Private J.C. Pickens' Narrative

"When after that night's march we were halted on the high plain and the General made the assignments for the attack, M Troop was ordered to dismount, and I being No. 4, it fell to my lot to hold the horses. So, I did not have part of the attack, but we could distinctly hear the firing and, I think, the yelling. We were able to tell when the firing was mostly over that the fighting was done.

We men began to clamor for a move to the scene. Our corporal in charge made a feeble objection at first, but on second thought yielded and we moved down into the valley. When we came in view of the yet distant tipis, they looked white, and I, surprise remarked, 'Why they have tents.' It was the first wigwams I had ever seen.

I do not know if we were the only troop that was dismounted during the onslaught, but I have often recalled my impression as to the very narrow escape we horse-holders had on that morning, for by the time we were in camp the Indians were swarming on the bluffs around us, and if we hadn't become restless our corporal might have kept us there just a little too long..."

  1. Richard G. Hardorff, Washita Memories: Eyewitness Views of Custer's Attack on Black Kettle's Village, pgs. 200-201.

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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