LITTLE BIGHORN CAMPAIGN
Historian Michno on the duration of the fight and Reno's/Benteen's behavior
THEIR BEST INTERESTS
http://www.david-strathairn.com : Son of the Morning Star (1991)
Source: Gregory F. Michno, Lakota Noon, the Indian narrative of Custer’s defeat, Missoula, Mountain Press, 1997, pages 296-297
Historian Gregory Michno, long-time specialist of the Indian wars and the Little Bighorn, wrote in 1997 one of the most brilliant books on the battle of the Little Bighorn since John Gray's "Centennial Campaign". While recollecting the Indian testimonies and putting them in a timescale, Michno made several conclusions hard to deny:
The battle wasn't short. It ended after 6.20 p.m.
“(…) The first bias I had to overcome was the time factor. A number of assessments gave me the idea that the last stand was over by five o’clock or shortly thereafter. It proved impossible to squeeze all the events described by the Indians into such a constricted temporal framework
A narrator might tell of riding against Reno in one sentence and describe shooting at trooper on Custer Hill in the next, obviously compressing events we know were separated by considerable time. As noted of Crazy Horse’s movements, these warriors did not ride winged steeds.
In addition, the Reno and Benteen survivors had a take in perpetuating the idea that the Custer fight was over quickly. It was not in the best interests of the army, or to a number of officers’ careers, if it could be shown that they dawdled for two hours during Custer’s death struggle.”