I'm hot on the trail of the Sharpshooter Ridge shooters. Here's what got me riled up. After my interview last week with Robert M. Utley, I decided I am going to do a Classic Gunfight on Charlie Windolph and the fight on Reno Hill during the Battle of The Little Bighorn. This will support Bob's interview with Windolph about the battle and also help fill in some gaps in the story.
In that fight, the trooper next to Charlie was killed with a shot through the heart and Windolph's Springfield rifle took a bullet to the stock, shattering it, and wounding him. Windolph tells of the shooter being out of range of their rifles (600 yards). So I sent the following request to my good friend, and former park ranger at the Little Bighorn. He lives in Rapid City, South Dakota.
Jim Hatzell Request
Hey, Jim, I want to do a portrait of Charlie Windolph holding the shattered stock of his rifle, as if he posed for a photograph after the Little Bighorn Battle with his new sergeant stripes and his battered Springfield. Of course, I want him to be wearing the appropriate jacket and uniform he probably wore that day, but more importantly, how would a shattered stock look? Any ideas?
You and I could have hit soldier after soldier if you got any type of line of sight lined up. You couldn’t miss basically as you were looking at a solid blue line of blue coat bodies in a straight line lying side by side. It was like standing next to a skirmish line and shooting down it...you are going to hit someone even if you are not a good shot. Readers think that the sniper was hitting soldiers looking at the hill, but that is incorrect. You might remember Ryan said they pivoted right and turned and fired. He had been receiving flank fire from the hill. With a good rifle all you had to do was rest it on a rock and shoot straight and you would hit something. You were looking at one long line of soldiers. This is an equation unknown except for me and the few I have taken up there."
Now, about that white guy dressed like an In-din who was found on a tree burial? What the hell is that about? Little Big Man, indeed!