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July 05 , 2008

The Reno Court of Inquiry: Day Nine


On June 25-26, 1876, five companies of the 7th U.S. Cavalry, led by Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer, engaged Sioux and Cheyenne warriors at the Little Bighorn River, in what is now Montana. The battle resulted in one of the worst disasters in U.S. military history. The 7th Cavalry lost 268 men, including Custer himself. The second in command, Major Marcus A. Reno, who survived the battle, requested a court of inquiry to clear allegations of dereliction of duty. The Reno court of inquiry was held at the Palmer House in Chicago, from January 13 through February 11, 1879. The original transcript of these proceedings, heavily consulted by military professionals and historians alike and beginning to deteriorate, was retyped in 1933 under the direction of Colonel William A. Graham, Military Affairs Section Chief of the Judge Advocate General’s Office.

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