First Lieutenant Ernest Albert Garlington, A Troop, 7th Cavalry – Distinguished Gallantry


Garlington promptly took his place among the fighting men and kneeling in plain view of Indians who, not 30 yards away, were pouring a galling fire into his little party, he continued the fight against overwhelming odds and held the ravine.
–Col. James W. Forsyth

Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington, 7th U.S. Cavalry, circa 1876.[1]

Lieutenant Ernest A. Garlington, 7th U.S. Cavalry, circa 1876.[1]

Thirty-seven-year-old Ernest A. Garlington was the First Lieutenant of Captain Moylan’s A Troop and was commanding a detachment of that troop posted as sentinels just south of the dry ravine on the morning of December 29, 1890. Lieutenant Nicholson, the acting adjutant for 1st Battalion, mentioned speaking with Garlington just prior to the first shots fired that morning.

Just before the firing took place, I was in rear of the center of the line of tepees on the edge of the ravine with Lieut. Garlington, who was one of the officers on guard, when he remarked to me that the squaws were saddling up and packing and that he was satisfied that they would make a break. He advised me to report the fact to Major Whitside, and I was on my way to him and had reached the opening between B and K Troops when the first shot was fired by the Indians.[2]

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First Lieutenant James DeFrees Mann, K Troop, 7th Cavalry


I ordered my men to fire and the reports were almost simultaneous.

Lieut. J. D. Mann

2nd Lieut. James D. Mann, 7th Cavalry, in camp at Fort Riley, Kansas, 1888.[1]

On December 28, 1890, First Lieutenant James D. Mann, K Troop 7th Cavalry, was left in charge of his battalion’s camp at the Wounded Knee Post Office while his battalion commander, Major S. M. Whitside, rode out with over 240 troopers to meet and capture Big Foot and his band of Miniconjou Lakota. Lieutenant Mann sent the following message at 1:30 p.m. from the cavalry camp to the Assistant Adjutant General of the Department of the Platte headquartered in the field at the Pine Ridge Agency.

Major Whitside with all mounted men and mountain guns left camp at 12 m. to meet Big Foot’s band, reported to be in camp at the crossing of the Porcupine, having been reported there by Little Bat. We have in camp here two of their men, holding them as prisoners.
I have just been informed by Vespucius, a halfbreed, who has driven from the agency to this point, that he met about 50 strange Indians, who were about 9 miles from the agency and heading in that direction. These, I learn from our prisoners, are from Cherry creek and are trying to get into the agency.[2]

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Private Marvin Charles Hillock–A Lost Medal of Honor Recipient


…for distinguished bravery in action against hostile Sioux Indians, near the Catholic Mission, on White Clay Creek, South Dakota, continuing on duty though painfully wounded.

1862 MOHPrivate Marvin C. Hillock was assigned to Captain Charles A. Varnum’s B Troop sometime prior to the regiment’s departure from Fort Riley to South Dakota in November 1890. Being in B Troop, likely placed Hillock on the ‘V’ shaped angle of sentinels surrounding the council of Indians during the disarmament on Wounded Knee on the morning of December 29, 1890. This position would put him in the thick of the fight at the opening volley. Twelve of the forty-three soldiers in B Troop were casualties that day, including the company’s First Lieutenant, John C. Gresham. Of those twelve, five where killed outright and two more died later of their wounds. This was the second highest casualty rate of the ten line companies at Wounded Knee, including the artillery and Indian scouts. Only K Troop, making up the other leg of the ‘V’, had experienced more casualties, sixteen, including six killed in action and two that died of wounds. Hillock came through the battle unscathed but was not so fortunate the following day at the battle on White Clay Creek. There Hillock was one of two soldiers from B Troop wounded, the other being Private William S. Kirkpatrick. Captain Varnum recorded in the company muster roll that Private Hillock was sick in quarters suffering from a gunshot wound to his left foot received in action on December 30.[1] Continue reading

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