The tactical fight was a shambles. He was given a job to do and blew it. Benteen would have arrived to him in the valley.
It was a tactical shambles only due to Custer mismanagement of resources. Regarding Benteen arrival, if frogs had wings they would not bump their a$$es on lily pads. I am not a very windy person, I expressed my view.
I can see clearly now, ........ with an itinery dated as it is/was.
Quote - 'We moved on, and when near the butte Lt Varnum joined us and reported that the Indians had discovered the command and that he had seen couriers go in the direction of the village. Gen Custer assembled the officers, told them what he had heard, and said he would move ahead and attack the village without any further delay.'
APPENDIX - PP
REPORT OF THE CHIEF OF ENGINEERS.
REPORT OF LIEUTENANT GEORGE D. WALLACE, SEVENTH CAVALRY. Saint Paul, Minn., January 27, 1877.
Sir: I have the honour to submit the following report of the march and the country passed over by the Seventh Regiment of Cavalry from the 22d to the 25th of June, 1876:
At 12pm.of 22d of June, 1876, the 7th Cavalry, under Lt-Col Custer, left camp on the Yellowstone and moved up that stream 2 miles to the mouth of the Rosebud, then up the Rosebud. We crossed the latter near its mouth. It was a clear running stream, from 3 to 4 feet wide, and about 3 inches deep; bottom gravel, but in many places water standing in pools. Water slightly alkaline. Owing to delays with the pack-train the command moved only about 12 miles that day. We camped on the left bank of the Rosebud, at the base of a steep bluff. We had plenty of wood and water, and grass for our animals. During the greater part of the march the trail followed the high ground, or second bottom, where the soil was poor, the grass thin, and crowded out by sage-brush and cactus. In the lower part of the valley the soil appeared to be good, the grazing fair, the bottom timbered with large cottonwood. Small willows grew thickly along the banks in many places. For the first 8 miles the hills sloped back gradually, but near camp were more abrupt, and covered with stones and cactus. Several deep ravines were crossed during the day. The only serious obstacle to a wagon-train would be the numerous crossings of the bends of the Rosebud. Weather clear, but not unpleasantly warm. No game visible. Plenty of fish in the Creek.
June 23, 1876.— Orders were given last night that trumpet-signals would be discontinued, that the stable-guards would wake their respective companies at 3am., and the command would move at 5am. Gen Custer stated that short marches would be made for the first few days, after that they would be increased. All were ready at the appointed time, and the command moving out we crossed to the right bank of the Rosebud. The bluff being very broken, we had to follow the valley for some distance, crossing the Rosebud five times in 3 miles; thence up the right side for about 10 miles. There we halted, to allow the pack-train to close up. Soon after starting, crossed to the left bank and followed that for 15 miles, and camped on right bank at 4.30pm, making a distance of over 30 miles. The last of the pack-train did not get into camp until near sunset. About 5 miles from our last camp we came to the trail made by Maj. Reno, a few days previous, and a few miles farther on saw the first traces of the Indian camps. They were all old, but everything indicated a large body of Indians. Every bend of the stream bore traces of some old camp, and their ponies had nipped almost, every spear of gross. The ground was strewn with broken bones and cuttings from buffalo hides. The country passed over after the first few miles was rolling, and a few deep ravines the only obstacle to hinder the passage of a wagon-train. Soil poor, except along the creek. Grass all eaten up. Plenty of cottonwood along the creek. During the last 5 or 6 miles of the march, the cottonwood timber was gradually replaced by ash and a species of elder. The valley was about one-fourth of a mile wide, and for the last 15 miles the hills were, very steep and rocky, sandstone being present. The country back from the hills looked to be very much broken. The hills were covered with a short growth of pines. No game seen during the day; weather warm and clear.
June 24, 1876.— The command moved at 5am this morning. After we had been on the march about an hour, our Crow scouts came in and reported fresh signs of Indians, but in no great numbers. After a short consultation, Gen Custer, with an escort of two companies, moved out in advance, the remainder of the command following at a distance of about half a mile. We followed the right bank of the Rosebud; crossed two running tributaries, the first we had seen. At 1pm tho command was halted, scouts sent ahead, and the men made coffee. The scouts got back about 4pm, and reported a fresh camp at the forks of the Rosebud. Everything indicated that the Indians were not more than thirty miles away. At 5pm the command moved out; crossed to left bank of Rosebud; passed through several large camps. The trail now was fresh, and the whole valley scratched up by the trailing lodge-poles. At 7:45pm we encamped on the right bank of Rosebud. Scouts were sent ahead to see which branch of the stream the Indians had followed. Distance marched today, about 28 miles. Soil in the valley very good, and in many places grazing very fine. Timber scattering, principally elder and ash. Hills rough and broken, and thickly covered with pines. Weather clear and very warm. About 9pm the scouts returned and reported that the Indians had crossed the divide to the Little Big Horn River. Gen Custer determined to cross the divide that night, to conceal the command, the next day find out the locality of the village, and attack the following morning at daylight. Orders were given to move at midnight, but we did not get off until near 1am and owing to delays on account of pack-train, we had only marched about 8 miles when daylight appeared. We halted, and the men were ordered to make coffee. While waiting here a scout came back from Lt Varnum, who had been sent out the night before. In a note to Gen Custer, Lt Varnum stated that he could see the smoke of the village about 20 miles away, on the Little Big Horn. The scout pointed out the butte from which the village could be seen. It was about 8 miles ahead.
We moved on, and when near the butte Lt Varnum joined us and reported that the Indians had discovered the command and that he had seen couriers go in the direction of the village. Gen Custer assembled the officers, told them what he had heard, and said he would move ahead and attack the village without any further delay.
At 12 pm on the 25th, we crossed the divide between the Rosebud and Little Big Horn. From the divide could be seen the valley of the Little Big Horn, and about 15 or 20 miles to the northwest could be seen a light blue cloud, and to practiced eyes showed that our game was near. A small stream starting from the point near where we crossed the divide flowed in the direction of the smoke. After the assignment of battalions was made, Gen Custer followed down the right bank of this stream, and Maj. Reno the left. When within three miles of Little Big Horn, Maj. Reno was ordered across to the right bank and the two columns moved together for some distance, when Maj. Reno was ordered ahead. He re-crossed this stream, moved down it, crossed the Little Big Horn, halted his column. formed line and moved down the valley and commenced the battle of June 25.
In passing from the Rosebud to the Little Big Horn, we followed up the left branch of the first, then up a dry ravine to the crest of the divide; grass short, soil poor, hills low. From the crest to the Little Big Horn the country was broken and the valley narrow; some timber along the little stream we followed down. Distance travelled during the night of the 24th and on the 25th about 6 miles.
I am, sir, very respectfully, your obedient servant,
Geo. D. Wallace, First Lieutenant and Adjutant Seventh Cavalry.