One really bad decision Custer made was to leave his company of Light (Horse) Artillery behind.
At this time cavalry were still composed of roughly the same TO&E as they were in the Civil War. One thing that remained the same was that Light Artillery regiments were classed as Cavalry and were attached to Cavalry units, usually split up, one company of a Light Artillery regiment sent to one Cavalry regiment, a Light Artillery regiment divided between 4-6 Cavalry Regiments as attached supporting units.
Custer had one company of Light Artillery in the form of three Gatling Guns and their ammunition limbers and at least one Mountain Howitzer, more likely three.
These Gatling guns were not heavy, being lighter than even the Mountain Howitzers and Hotchkiss Guns the Army also classed as Light Artillery, which were also not that cumbersome. These weapons were light and maneuverable enough to have kept up with Custer. Three Gatlings and a Mountain Howitzer or two deployed on high ground to cover Custer’s companies may have made a big difference that day. Indians wilted under firepower just as easily as any other opposing force…
On this I consider Custer to have been grossly negligent, especially since they would have ridden almost all the way up on the steamer Far West, right to the mouth of the Little Bighorn. It would have cost nothing to have brought his LA company.
In a devil’s advocate defense of of Audey, it’s useful to remember that in addition to Custer, George Washington, U.S. Grant, R.E. Lee, Douglas MacArthur and George S. Patton, while they went down in history... more
Unfortunately for this command, this day was Custer at his worst!!! And, Wayne, we aren't talking about the WBTS, as Eddie calls it, we -- or at least I-- am talking about an arrogant mister who was making... more