Reno, Marcus A.

Highest ranking officer under Custer at Little Bighorn debacle

Price: $895.00 Special Offer - $750.00



Description:
(1834-1889) USMA 1857 career military officer in Civil War and in the Black Hills War against the Lakota (Sioux) & Northern Cheyenne. Most noted for his role in the Battle of Little Bighorn. Captain in US 1st Cavalry at Antietam, wounded at Kelly's Ford 1863, brevet major for gallant and meritorious conduct. Served at Gettysburg, 1864 battles of Cold Harbor, Trevilian Station, and Cedar Creek. Brevet colonel of 12th Penna. Cavalry Dec. 1864, brevet brigadier general March 1865 for "meritorious services during the war." Promoted to major, in Dec. 1868, joined 7th Cavalry at Ft. Hayes, Kansas, then to Fort Abraham Lincoln in Dakota Territory. With George A. Custer on his 1876 Sioux campaign, highest ranking officer under Custer at Battle of Little Bighorn in June 1876. Reno with 3 companies, was to attack from the south, while Custer with 5 companies was to cross the Little Big Horn farther north on the opposite side; Custer ordered Capt. Benteen with 3 companies to move below the Sioux camp to block the Indians from escaping to the South. Capt. Thos. McDougall's troop was to bring the pack train with ammunition and supplies. The Northern Cheyenne and Lakota warriors met Reno's attack. Reno ordered his troops to dismount and form a skirmish line, but outflanked, Reno fell back into the timber along the river. Reno scrambled across the river and up the bluffs on the other side where they set up a defensive position on what is now called Reno Hill. By this time 40 of Reno's 140 men already had been killed and 13 were wounded. Benteen soon arrived with his 3 companies, and McDougall's company came along with the supply train. Having destroyed Custer's force, the Indians took the high ground above Reno Hill and poured down constant fire on the exposed soldiers until late the next afternoon, when the Indians moved off. The next morning, the 27th, the survivors were found by Gen. Alfred Terry & Col. John Gibbon’s forces. After the Little Bighorn, Reno was assigned command of Ft. Abercrombie where, in Dec. 1876, complaints of public indecency were filed with the commander of the 7th who forwarded the complaints. Reno was ordered to surrender command and report to a board of inquiry at St Paul. Army board recommended dismissal, but President Hayes commuted this to suspension from rank and pay for 2 years. Responding to charges of cowardice and drunkenness at Little Bighorn, Reno demanded and was granted a Court of Inquiry, convened in Chicago Jan. 1879. The court did not sustain any of the charges against Reno, nor single him out for praise. In 1880, he was court-martialed 2nd time for conduct unbecoming an officer because of his drinking, convicted, dismissed from the service. Moved to Washington, hired by the Bureau of Pensions as an examiner, died at 54 following surgery for cancer of the tongue. In 1967, a US military review board reviewed Reno's 1880 court martial and his general discharge was changed to "honorable". Originally buried in an unmarked grave in Washington's Oak Hill Cemetery, his remains were re-interred in 1967 in the Custer National Cemetery, on the Little Bighorn Battlefield. DS “M. A. Reno”, 1 ¼ x 8 ¼ undated bottom portion cut from a larger form as Special Examiner (likely from service as Pension Examiner), provides his 311 Indiana Avenue, Washington DC address above his signature.

Condition: Very good
Type:Signature






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