WHAT MARTINI REALLY SAID
source: Custer in '76: Walter Camp's Notes on the Custer Fight, edited by Kenneth Hammer, Brigham Young University Press 1976 page 99
Giovanni Martini (aka John Martin) was Custer's last messenger, giving to Captain Benteen the message "Bring packs, be quick". Benteen stated in 1879 that Martini had told him that Custer was winning the day, that the Indians were skedaddling. Here is what Martin says about this event (Walter Camp's notes during the interview):
Martin now rode fast and met Benteen on Benteen Creek and came back with him. Martin says when he gave message to Benteen, Benteen asked: "Where is General Custer?" Martin said: "About 3 miles from here." Benteen said, "Is [Custer] being attacked or not?" and Martin said: "Yes, [he] is being attacked" and said no more. Martin is positive that he did not tell Benteen ... that Indians were "skeddaddling.". . .
LITTLE BIGHORN CAMPAIGN