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The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part 3)

What do you know about The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part III)?  Discover this US History Fun Trivia Quiz.  "Check Your Answers" at the end of the page.

Trivia powered by Prof. Walter1) The first group to attack is Major Marcus Reno's second detachment (Companies M, A and G), conducted after receiving orders from Custer, as Custer's Crow scouts reports Sioux tribe members are alarming the village. Who gives Major Reno, Custer's order?

  • Lt. William W. Cooke
  • Lt. John M. Jackson
  • Lt. Mark Reynolds
  • Lt. John Baker

2) Reno's force crosses the Little Bighorn at the mouth of what is today Reno Creek. What is the time?

  • around 3:00 a.m.
  • around 11:00 a.m.
  • around 1:00 p.m.
  • around 3:00 p.m.

3) Reno advances rapidly across the open field towards the northwest, his movements masked by the thick bramble of trees that run along the southern banks of the Little Bighorn river. The same trees on his front right shield his movements across the wide field over which his men rapidly ride, first with two approximately forty-man companies abreast and eventually with all three charging abreast. The trees also obscure Reno's view of the American Indian village until his force have passed that bend on his right front and is suddenly within arrow shot of the village.

  • True or False?

4) He orders his troopers to dismount and deploy in a skirmish line, according to standard army doctrine. In this formation, every fourth trooper holds the horses for the troopers in firing position, with five to ten yards separating each trooper, officers to their rear and troopers with horses behind the officers.

  • True or False?

5) After about 20 minutes of long-distance firing, Reno has taken only one casualty, but the odds against him have risen and Custer has not reinforced him. Trooper Billy Jackson reports that by then, the Indians have begun massing in the open area shielded by a small hill to the left of the Reno's line and to the right of the Indian village. From this position the Indians mount an attack against the left and rear of Reno's line (3), turning Reno's exposed left flank. How many warriors make the attack.

  • 150 warriors
  • 250 warriors
  • 500 warriors
  • 750 warriors

6) They forced a hasty withdrawal into the timber along the bend in the river.(4) Here the Indians pinned Reno and his men down and set fire to the brush to try to drive the soldiers out of their position.

  • True or False?

7) After giving orders to mount, dismount and mount again, Reno tells his men, "All those who wish to make their escape follow me," and leads a disorderly rout across the river toward the bluffs on the other side. The retreat is immediately disrupted by Cheyenne attacks at close quarters. Later Reno reports that troopers have been killed during the retreat and subsequent fording of the river, with another officer and 13-18 men missing. Most of these men are left behind in the timber, although many eventually rejoin the detachment. According to Reno, how many men are killed?

  • 12
  • 22
  • 32
  • 42

8) Reno's hasty retreat may have been precipitated by the death of his Arikara Scout, who has been shot in the head. Who is the dead Arikara Scout?

  • Raging Bull
  • Cheyenne Bodie
  • White Cloud
  • Bloody Knife

9) Atop the bluffs, known today as Reno Hill, Reno's shaken troops are joined by Captain Benteen's column (Companies D, H and K), arriving from the south. This force has been on a lateral scouting mission when it has been summoned by Custer's messenger, Italian bugler John Martin (Giovanni Martini) with the hand-written message "Come on...big village, be quick...bring pacs" ("pacs" referring to ammunition, meaning that by this time Custer is most likely aware of the large numbers of Indians they are having to face).

  • True or False?

10) Their detachments are reinforced by Company B and the pack train. The 14 officers and 340 troopers on the bluffs organized an all-around defense and dug rifle pits using whatever implements they had among them, including knives. Who commands Company B and the pack train?

  • Capt. Thomas McDougald
  • Capt. Richard Reed
  • Capt. Philip Carey
  • Capt. Warren K. Harding

11) Despite hearing heavy gunfire from the north, including distinct volleys at 4:20 p.m., Benteen concentrates on reinforcing Reno's badly wounded and hard-pressed detachment, rather than continuing on toward Custer. Benteen's apparent reluctance to reach Custer prompts later criticism that he has failed to follow orders. Around 5:00 p.m., Capt. Thomas Weir and Company D move out against orders to make contact with Custer. They advance a mile, to what is today Weir Ridge or Weir Point, and can see in the distance Indian warriors on horseback shooting at objects on the ground. Custer's battle may have concluded. What is the believed time?

  • 5:05 p.m.
  • 5:15 p.m.
  • 5:25 p.m.
  • 5:35 p.m.

12) The other entrenched companies eventually follow Weir by assigned battalions, first Benteen, then Reno, and finally the pack train. Growing Indian attacks around Weir Ridge force all seven companies to return to the bluff. There, they remain pinned down for another day, but the Indians are unable to breach this tightly held position. How far has the pack train traveled before returning to the original Reno Hill position?

  • Quarter mile
  • Half mile
  • One mile
  • Five miles

Check Your Answers


The Battle of the Little Bighorn (Part III) Answers

  1. Lt. William W. Cooke
  2. around 3:00 p.m.
  3. True
  4. True
  5. 500 warriors
  6. True
  7. 42
  8. Bloody Knife
  9. True
  10. Capt. Thomas McDougald
  11. 5:25 p.m.
  12. Quarter mile

(3) Goodrich, Thomas. Scalp Dance: Indian Warfare on the High Plains, 1865�1879. Mechanicsburg, PA: Stackpole Books, 1997. p. 242.

(4) Perrett, Bryan. Last Stand: Famous Battles Against the Odds. London: Arms & Armour, 1993; p. 8.

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