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Cheyenne is the only surviving witness of the Custer massacre and powerful men want to silence his testimony.

Gold, Glory and Custer-Requiem
Season 4, Episode 8
Air date Jan. 11, 1960
Episode guide
Previous
Gold, Glory and Custer-Prelude
Next
Riot at Arroyo Seco

Episode Notes

  • Battle scenes in this episode were lifted from the film They Died with Their Boots On released in 1941.
  • This episode and its first part were edited together and released in European theaters in 1964 as a stand-alone feature film. 
  • Bonanza star Lorne Greene guest stars. 

Real World References

  • The real Marcus Reno’s Board of Inquiry occurred in 1879 in Chicago, Illinois. To map the fictional events onto the real ones, that means Cheyenne would have spent at least two years on the run from the U.S. Army as a deserter from the time of Battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876 until he returned for Reno’s trial in 1879.
  • Cheyenne's indian alias Touch the Sky could be an homage to a real indian leader named Touch the Clouds , a Sioux chief and contemporary of Crazy Horse who was known for being exceptionally tall, strong and adept at diplomacy.

Continuity Nitpicks and Errors

  • During his court testimony, Cheyenne describes leaving Fort Abraham Lincoln on his mission for Indian Agent Clay Brady, but the accompanying scene shows him leaving a fort with a sign above that says Fort Sumner, a location from the season three episode Renegades.

Plot

Cheyenne Bodie is in hiding after being charged with desertion for his disappearance before the Custer Massacre. Into his wilderness camp ride California Joe and Captain Fred Benteen. The tall scout is not happy, fearing that Benteen will arrest him. But Fred is searching for Cheyenne for a different reason than a bounty. He and Irene Travers are trying to find evidence that will exonerate Major Marcus Reno of the charge of cowardice for his actions at the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Cheyenne despises Reno and doesn't want to help him. He also refuses because presenting himself in court will lead to his immediate arrest for desertion. He needs Indian Agent Brady to prove that he didn't desert. Benteen tells him that Brady died from a stroke weeks ago. Hearing this, Bodie flat out refuses to help since the one man who could clear him is now dead. Benteen and Irene ride off, and Cheyenne is obviously moved by her disappointment.

Reno faces the military tribunal, explaining that he couldn't reinforce Custer because his soldiers were overwhelmed by hostiles numbering in the thousands. Military prosecutor Bell brings forward a scout named Moccasin Charle who reports that there were less than 1,000 Indian warriors in the battle. The doors to the courtroom burst open and Cheynne enters, loudly disputing that testimony.

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