Death Comes to Roman Rutten
A Big Horn survivor
Was one of those under command of Reno who escaped savage on slaught, June 1876.
For many years was employed as a government tailor, at army service schools, Fort Leavenworth.
Roman Rutten, 79, survivor under Major Reno, at the battle of Little Big Horn River, died at his home, 420 North Broadway, 7:15 o'clock last night. Mr. Rutten was taken ill a week ago and little hope had been held for his recovery.
The veteran cavalry man met death in the same spirit he had braved it many times in the face of the fierce warriors of the Sioux. He was among the last of that historic engagement when the command of General Custer was wiped out. Mr. Rutten knew of only a few of the now living survivors of the engagement of June 27, 1876, fought by Major Reno two days after the Custer massacre. (Note: this tends to be sort of in error as Reno's command was fighting on the 25th, while Custer was being wiped out.) Among these are H. B. Wise, Boston, a retired engineer and Henry Ryan, New York City, a retired policeman for many years. Mr. Rutten kept up a correspondance with these. Within the past two weeks he had received letters from each. (Note: I could find no records of their of these men being in the 7th Cav. with Rutten.)
Roman Rutten was born August 13, 1846 in Waldern, Baden, Germany. When a young man he came to America in 1866. Enlisted in the regular army. In Germany he had learned the trade of tailor and his service in the army of the faherland made him an excellent soldier in the army of the country to which he emigarated. Mr. Rutten was assigned to the 7th Cavalry and served with this regiment until his discharge in 1890 when he was retired for disability in the line of duty. He not only took part in the Little Big Horn engagement, but was with the 7th Cavalry under Sturgis in the campaign against Chief Joseph three years later. At the baqttle of the Little Big Horn Custer met the Sioux under Sitting Bull on June 25, 1876. His command was wiped out with the last of 265 men. Major Reno came up on the 28th and for two days engaged the Indian in skirmishing, loosing a number in his command. Rutten was shot twice through the crown of his hat. When Custer was found he was wearing a shirt made by Rutten. (No verification of this found. Custer was not wearing any shirt when found as Indians had removed it.) Mr. Rutten was a member of Troop M commanded by Captain Thomas French. For gallantry in action he was awarded a medal. (No indication found that he ever got a medal.)
Mr. Rutten came to Fort Leavenworth thirty-seven years ago as a government tailor and was on duty at the staff school. Because of disability he was retired in 1890 with a record of thirty four years service. At the time of his discharge he was a member of Troop B, Seventh Cavalry. Mr. Rutten for many years made his home at 420 North Broadway. The old cavalry man sat on his front porch and smoked his pipe in contentment. Passers by received a friendly salute as they came to the Rutten home. He was an excellent citien and held in highest regard by all who knew him. The friendly wave of his never failed until strength deserted him. Mr. Rutten is surived by his widow, Catherine; sons Amor, Chicago, Rudolph, Fort Leavenworth, Killian, Leavenworth; his daughters, Mrs. Emma Ox, Leavenworth, Mrs. Anna Oppenheimer (spelling uncertain), Fairbury, Nebraska. There also surves eleven grand children and three great grandchildrn.
A service of solemn high mass will be held at St. Joseph's Catholic Church at 9:00 Saturday morning. Rev. Father Boneface, assisted by two priests will officiate. Full military honors will be accorded in the burial at the National Cemetery, Fort Leavenworth. The procession will meet at the end of Government Lane by representatives of the army, including the band. At the grave a salute will be fired and taps sounded.
(It appears that there may be thing here that in actual life did not happen.)
Private, Troop M, 8 Cavalry; Troop M, 8 B, 7 Cavalry
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