Wild West

GALLOPING TO THEIR DOOM?

In the 1991 ABC miniseries Son of the Morning Captain Frederick W. Benteen blames a “forced night march” for having exhausted the 7th U.S. Cavalry’s horses and men prior to their rendezvous with destiny at the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory. Others have also noted the regiment’s rapid pace and the exhausted condition of George A. Custer’s command prior to the June 25–26, 1876, battle. The 2012 documentary , for example, presumes the colonel “pushed his column hard” and that his men were “exhausted.” Such assertions imply Custer alone intended to strike the Lakota-Cheyenne village on the Little Bighorn in a quest for glory for himself and his regiment contrary to written orders.

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