Rollins Thorpe May 3, 2008 18:12:30 GMT -5
Post by Diane Merkel on May 3, 2008 18:12:30 GMT -5
Cowley County Courant, January 12, 1882.
We recently had the pleasure of an interview with Mr. Thorpe, a brother of the gentleman who owns the Kansas tannery, in which we were given the history of some thrilling incidents.
For the past few years Mr. Thorpe has been in Wyoming and Montana Territories, engaged in the Indian service, and his life in that time has been crowned with startling scenes and stirring events. What makes his conversation of more than common interest is the fact that he was with Reno at the time of the Custer massacre, and passed through scenes calculated to try the bravest heart. He was acquainted with Custer, and helped to bury him after the saddest and most terrible tragedy of modern times. He heard Custer tell Reno when they separated to go forward, cross the Little Horn River, and attack the Indians, and he did not see Custer again until he helped to bury him in his lonely grave. He says Reno did not know of Custer's danger until two days after the massacre, when he was informed by the reinforcements under Terry, who saved Reno's own men from a like terrible fate. Reno has been severely handled for cowardice and neglect of a comrade in danger, but Mr. Thorpe says the accusations are unjust and that Reno exhibited no sign of a coward. Reno was in a desperate straight himself; hemmed in on a bluff by five or six thousand Indians, he was exposed to a merciless fire, certain massacre stared himself and his men in the face, and if Terry had not arrived, their fate would have been the same as the brave three hundred under Custer. Mr. Thorpe's experiences are well worth listening to, and we shall endeavor to call upon him often.
[An official copy, made in 1878, was made of a petition to promote Reno and Benteen. That copy shows Rollins Thorpe, a private in company M of the 7th Calvary under the command of Capt. Thomas H. French was under the command of Major Marcus A. Reno during the battle of the Little Big Horn. This petition was reprinted in the book "The Custer Myth" written by Colonel W. A. Graham and published in 1953.]
Webpage (scroll down to INTERVIEW WITH THORPE, BROTHER OF OWNER OF TANNERY):