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Reno and Apsaalooka survive Custer

Author: Ottie W Reno
Publisher: New York : Cornwall Books, ©1997.
Edition/Format:   Print book : Biography : EnglishView all editions and formats
Database:WorldCat
Summary:
This book deals with the life of Major Marcus A. Reno, who was dismissed from the U.S. Army in 1880, and the subsequent effort by his relatives and other Civil War buffs to reopen his case and restore him to his rank.
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Genre/Form: Biography
Named Person: Marcus A Reno; Marcus A Reno
Material Type: Biography
Document Type: Book
All Authors / Contributors: Ottie W Reno
ISBN: 0845348620 9780845348628
OCLC Number: 34875994
Notes: Includes index.
Description: 329 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm
Responsibility: Ottie W. Reno.

Abstract:

This book deals with the life of Major Marcus A. Reno, who was dismissed from the U.S. Army in 1880, and the subsequent effort by his relatives and other Civil War buffs to reopen his case and restore him to his rank.

Perhaps the most poignant and painful event of his life was the battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, commonly called Custer's Last Stand. In that engagement, small by comparison to many of the Civil War battles in which he fought, Reno was second in command to Col. George Custer and opened the battle with a frontal assault on the Indian village. Following the famous defeat in which Custer and his entire contingent of 210 men died, the American people, reluctant to accept the fact that Sioux and Cheyenne warriors under Sitting Bull and Crazy Horse had simply defeated the Seventh Cavalry and killed the flamboyant Custer, looked for someone to blame for the defeat. Gen. Alfred Terry, Capt. F.W. Benteen, and Maj. Reno were logical targets.

Custer's widow, Elizabeth, and Frederick Whittaker, a Custer biographer, accused Reno and Benteen of doing less than their duty and even of cowardice, contributing to the massacre. A court of inquiry was held at Reno's request. It completely exonerated him but the cloud of accusation hung over his name until his death. It also set into motion a series of events that culminated in Reno's trial by a St. Paul court-martial on charges completely unrelated to the fight at Little Big Horn. Reno was found guilty of "conduct unbecoming an officer" and dismissed from the service.

His dismissal haunted Reno until his death in 1889. His family pursued the matter for another seventy-eight years. In 1967, a Pentagon hearing corrected the injustice done him, restored him to rank, and opened the door for his reburial on the Montana battlefield with full military honors.

The author brings the memory of his relative to life and allows the reader to revisit one of the most fascinating periods in American history, the taming of the western frontier, fulfilling what the white man believed was his "manifest destiny" to control the North American continent from the Atlantic to the Pacific. The author's interaction with the Crow Indians, adding their perspective on the battle, provides a unique insight into the cause and meaning of the fight at Little Big Horn for both races, white and red.

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