"WE HEARD THE FIRING OF CUSTER'S BATTLE"
sources: pages quoted in text. The Reno Court of Inquiry (official report, Ronald Nichols' edition, 1995). Robert Nightengale, Little Big Horn, FarWest Publishing, 1996
"I did not hear any firing." Major Reno, 1879, Reno Court of Inquiry
"I did not hear volleys." Captain Benteen, 1879, Reno Court of Inquiry
Watch the new custerwest.org video below or read the transcript !
Major Marcus Reno’s official report, 1876 (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 642):
“We heard firing downriver and knew it could only be Custer.”
Lieutenant Winfield Edgerly (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 444):
“Shortly after I got to the hill, almost immediately, I heard firing and remarked heavy firing, by volleys, down the creek. Captain Weir came to me and said that General Custer was engaged and we ought to go down. I said I thought so too. (…) Captain Weir went away, walking up and down rather anxiously.”
Lieutenant Luther Hare (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 290):
“It was just after Captain Benteen came up with his command. My attention was called to it by (Lieutenant) Godfrey. He asked if I heard that volley. I said yes, I heard two distinct volleys. That was just before I started for the pack train. "
Captain Myles Moylan (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 236):
“I simply called (Lieutenant) McDougall’s attention to it and asked what he thought it was. He said he supposed it was General Custer firing at the other end of the village.”
Lieutenant Thomas McDougall (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 420):
“It was just two volleys. I told Major Reno about it and he said: “Captain, I just lost your lieutenant, he is lying down there.” (…) The firing was down the Little Bighorn from him and as I was going toward Major Reno, the firing was on my right. (…) I thought it must be General Custer and the Indians.”
Lieutenant Charles Varnum (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 160):
“About the time, or probably a few minutes after Benteen came up, I heard firing from away down stream and spoke of it to Lieutenant Wallace. (…) I heard the firing and said: “Jesus Christ, Wallace, hear that! And that!” Those were my words.”
“It was not like volley firing but a heavy fire, a sort of crash, crash. (…) It must have pertained to Custer’s command at the other end of the Indian village. (…) I thought he was having a warm time down there, a very hot fire evidently.”
Civilian Packer Benjamin Churchill to the RCOI (Robert Nightengale, Little Big Horn, FarWest Publishing, page 113):
“The firing I heard appeared to come from the lower end of the village. Others heard it and spoke of it.”
Private Edward Davern, Reno's orderly (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 57):
“(While hearing the firing), I said to Captain Weir, “That must be General Custer fighting in the bottom.”
Sergeant Ferdinand Culbertson (Nichols, Reno Court of Inquiry, page 373):
“At first it was a couple of volleys, very heavy, afterwards it was lighter and appeared to be more distant. Lieutenant Varnum made the remark that General Custer was hotly engaged."