7th Cavalry - Reno’s Battalion

08 August 2018

Reno’s ad hoc battalion comprised of three companies of the 7th US cavalry. The companies assigned to Reno were companies A, G & M.

During the approach to the Little Bighorn River, Major Reno, with his three companies, was ordered to attack the Indian village from the south. Custer had earlier informed Reno that he would be “supported by the whole Regiment”. 

As he approached the village Indian warriors began responding and ran to meet him. Major Reno called a halt and dismounted his men to form a skirmish line. 

Outflanked by Indians his skirmish line began to fall back to the woods along the river.

Reno held out in the woods as more Indian warriors arrived. Warriors began to infiltrate the woods and Reno decided his defensive position in the woods was undefendable.

Reno suddenly mounted and ordered a charge which turned into a rout across the river, some of the men from Company G were left in the woods.

Those who stayed in the woods eventually made it back to Reno's defensive position across the river the others were killed as they ran.

Reno lost roughly 22% of his battalion strength from those who began the attack on the village at the start of the action.

Thirteen troopers who survived the battle were awarded the Medal of Honor for their bravery. Reno however suffered a lot of criticism for his actions and this as his only reward for it.

The records show that between 1868 and 1878 the Army conducted nineteen attacks on Indian villages.

Only one was unsuccessful and that was Reno's Attack. 

The Project for Reno’s Battalion so far 

Reno’s Battalion is now based as both Mounted and Dismounted, we are showing them this way as these were distinct tactics in the Cavalry regulations at the time. Dismounting gives troopers a distinct advantage in skirmishing and firing.

So here is Reno’s Battalion mounted with him in command.

And below is Reno’s command dismounted. We decided that we were going to leave the Command stands mounted so they could be seen better in the game. 

Now they just need to be painted, bases prepared and varnished. So, still no rush then?