False exhibit at the RCOI

Publié le par custerwest

Inspired by a love of history and its amazing accounts of human endeavor, model making and dramatic representations of the people, places and things that have shaped our culture.

At the only official inquiry on the Little Bighorn, Major Reno and Captain  Benteen presented a false exhibit


Major Reno’s lawyer showed three exhibits in the Reno Court of Inquiry. #1 was the report, which contradicts the very testimony Reno gave in the Commission! #2 was a map which was an alleged copy of Lieutenant Maguire map of the battle of the Little Bighorn. #3 was an alleged enlisted petition by soldiers who said that Major Reno and Captain Benteen were their saviours and should be promoted. There is evidence that two exhibits were forgeries, which is a criminal offence.

November 5 1954 : letter from the FBI to the Superintendent (file 95-3820, Labo. N. D-123677 DG, November 20 1950):

“Variations were noted in the signatures listed below and the corresponding known signatures which suggests the probability that the signatures on the petition are forgeries”

List of 80 names (variations), plus 17 names (individuals who signed they payroll with a “x”. But their names appeared on the petition), plus 6 names (handwritings samples unavailable) 

E. S. Luce, Little Big Horn Battlefield Superintendent, September 20 1954 :

“There are quite a number of apparent “forgeries” and irregularities that show up on comparing signatures on the Petition with the signatures on the Muster and Pay Rolls. One irregularity that can easily be seen are those of the troopers who were unable to write their own names. The name would be written in the signatures column with the notation “His Mark X” and then would be initialed by the troop commander. On the Petition these names were written by some one, but not verified. […]

For many years it has been known by the military as well by historians, that there was “something rotten in Denmark”. […] Many historians  have written me during the years that I have been here, as to why we (The National Park Service) are covering up this deception. […] There has been rumors in the regiment for many years that both Reno and Benteen used pressure tactics to get the men to sign such a petition. The other officers refused to sign the petition but, in troop H, more than other troopers was the pressure used.” Presumably by Captain Benteen.”

Chief Historian Douglas C. McChristian, April 5 1995 :

 “The results of the examination were inconclusive, yet the limited handwritings samples available to them suggested that many, if not most, of the signatures were forgeries. There was some evidence to suggest that First Sergeant Joseph McCurry wrote the names, but this could not be determined with certainty because of the paucity of samples of his handwritings.”

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