Taken from "Custer's Last Stand" by Mort Kunstler


The 7th

The Campaign

The Village

The Troopers

7th Marches

June 25th

The Aftermath



Custer's scouts and non-military personnel


When the 7th Cavalry left the Yellowstone on June 22nd it included the following scouts and other non-military personnel:

  • Lt. Charles Varnum                Chief of Scouts (actually, counted as military personnel)
  • Scouts:                                    George Herendeen, Bloody Knife (Ree)
  • Guides:                                    'Lonesome' Charley Reynolds, Mitch Boyer
  • Interpreters:                            Fred Gerard, Isaiah Dorman
  • Crow Scouts:                           6 
  • Arikara (Ree) Scouts:            25
  • Dakota Scouts:                       4
  • Quarter Master Employees:  6 packers plus Boston Custer*
  • Civilians:                                 2 (reporter Mark Kellogg, Custer nephew Autie Reed)

* The scouts, guides and interpreters listed separately were also considered Quarter Master Employees.

Of these 50 non-military personnel (not including Lt. Varnum), 36 served with Major Reno in the valley fight. These included scouts Herendeen and Bloody Knife, guide Reynolds, the two interpreters, the four Dakota Scouts, and two of the Crow scouts; Half Yellow Face and White Swan. The six packers served with the pack train. That leaves the four Crow Scouts, Boston Custer, Mitch Boyer and the two civilians, all of whom rode with Custer. The four Crow scouts who road with Custer were Curley, Goes Ahead, Hairy Moccasin and White Man Runs Him.

The following were either killed in action (KIA) or wounded in action (WIA), representing an 18% attrition rate for non-military personnel:

  • George Herendeen WIA,
  • Bloody Knife KIA,
  • Boston Custer KIA,
  • Charley Reynolds KIA,
  • Mitch Boyer KIA,
  • Isaiah Dorman KIA,
  • White Swan WIA.
  • Bob Tail Bull KIA (Ree scout)
  • Goose WIA (Ree scout)

All data compiled from Custer's Last Campaign, Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed by John S. Gray.

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