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Charles DeRudio's Story of the Battle
LIEUTENANT CHARLES DeRUDIO'S LETTER
Camp on N. side Yellowstone, July 5, '76
I HAD A NARROW escape at the battle of the Little Bighorn on the 25 & 26 of June and I will endeavor to give you my experience of Indian fighting. At about 10 A.M. on the 25th June, Gen. Custer's scouts returned and reported that they had discovered an Indian village about 15 miles distant, on the Little Bighorn, and that from what they had seen, they supposed the Indians to be retreating before our advance. We continued our march two or three miles farther when a halt was ordered and Gen. Custer began preparations for attacking the. enemy. He detailed Co's. H, D & K, under the command of Col. F. W. Benteen to take the left of our route, with orders, so I hear, to sweep everything in his way: Co's. M, A, & G were put under the command of Col. Reno; and being temporarily attached to Co. A, I found myself with this division. Gen. Custer took Co's. E, I, F, L & C, and occupied the right of the line of attack. The remaining Company, B, was left to guard the packtrain. After marching two or three miles, our command, the center, was ordered to trot and hold the gait until we reached the river, six or seven miles distant. Having reached the river, we forded, and on reaching the plain beyond the opposite bank, we were ordered into line of battle...
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