|Battle of the Teton River|
|Part of The Second Mexican War|
|Commanders and leaders|
|George Custer||Charles George Gordon|
U.S. Colonel of Volunteers Theodore Roosevelt, commanding his own Unauthorized Regiment concentrated his patrolling forces in order to delay the invasion. Meanwhile Colonel Henry Welton awaited in Great Falls, Montana with his Seventh Infantry Regiment for reinforcements from Utah. These were the Fifth Cavalry Regiment along with a detachment of eight Gatling guns lead by Brigadier General George Custer. With Custer's arrival, he and his cavalry advanced ahead leaving Colonel Welton to form up a defense position along the Teton River with his infantry and the Gatlings.
The Battle of the Tenton RiverEdit
British forces under the leadership of General Charles Gordon, consisted off a regiment of British cavalry and a division of Canadian troops advanced south with his forces consisting of infantry in the center, screened by cavalry lancers ahead and further cavalry to either flank armed with Martini-Henry carbines. When General Custer meet up with Colonel Roosevelt, he had the First Montana guard his flanks while he lead his Fifth Cavalry in the centre. As the two armies met, Gordon had his lancers charge the center of the U.S. forces. They were decimated by the Fifth Cavalry's Springfield carbines. Custer then ordered a charge of his own against Gordon's infantry. His charge was no more successful, and his Fifth Cavalry was, in turn, devastated resulting in a retreat to the Teton River. Among the casualties was Custer's brother Tom.
On reaching the Teton River, Custer was displeased to see that Welton had not only picked a defense position on the forward slope of a low, gentle rise, but had dug defensive trenches. Custer felt it was a waste of time but Welton argued that from his experiences during the War of Secession any protection was better than standing out in the open. Since the trenches were already dug, Custer gave way but this did not improve his temper when he saw the Gatlings placed in front. Custer felt that as artillery they should be place to the rear and looked to Roosevelt for support. However, Roosevelt agreed with Welton, arguing that the Gatlings were not quite artillery and should be in front. Once again, Custer yielded.
The next day, General Gordon arrived and elected to soften up the U.S. position with a pair of field guns. After a half hour of shelling, he ordered his infantry to advance. The U.S. infantry and the dismounted remnants of the Fifth Cavalry fired at will but did not slow the Canadians advance. When they were within three hundred yards, the Gatling guns opened up to devastating results. The Canadian infantry broke and ran and were chased by Roosevelt's Unauthorized Regiment. However, General Custer was forced to order halt on Roosevelt's attack before the British surrendered as word reached him of a cease-fire.
Ironically, this victory came after a cease-fire had been declared on all fronts, embittering Custer. Because the Canadians made up the majority of the British force, he would hold a grudge against them for the death of his brother that wouldn't be satisfied until he personaly killed Arthur McGregor in 1922. In the wars aftermath, both Custer and Roosevelt became national heroes as the only U.S. commanders to achieve a victory during the course of the war. This overlooked the true hero, Colonel Welton, who had chosen the field of battle and had correctly placed the Gatlings. To Roosevelt's credit, he did remember Welton, and reminded Custer of Welton's role during an argument in 1917.
The battle would later be popularised in the movie about Roosevelt Unauthorised Regiment in the mid 1930's.