The Trial of Major Reno
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About the Documentary

Jack Bartlett - Executive Producer
Jack Bartlett - Executive Producer/Writer

At the Battle of Little Big Horn in 1876, General George Armstrong Custer and over two hundred sixty men of the Seventh United States Cavalry Regiment perished at the hands of the Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians. Little known is the fact that over half the regiment survived the battle that became known as Custer's Last Stand. Rumors began to circulate that Custer's defeat had been caused by a subordinate officer who escaped.

Major Marcus A. Reno, second in command of the regiment, was publicly accused by Custer biographer Frederick Whittaker of being cowardly and disobedient, directly causing Custer's death. Determined to clear his name and honor, Major Reno requested President Rutherford B. Hayes convene a military court of inquiry into his conduct at the battle. The trial, much like a civil grand jury investigation, was conducted in Chicago between January 13th and February 11th, 1879. The Reno Court of Inquiry was a major media event in its time.

Striving for authenticity, Laredo Productions has utilized cavalry reenactors, Native Americans and accomplished actors to dramatize this true story. Scenes were staged on the Little Big Horn Battlefield in Montana, and in a courtroom set creating a visually stunning journey into the past.

Noted historian Brian Pohanka and Reno biographer Ron Nichols, who contribute their expertise in cameos, praise the script for its accurate and unbiased portrayal of this curious chapter of American History. Their perspectives are uniquely blended by the on-camera appearance of renowned country music artist Randy Travis as host and narration by legendary actor Charlton Heston.

This compelling documentary was produced and completed in the digital 16:9 wide screen format, and mastered in AC-3, 5.1 Dolby Digital surround sound.

Laredo Productions Inc. & Charlton Heston

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