The RCOI and the witnesses

Publié le par custerwest

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Little Bighorn veteran Gerard explained to Walter Camp the pressure put on the shoulders of the witnesses during the Inquiry on the battle
source: Robert Nightengale, Little Big Horn, FarWest Publishing, 1996, page 171

(Major Reno’s attorney) has written me since it was wholly satisfactory to Army People (…) they knew just was I thought long before the trial. I was closed mouth as I could be.”
 Letter written by Captain Frederick Benteen

Walter Camp's notes of the interview with Scout and Little Bighorn veteran Frederic Gerard about the Reno Court of Inquiry, convened January 13, 1879, to study Major Reno's actions (and also Captain Benteen's) during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

"(Scout) Fred Gerard said the general understanding among all (witnesses of the inquiry) whom he talked with confidentially was that any officer who made himself obnoxious to (Major Reno’s) defense would incur the wrath of certain officers in pretty high authority in certain department headquarters father west than Washington, and not as far west as St Paul (aka General Sheridan’s headquarters).
There was much dining and wining all the time the trial was going on and (Fred Gerard) knew the whole object was to compromise certain of the witnesses.
(…) It was amusing therefore to see how badly some of the memories had failed in the space of less than three years since the battle.
It was made the business of certain ones active for (Major Reno’s) defense to get hold of all the doubtful witnesses (of the Inquiry) before they were called (to testify in the court) and entertain them well. On such occasions, they were cautiously sounded and discreetly primed."
  eye of truth

Eclaireur Frederic Gerard
Scout Frederic Gerard

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