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Reno, Marcus A., 1835-1889, (Marcus Albert) / The official record of a court of inquiry convened at Chicago, Illinois, January 13, 1879, by the President of the United States upon the request of Major Marcus A. Reno, 7th U.S. Cavalry, to investigate his conduct at the Battle of the Little Big Horn, June 25-26, 1876

Eighteenth day,   pp. 352-378 PDF (11.6 MB)

Page 356

   orders if any, did you receive at the time as to what you were to do,
   where you were to go?
A* I have described the country; it was a series of rough bluffs we vers
   halted in,
QO State with reference to the divide between the Little Big Horn and the
A. I don't know how that is, My orders were to proceed out into a line of
   bluffs about 4 or 5 miles away, to pitch into anything I came across and
   to send back word to General Custer at once if I came across anything.
   had gone about a mile when I received instructions through the Chief
   Trumpeter of the regiment; - if I found nothing before reaching the first
   line of bluffs, to go on to the second line with the same instructions0
   I had gone, I suppose, a mile further, when I received orders through
   Sergeant Maj. of the regiment, that if I saw nothing from the second line
   of bluffs, then to go on into the valley; and if there was nothing in
   the valley to go on to the next valleys
Q. When your column separated from that of General Custer, describe the
   direction or angle of separation to the route you had been going?
As It was about an angle of 45 degrees, which is a left oblique.
Qo Where was the pack train at the time of separations
AO The pack train at the time of the first halt was closed up; where it
   was at the second halt where we were divided, I don't know. I suppose
   it was close up to the rear of the regiment.
Q. From the point you have reached in your description, go on and describe
    the movement of your command and what occurred up to the time you joined
    Maj. Reno on the hill, if you did so join him?
A. I forgot to give some instructions of General Culverts, which were that
    I was to send an officer and about six men in advance of my battalion
    and to ride rapidly. The officer I selected was lay lst Lieut. and six
    men from my own company to head my battalion, I sent those ahead with
    the instructions I had received, but the greater part of the time I was
    ahead of that officer and six men with my orderly, the battalion cominE
    as fast as they could. The ground was very rugged and we had to go
    through defiles and around high bluffs to get to the point to which I
    had been sent, I went to the second line of bluffs and saw no valley;
    and I knew the Indians had too much sense to go to any place over such
    a country; that if they had to go to any point in that direction, they
    had a much better way to go. The last I saw of the column was the gray
    horse troop at a dead gallop. I had an idea that General Custer was
    mistaken as to there being no Indians in that vicinity and, as there
    were no Indians there and no valleys, I thought my duty was to go back
    the trail and join the command.
Qa Describe your route back and where you struck the trail?
A. The route was the same as going over, bearing to the right. At the same
angle going back, at a right oblique, I struck the trail about a mile
ahead of the pack train. I saw it coming on the trail. I then followed
the trail to a kind of morass. My horses had not been watered since
about six or eight o'clock the evening before,, and I formed them around
that morass and watered them. As I moved out from that place, two mules
from the pack train rushed into the morass and were stuck in the mud0
I then went on, I suppose about 7 miles, when I came to a burning tepee.
I rode around it; I am not sure whether I dismounted or not; I know
it contained the dead body of a warrior0 A mile or so from that tepee,
I met a Sergeant coming back with instructions to the commanding officer
of the pack train to "Hurry up the packs'. I told him the pack train,

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