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Little Bighorn Valley
Reno crossed the Little Bighorn and charged the upper end of the Indian camp, but was thrown back across the river. On Reno Hill he united with Captain Benteen and later the pack train. Custer, meanwhile, had vanished downstream.

Little Bighorn Valley
After scanning the valley from the bluff just north of Reno Hill, Custer led his battalion down a deep ravine to Medicine Tail Coulee, across to Deep Coulee, and up to the battle ridge. Here his command was wiped out by warriors pouring across the river from the village. Captain Weir tried to come to his aid, but was forced to turn back by Indians who met him at Weir Point.

Custer's last message
Custer's last message is now preserved in the library of the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, N.Y. At the top is Benteen's "translation" of Adjutant Cooke's hastily scrawled summons.

Lt. William W. Cooke
Lt. William W. Cooke, a Canadian soldier of fortune, was the 7th Cavalry's able adjutant. He scribbled the message on a page torn from his memorandum book, and died an hour later on Custer Hill.

Sgt. John Martin
Sgt. John Martin at the time of his retirement in 1904. As Giovanni Martini, he was detailed as Custer's orderly on June 25, 1876, and carried the last message through Sioux warriors to Benteen.


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Last Modified: Sat, Sep 28 2002 10:00:00 pm PDT

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