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Major Marcus Reno’s Honor Restored


When Major Marcus Reno died in March of 1889, he was quietly buried in an unmarked grave in Washington DC.

Although officially cleared of accusations that he could have rescued Custer at the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Reno failed to escape unrelated charges of conduct unbecoming an officer. Court-martialed at Fort Meade by an officer whose son had died at the Little Bighorn, Reno was stripped of his rank and dismissed from service in 1880.

Eighty-seven years later, a military Board of Review revised Reno’s Army records to an honorable discharge as a major. With this order, Reno’s remains were disinterred on this day in 1967 and transported from Washington DC to the Custer Battlefield National Cemetery in Montana. Reburied with full military honors on September 9, 1967, guests at the ceremony included Reno’s great-grandnephew and representatives from the Cheyenne and Lakota tribes.


Nichols, Ronald H. In Custer's Shadow: Major Marcus Reno. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1999.

Reno, Ottie W. Reno and Apsaalooka Survive Custer: Associated University Presses, 1997.