohio, and was buried in the Green Castle Cemetery there. He was a wagoner in Company M, but he was on detached service at Powder River, Montana, during the battle.

Charles Albert Varnum (left) died on February 26, 1936, in San Francisco, California, and was buried in the National Cemetery there. He was the Second Lieutenant for Company A. He commanded the scouts during the battle, fought in the valley and hilltop fights, and was wounded in his leg.

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

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 of the Little Bighorn.

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, 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 (left) 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.

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.

Martin McCue died on December 6, 1923, at Barnes Hospital in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry August Lange was born in Hanover, Germany, on December 7, 1851. He was a Private in Company E who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Andrew Humes Nave (left) died on December 7, 1924, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was buried in Highland Memorial Cemetery there. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company I who was not present at the battle due to illness.

This Week in Little Bighorn History

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 of the Little Bighorn.

Thomas James Stowers, 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 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.

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 of the Little Bighorn.

John E. Hammon (left) 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 St. Louis, Missouri, on December 4, 1929, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Fairview Heights, St. Clair County, Missouri. 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.

George CusterGeorge Armstrong Custer (left) was born on December 5, 1839, in New Rumley, Ohio.

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.

Martin McCue died on December 6, 1923, at Barnes Hospital in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry August Lange was born in Hanover, Germany, on December 7, 1851. He was a Private in Company E who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Andrew Humes Nave (left) died on December 7, 1924, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was buried in Highland Memorial Cemetery there. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company I who was not present at the battle due to illness.

 

 

 


This Week in Little Bighorn History

John F. Donohue died in Butte, Montana, on December 3, 1924. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

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.

Thomas James Stowers, who claimed to be a Sole Survivor of the battle, was also 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 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.

John E. Hammon (left) 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. 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 St. Louis, Missouri, on December 4, 1929, and was buried in Greenwood Cemetery in Fairview Heights, St. Clair County, Missouri. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded during the hilltop fight.

George Armstrong Custer (left) was born on December 5, 1839, in New Rumley, Ohio. The Custer Memorial Association will celebrate his birth in New Rumley, Ohio, on Saturday, December 9, 2017. See Facebook for information: https://www.facebook.com/Custer-Memorial-Association-151535381571759/.

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.

Martin McCue died on December 6, 1923, at Barnes Hospital in Washington, D.C., and was buried in the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery there. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Henry August Lange was born in Hanover, Germany, on December 7, 1851. He was a Private in Company E who was with the pack train and in the hilltop fight.

Andrew Humes Nave died on December 7, 1924, in Knoxville, Tennessee, and was buried in Highland Memorial Cemetery there. He was a Second Lieutenant with Company I who was not present at the battle due to illness.

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.

Charles A. Windolph (left) was born on December 9, 1851 in Bergen, Germany. He was a Private in Company H who was wounded in the hilltop fight, and he was awarded the Purple Heart and the Medal of Honor for his actions during the battle.

Thomas Gordon was born in Boston on December 9, 1853. He was a Private in Company K who participated in the hilltop fight.

Thomas Bell (Benton) Weir (right) died on Governors Island, New York, on December 9, 1876, less than six months after the battle. He was the Captain of Company D who participated in scouting and in the hilltop fight. He was originally buried on Governors Island but was moved to the Cypress Hills National Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York.

Martin Kilfoyle died on December 9, 1894, in Washington, D.C. He was a Private in Company G who was on detached service during the battle.

Henry Jackson died in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, on December 9, 1908, and is buried in the National Cemetery there. He was a First Lieutenant in Company F who was not at the battle due to detached service.


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: