I thought I remembered how to do it.

git rebase -i some_commit~~

I entered "e" for the commit

But at that point the commit is already done

So I did git reset HEAD~

Then git status

Strangely, the changed files did not match the commit I had rebased on.

I thought I must have been mistaken in the past.

I split the commit as I intended to (or I thought)

and did rebase --continue

Nothing wrong it seems.

Later I find that the commit I had been wanting to rebase, was actually now

Oh the files are still in my working tree.

By rebasing I lose my "date" history anyway of course, but I wanted to move
stuff to a child repo.

Did I do something wrong, or did I just fail to see the untracked files?

I did:

git stash -u
git checkout -p stash  ---> first commit
git checkout -p stash ----> second commit
git rebase --continue

I think what happened is that for some reason those untracked files weren't
part of the git stash && git checkout

Then I failed to commit it, it got deleted, but because I had stashed my
working directory prior, they popped out of the stash again.

So all I need to do now is go back with rebase, insert a new commit in the
appropriate place, and I'm done.

But why does something always go wrong?

It's such unfriendly software... :(.

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