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The 7th is Made Up of Phantoms - Recap

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June 25, 1876. A scout and two cavalrymen find an abandoned teepee. The scout determines that the camp was recently occupied and that the tracks indicate there are plenty of Indians in the area. He notes that General Custer will find them when he rides his men through the juncture o the Bighorn and Little Bighorn Rivers. An arrow hits the scout in the back, and the cavalrymen return fire…

June 25, 1964. Three National Guardsmen on maneuvers, Connors, Langsford, and McCluskey, hear the gunshots from their tank. They go to investigate and find the empty teepee but no sign of anyone. Connors and McCluskey are both familiar with the history of the area and Connors finds a canteen belonging to the 7th Cavalry. Langsford could care less but Connors talks about how Custer split his force into three separate columns and was then overwhelmed when the Sioux arrived with more Indians then anticipated. Langsford figures the entire thing is a joke, pointing out the canteen isn’t 780 years old. A wind picks up and McCluskey says they need to go back. As they return to the tank, they hear what appears to be an Indian war cry but Connors thinks it’s just the wind.

The men drive the tank back to their command post and Connors reports into their superior, Captain Dennet. Dennet wants to know why they’re late and Connors tries to explain, but Dennet figures they’ve been drinking. As Dennet goes over their route for the maneuvers, Connors recognizes it as the route Custer took in 1876. He remembers that Custer’s scout found a teepee before the battle, just as they did. Dennet tells him to get back onto maneuvers.

The men head back to their designated spot and see a column of smoke behind a ridge. McCluskey points out that Custer saw the same thing before the massacre. Langsford thinks they’re nuts but is interrupted when they see a dust cloud with hoof beats and war cries from within. McCluskey opens fire and the noises die away, but a riderless horse rides out of the cloud. Shaken, Langsford wonders what happens if they follow Custer’s trail and Connors figures they may be able to stop the massacre, or die with Custer and his men.

Dennet calls the Guardsmen by radio and asks for a position report. He ends up talking to McCluskey, who tries to explain what happened. The captain orders them back but the radio transmission is cut off. Dennet tells his aide Lt. Woodard to find the Guardsmen and bring them back.

As the three Guardsmen try to find the trail, Connors remembers that Custer spotted an Indian village an hour before the battle began. Langsford dismisses the entire thing and starts walking for the command post before their court martialed, but finds an Indian village. McCluskey goes in to investigate while Connors tells Langsford about the history of the battle, and how Custer and the 7th Cavalry were doomed at this point. McCluskey returns, but has been shot with an arrow and is badly wounded.

Woodard repots back to Dennet saying he’s found the tank and a note. The note says that they’re going to join the 7th Cavalry and fight against the Indians.

Connors and Langsford help the wounded McCluskey get to the next ridge. They arrive at the top and look down as the sound of war cries and gunshots echo across the land. The Guardsmen prepare their guns and charge into the battle.

Woodard and his men haven’t found a trace of the missing Guardsmen. As Dennet and Woodard start to go, Woodard notices a 7th Cavalry memorial plaque. He points out to Dennet that there are three names on it: Connors, McCluskey, and Langsford. Woodard wonders if it’s just a coincidence, but Dennet isn’t so sure and wonders if they might have lived if they could have taken the tank with them.

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