Little Bighorn Timeline: The Evening 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; those comments are in italics.

June 25, 1876


5:00: Young Hawk (Ree), Forked Horn (Ree), Red Foolish Bear (Ree), and Half Yellow Face (Crow) arrived at Reno Hill after being trapped on the east bank. White Swan (Crow) and Goose (Ree) who had been wounded and trapped on the east bank arrived on Reno Hill. They met 2nd Lieutenant Charles Varnum and Major Marcus Reno (left).

5:02: The pack train met 2nd Lieutenant Luther Hare who had orders for the ammunition packs. Reno ordered Varnum to bury 2nd Lieutenant Benjamin Hodgson, but they were awaiting tools. 

5:05: Captain Thomas Weir and Company D departed Reno Hill in search of Lieutenant Colonel George Custer

5:10: Scout George Herendeen‘s party noticed that the heavy firing diminished, and they left with 12 troopers. 

5:10-12: Custer’s last heavy firing was heard on Reno Hill. 

5:12: 2nd Lieutenant Hare arrived on Reno Hill in advance of the ammunition mules. 

5:15: Reno dispatched 2nd Lieutenant Hare to the north after Weir with orders to contact Custer. 

5:19: Two ammunition mules arrived with tools. 

5:21: Varnum left to bury Hodgson. 

5:22.5: Captain Frederick Benteen (left) departed Reno Hill with Companies H, K, and M to join Weir. 

5:25: Captaini Thomas McDougall, Company B, and 1st Lieutenant Edward Mathey arrived with the packtrain. Weir’s Company D arrived at Weir Ridge and halted. Both Companies B and D saw that the Custer fight had ended. 

5:29: Herendeen’s party met Varnum’s burial party. 

5:30: The Ree horse herders left Reno Hill for the Powder River. The Ree rear guard left to join the Weir advance party. 

5:32: Herendeen’s party met the Ree rear guard on the Weir advance. 

5:32.5: Hare left Weir Ridge to report to Reno. 

5:35: George B. Herendeen, who had been left in the timber, arrived at Reno Hill. Benteen and Companies H, K, and M arrived at Weir Ridge and halted. All saw the Sioux coming to attack. 

5:35+: Herendeen interpreted for Half Yellow Face and Reno. 

5:40: Reno and his orderly left to join the Weir advance. 

5:42.5: Benteen and Company H left Weir Ridge to find Reno. Hare met and joined the Reno party. 

5:43: Varnum returned from his burial mission and joined Company A. 

5:47.5: Benteen and Company H met the Reno party and halted for 10 minutes during which time they conferred. Hare left the halt with Reno’s retreat order. The impedimenta left Reno Hill for the Weir advance. 

5:50: Hare arrived at Weir Ridge and joined Company K. Companies D, K, and M left Weir Ridge for Reno Hill. 

5:52.5: Companies A, B, G, and the pack train left to join the Weir advance. Reno, Benteen, and Company H left the halt for Reno Hill. 

5:55: The rear guard, chased by the Sioux, passed Reno Hill while heading for the Powder River. 

5:57.5: Reno, Benteen, and Company H met the impedimenta and ordered it back. 

6:00: Reno, Benteen, and Company H arrived at Reno Hill.

6:02.5: Companies D, M, A, B, G and the pack train arrived at Reno Hill.

6:10: 1st Lieutenant Edward Godfrey (left), Hare, and Company K, covering the retreat, arrived at Reno Hill and covered the rear.

6:17: The horse herders passed the lone tepee and slowed down.

6:43: The rear guard passed the lone tepee and slowed down.

7:47: The horse herders saw that the “sun touches hills.”

8:13: The rear guard was six miles beyond the lone tepee.

8:30?: The horse herders heard shots ahead and a pursuit behind them. They lost the trail. The rear guard experienced the final attack by the pursuing Sioux.

8:47: The rear guard passed the divide “before dark.”

9:00: The evening battle at Reno Hill ended at dark.

9:17: The horse herders halted to water, then crossed the divide “in dark.”

11:45: The rear guard passed the Rosebud (Busby).

To be continued. . . .