A bivouac by the Platte River from Custer’s autobio

by Jim Morgan

Being the first to awake, I rose to a sitting posture and took a hasty survey of our situation. Within a few feet of us flowed the Platte River. Our group, horses and men, presented an interesting subject for a painter. To my surprise I discovered that a heavy shower of rain had fallenn during the night, but so deep had been our slumber that even the rain had failed to disturb us. Each one of the party had spread his saddle blanket on the ground to serve as his couch, while for covering we had called into requisition the india-rubber poncho or rubber blanket which invariably forms an important part of the plainsman’s outfit. The rain, without awakening any of the party, had aroused them sufficiently to cause each one to pull his rubber blanket over his face, and, thus protected, he continued his repose. The appearance presented by this somber-looking group of sleepers strongly reminded me of scenes during the war when, after a battle, the bodies of the slain had been collected for burial.

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