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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

Twenty-fifth day,   pp. 530-542 PDF (9.3 MB)

Page 540

witness who has been called has stated only a fractional Dart of what was
done by other officers, and if the testimony of some was alone to he considered
you would have thought that not only was Reno absent bit that very many
officers and mch had no part whatever in this engagement.  And yet Lieut.
testified that he heard Reno select the position where the stand was made0
Sergt. Culbertson testified that Reno was exercising control over his men
the afternoon of the 25th0 He saw him also near the pack horses that after-
noon  in a position of very great danger. He saw him the same evening on
the left where the line of breastworks was built   also a dangerous place0
He saw him in the morning of the 26th about 8 o~clock coming from the direction
of D company's line down to the breastworks where Capt. Moylan was. He saw
him moving around at times during that day back of A Company and passing
from one line of the command to the other.  He heard him speak with regard
sending for water. Capt. Godfrey testified that when the officers and men
were in their places of protection that he and Reno walked over the knoll
exposed to the Indian fire, and although Reno in a laughing way dodged a
bullet, he continued on to the place where Benteen's company was   a position
of great danger. Capt. McDougall speaks of walking along the line with Reno
when he considered it an act of danger. Martin testified that Reno about
12 o'clock on the night of the 25th, sent him orders to have reveille sounded
in the morning.  It is unmistakable that he was with Company D at that part
of the line where it was expected that the severest attack would be made.
It is undoubtedly true that when Benteen, because he saw the Indians which
Reno could not, gave the order to charge them Reno went with the charge.
It is the testimony of Varnum that on the 26th of June, Reno attempted to
a letter which he afterward succeeded in sending to Gen. Terry stating his
ability to hold his position but asking for aid and stores for the wounded,
   And on the score of courage there is but one voice0  Lieut, t.Wallace,
in answer to a request to search his memory and recall the events of the
days and state in what point, if any, Maj. Reno exhibited any lack of courage
as an officer and a soldier said "None that I can recall or find fault
Lieut. Varnum says "Certainly there was no sign of cowardice or any
thing of
that sort in his conduct and nothing special the other ways" Capt, Moylan
in reply to a question whether during any period of time he saw Reno in the
timber he betrayed any evidences of cowardice, said "No, sir;  there
was a
certain amount of excitement I suppose, visible on his face as well as that
of anybody else, but any trace of cowardice I failed to discover," 
Hare testified, "I think Col. Reno's actions and his dispositions there
what was left of the regiment.  I saw no evidences of cowardice in Major
DeRudio said he saw no evidences of cowardice at all0 Benteen said that
"Renogs conduct was about right, sir;" and a man who can afford
to forget to
mention the charge he made to the river's edge for water for the wounded
afford to speak with quietness of the bravery of a brother soldier. Benteen
said again in answer to another question that he saw no evidences whatever
cowardice on the part of Reno. Edgerly said "When I first came up, Reno
excited but he did everything that was necessary to be done", and further
that Reno was fully exercising the functions of a comnanding officer.  Capt,
Mathey in answer to the question "From all you saw and all that came
under your
knowledge had you any charge of cowardice to prefer against Maj. Reno?"
answered "No, sir". Capt. McDougall testified that there was "No
of cowardice or weakness on the part of Tiaj. Reno."
   Testimony like that no award can obtain. It is a record of duty done
with quietness, but with effect, without display, but with success. His
command needed no inspiriting. The promptings of their own high natures
sufficiently told them their duty.  Thi.nk who gathered around him on the
hilltop. Men who had the endorsement which one great Military University
gives only to soldiers. Others were there, graduates of that trying school,
the Civil War, to whom death was a familiar thing and bravery an instincto
Moylan was there who on the charge from the timber., dropped back in the
fire to strengthen his line; McDougall, who, with Mathey, had guarded the
pack train with such determined courage;  French, who lost on the hilltop
none of the credit he had gained in the timber; Weir, fresh from his march
down the river; and Godfrey, who has since so greatly enlarged his fame;

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