Battle of Little Bighorn: 45 – More of Custer’s Men, Scouts, and Interpreters

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"The Custer Fight" by Charles Marion Russell. Lithograph. Shows the Battle of Little Bighorn, from the Indian side.

KEOGH, CAPTAIN MYLES W.

The name Keogh, fittingly at least for Myles, in Latin means “soldier.” Keogh is often remembered in history because his horse, Comanche, is said to be the only known survivor of the Battle of the Little Bighorn. In 1869, Keogh wrote his brother that he regarded Indian fighting as “the most worrying service in the world.” He also noted that June never failed to bring him an unpleasant occurrence, and concluded this statement with “Let us see what it will bring forth this time, though it would be another seven years before a June brought him an extremely unpleasant occurrence. Keogh was Company Commander of Company I.

WEIR, CAPTAIN THOMAS B.

Weir seems to have had a knack for socializing with women easily and was a good conversationalist. Libbie Custer thought highly of him, and it may be because of these two attributes that a rumor was attempted concerning the relationship between Mrs. Custer and Weir. But this sorry tale does not seem to hold any truth. During Custer’s court-martial trial, Weir was deeply concerned for Custer and offered his services by performing “any little favor I may be able to give” and adding that “I am anxious in the affair to go on your side.”

COOKE, LIEUTENANT WILLIAM W.

Cook was a Canadian soldier of fortune. He was the 7th Cavalry’s adjutant. It is his historic note, scribed on a page torn from his memorandum book, that requested Benteen to hurry along with the ammunition packs during the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

MARTIN, SERGEANT JOHN

Martin, of Italian ancestry, was formerly known as Giovanni Martini. He became Custer’s orderly on June 25, 1876. Martin carried Custer’s last message to Benteen, saying “Come on. Big Village. Be quick. Bring Packs.” Consequently, Martin was the last surviving trooper to see the Custer battalion alive.

VARNUM, LIEUTENANT CHARLES A.

Varnum was in charge of Custer’s Indian scouts. He was the last surviving officer of Reno’s command.

SMITH, LIEUTENANT ALGERNON .

Smith was Company Commander for Company E.

YATES, CAPTAIN GEORGE W.

Yates was Company Commander for Company F.

PORTER, DOCTOR HENRY R.

Porter was one of three doctors attached to the 7th Cavalry.

LORD, DOCTOR GEORGE E.

Lord was the 7th Cavalry’s Chief Medical Officer. He was with Custer to the bitter end.

DE WOLF, DOCTOR JAMES M.

DeWolf was with Reno. He set up a field hospital in a depression atop the bluffs during Reno’s hill-top fight.

A FEW OF CUSTER’S SCOUTS AND INTERPRETERS

GERARD, FRED

Gerard was a civilian interpreter for Custer’s Arikara scouts. After Custer was told that the Indians camped along the Little Bighorn River were escaping, Gerard was the first to bring word that they were not running but preparing to attack.

BOUYER, MITCH

Bouyer was a half-blood and an interpreter for Custer’s Crow scouts. He predicted that there was going to be “a damned big fight.” Both he and Bloody Knife warned Custer that there were more hostiles than they could handle.

BLOODY KNIFE

This scout was the son of a Sioux father and an Arikara mother. He was also with Custer on the expedition to the Black Hills.

REYNOLDS, “LONESOME” CHARLEY

Reynolds’ service to Custer dates back at least to the expedition to the Black Hills. It was Reynolds who delivered Custer’s message to Fort Laramie after gold was discovered in the Black Hills.