The Little Bighorn fairy tale
By a visitor:
"I'm very impressed by your constance in defending the man, the soldier, his life and even his tactical choice at Washica and LBH. (...) And I must admit, also, that evidence you offer against Benteen's and Reno's behavior at LBH are really impressive (expecially about significant difference between statements in 1876 and statements made three years later (I'm a man of law and, in my country's procedural law, a such evident difficulty of a defendant in offering a constant version of facts is commonly regarded, in a criminal case, as a SIGNIFICANT proof of guiltness...).
On the other hand, I still think Custer wasn't a military genius, and I must criticize firmly his tactical decision at LBH: not only he divided his regiment IN FOUR (more than at Washita) in front of a enemy of wich number He knowed NOTHING (while reinforcement was by the way, and it was possible for the 7 cavalry to maintain contact with slow-moving village), but Custer also used Reno's bataillon a "matador muleta" while hoping to be able to deliver the final and decisive hit against ...(as the angry sioux warrior ask to Mitch Boyer in the BBC movie just before killing him) CHILDREN, WOMEN AND OLD MEN camped and "got napped"... I guess it wasn't the gentleman/office best behavior (again, being a law man I must underline to you that a such conduct would cost today a charge of criminal war conduct (...).
And, finally (and moreover), in dividing his command at LBH and sending Benteen toward sout/west with uncertain orders and Reno toward south as MULETA, Custer placed his life and the life of another 210 men in the hands of two officers who were NOT FRIENDLY toward him (as euphemism) amd it was not a wise conduct. Nevertheless, after all I must say thank you for your site, for You gave back to me THE FIRST HERO of my youth and the interest for LBH, GAC, long- time forgotten."
Thanks for having watched the videos. I was sure that some stuff on video could
interest many people and push them forward to reopen the LBH case. What I want
you to understand is that the LBH mystery has NEVER been one by fatality, or
bad luck. Since day one, since June 25, 1876, some people worked to make the
battle look like an impossible mystery (it's pretty much what happened with JFK
assassination). Contradicted statements began to be spread in the press.
Unanimous condemnation of Custer was spread without any inquiry being done. I
mean, can we accept that one of the most famous disaster of the US history, the
battle of the Little Bighorn, didn't have any inquiry? This is highly
suspicious, to say the least. The Fetterman Massacre (83 dead men), ten years before Little
Big Horn, provoked an inquiry. The Little Big Horn Massacre,
266 casualties with General Custer as one of the fallen men, provoked sadness,
anger, but no inquiry at all.
The press and the people asked questions about the encounter, but didn't receive
any answers. The New York Herald published an article pointing out that 2/3 of
Custer's men were out of the battle when Custer was killed, but the army never
opened the case.
People were so outraged that Major Reno eventually asked for an inquiry. The
Reno Court of Inquiry, the only official inquiry about the battle, was never
asked by the US army, but by a single officer who wanted to have a legal
protection against the anger of the public! It's amazing, and very suspicious.
It's criminal. George A. Custer never received any legal protection. The army
just pushed him in the grave.
During the Reno Court of Inquiry (RCOI), Major Reno lied several times, gave a
false map and a false petition (see "the LBH cover-up"). His
statements didn't match with any other testimony by witnesses, except Captain
Benteen's, whose testimony was obcene, to say the least. Benteen even
acknowledged that Custer had to take care of himself ! No army could ever accept
such an outrage coming from a soldier. He clearly stated that he didn't want to
When the RCOI ended the hearings, the responsible of the court, Lieutenant Jesse
Lee, made the final statement. He said that Major Reno was innocent, altough he
aknowledged that the Major had lied about not hearing Custer's battle from Reno
In other words, the court knew that Reno was lying, that Benteen was lying, but
didn't condemn their guiltness. The officer responsible for the whole court,
General Merritt, told Lee that the court had whitewashed Reno. Jesse Lee
himself wrote to General Nelson Miles, US general in chief, and told him that
the whole court was a joke, that the hearing had not been shown to the public,
that General Custer was clearly betrayed by his subordinates.
US General in chief Nelson Miles published his Memoirs in 1898 and wrote that
Custer had been betrayed. The RCOI papers were not shown to the public and were
released in 1951, when a colonel insisted to see them.
The papers of the hearing were themselves very suspicious. Many pages were
missing. Some pages were written by two different secretaries during the same
hearing (it means that a part of the hearing wasn't written down). Part of
the pages were missing. Some pages were simply copies of articles written in
the press, and not the real pages of the court.
A military lawman told Marine Robert Nightengale in 1995 that the results of the
court were a joke, to say the least. The results were not fair, and the evidence
were false, or biased.
Worse, this court, the only official inquiry made on the battle, opened THREE
YEARS after the battle, in 1879 ! Benteen's famous order "Be quick, bring
packs", remained in Benteen's hands during three full years. It's totally
Worse again, some witnesses, such as Captain French, who was highly critical
of Reno's performance, weren't heard by the court. French was, in fact,
court-martialed a short time before the court to forbid him to testify. Some
other witnesses, such as Private Martin and Gerard, were threatened by Benteen,
Reno and Sheridan himself, who all wanted to close the case. For Benteen and
Reno, it was a matter of survival. For Sheridan, it was a matter of money: if
the betrayal had been shown, the Congress would have cut the funds of the army
(the Congress was actually working on that, but closed the procedure after the
Little Bighorn because the army put Custer's defeat on the lack of ammunition
and material. The funds for the army quickly doubled).
I mean, the entire LBH affair was closed down since the beginning. The army
didn't want any embarassment and the guilty ones didn't want the death penalty.
They all invented a fairy tale that is still used today. Despite the complete
lack of evidence, we still believe that Custer was warned by his scouts of not
attacking, that there were thousands of Indians, that the village was 5 square
miles large etc. It's simply not true. And it was made that way. As a lawman,
you can easily see that there's nothing legal in the whole affair. Custer's
guiltness process is unlawful since the beginning.
Let's start from the beginning:
1) Custer knew that he would fight 1'000 to 1'500 warriors. He had reports about
that, and Lieutenant Godfrey and others testified that Custer told him so. At
Little Bighorn, to the contrary of what the myth says, Custer found exactly the
1'500 warriors he was waiting for.
Despite what the myth says, the village was only 2 to 3 kilometers long, and not
5 or 6.
2) Custer's Indian scouts told Custer to attack at once, because they had been
discovered by the "hostiles". Custer decided so when he heard that a box of
bread had been discovered by Indians, who had run back to the village. Custer
wanted the surprise and couldn't let the Indians run away. Unknown to him, the
village wasn't warned by his coming.
3) Custer didn't know if there was any satellite village around the main one,
like it was the case at Washita. He couldn't move toward the village if there
were any warriors around him, in other village along the river. He sent Captain
Benteen downriver to look for the satellite villages. Normal decision.
4) When Custer arrived near the Lone Teepee, he saw Indians running away. He
understood that he had to attack before the Indians could run. He ordered Major
Reno to to a front attack, to attract the Indians. Witnesses said that Custer
wanted Reno to attact the warriors, to stop their supposed scattering. During
any Indian battle, the Indians had started to run away. There was nothing
different in this battle, except that the village hadn't been warned (a strong
mistake by the Indians!) and that some warriors, who had danced the whole
night, were still sleeping.
5) While Reno was attacking in front of the village, Custer turned to the center
of the village. He sent a message to Benteen to come on at once. Custer realized
that there wasn't any satellite village. The village was big and the warriors
were all there. He needed Benteen's support.
Benteen was on his way back without finding any Indian. When he received
Custer's message, he didn't go at a gallop. In fact, Benteen moved slowly all
along the way. His subordinate, Captain Weir, was so angry at him that he left
him twice to make the column move faster. An officer testified that no one
understood why Benteen was moving so slowly, even with specific orders to "be
quick". The ammunition Benteen had to carry weren't the whole pack train, as it
is often said, but "extra ammunition" that the troopers could carry with them.
Benteen had no reason to slow down as he did. He simply disobeyed his orders
and let Reno and Custer down.
5) Custer was waiting for Benteen, but the captain wasn't there. Custer realized
that he had to support Reno without Benteen's help. Custer initial plan was to
capture (not ATTACK, as you said, but capture) the women and children. It was
his mission : with women and children captured, Custer could convince the whole
village to come back to the reservation, which was his main mission. Custer
never expected to kill civilians, but to capture them.
6) Custer moved down to the river and attracted the warriors. He clearly
expected that the warriors would be divided, and that Benteen could come at
time to control the warriors with Reno, while Custer himself could capture the
noncombattants. Unknown to him, Reno had left the valley after 20 minutes of
fighting, without any rear guard or organization. Custer was alone.
7) Custer began to fight with the Indians. Benteen joined Reno and they both
waited on their hill during one hour and a half. No Indian was around them,
they were alone (witnesses told the RCOI that it was "quiet", that the warriors
had all left them for Custer). Custer tried to capture the civilians while
stopping the warriors who attacked him. He was still acting as if his
subordinates would support him. But they never did.
On Reno's position, Reno and Benteen were hearing Custer's battle. An anxious
Captain Weir asked them to join Custer at once. They both refused.
8) Custer died on his hill after more than two hours of battle. Captain Weir's
units saw that the battle was still raging, but Benteen and Reno ordered them
to fall back.
1/3 of the 7th cavalry was slaughtered on Custer battlefield, while 2/3 of the
unit just... watched them from a distant hill.
General Miles made an analysis of the LBH battlefield with a cavalry unit. He
stated on his book that 15 minutes would have brought the 7th cavalry together.
It was a clear betrayal, and everybody quickly understood what was at stake.
This explains why the Little Big Horn mystery was created without any legal
inquiry, without any answers to questions asked by the public.
The mystery of the Little Big Horn is a fairy tale. The "we will never know"
crowd is hiding a criminal act.
Even the US general in chief aknowledged it in 1898, but who listened to him?
The fairy tale could go on. It still does.