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George Armstrong Custer
On the sparkling morning of June 25, 1876, 611 men of the United States 7th Cavalry rode toward the banks of the Little Bighorn in the Montana Territory, where 3,000 Indians stood waiting for battle...

 The lives of two great warriors would soon be forever linked throughout history: Crazy Horse, leader of the Oglala Sioux, and General George Armstrong Custer.   Both were men of aggression and supreme courage.   Both became leaders in their societies at very early ages; both were stripped of power, in disgrace, and worked to earn back the respect of their people.   And to both of them, the unspoiled grandeur of the Great Plains of North America was an irresistible challenge.   Their parallel lives would pave the way, in a manner unknown to either, for an inevitable clash between two nations fighting for possession of the open prairie.    -- Library Journal

Walter M. Camp (1867-1925) was an indefatigable collector of Custeriana who set himself the intimidating task of interviewing every living survivor of the battle at the Little Bighorn. Unfortunately, with Camp's death this information was scattered.   This volume gathers his most important material, much of which was not previously available.   Custer and Company presents information on Sergeant John Henley, veteran trooper of the Seventh Cavalry, and a number of other Seventh Cavalrymen and frontiersmen, including interpreter Sam Bruguier; Camp's research on various unsettled questions of the Little Bighorn fight; interviews with several surviving Indians and famed scout Luther North; and extensive information on the death of Crazy Horse.

Cavalier in Buckskin:
George Armstrong Custer and the Western Military Frontier

by Robert Utley
Paperback  (1991)

Robert Utley is a respected and skilled historian of the West.   This work is skillfully woven to give general insights into the personality and character of Custer.   The text is extremely readable and structured to be understood by all.   The prose is not stilted to the academic and the anecdotes described will maintain the interest of those not particularly interested in the sociopolitical background of events.   Custer is painted neither as saint nor sinner and receives balanced treatment.   This is a worthwhile read for those interested in the time frame and the participation of Custer in American Western History.

Custer's Last Campaign:
Mitch Boyer and the Little Bighorn Reconstructed

by John Shapley Gray, Robert M. Utley
Paperback  (1993)

After reading this book, most of the mystery is gone.    This has to be one of the best books written on the subject of the "Battle of the Little Big Horn."   Using time motion analysis of Custers journey up the Rosebud to the final "last stand" resolves many of the mysteries of Custers' Last Stand.   Some of the speculations may be refutable but I haven't seen a better analysis.   This book left me with a favorable impression of Custer as a leader and a general.   He may have been seeking glory at the beginning of the campaign but he wasn't an idiot when it came to the actual fighting and generalship.

I Fought With Custer:
The Story of Sergeant Windolph, Last Survivor of the Battle of the Little Big Horn

by Charles Windolph, Robert Hunt
Paperback   (1987)

This book is compiled from the found writings of a sergeant of the Seventh Cavalry who survived the Battle of the Little Big Horn.    The first hand accounts of men like Sergeant Windolph and Theodore Goldin are very valuable and interesting reading.   They were not men defending their performance as were the officers like Benteen, Reno, and Godfrey.   They had their biases but didn't have to grind axes.   This account is worthwhile reading for students of the Seventh Cavalry and the Little Big Horn campaign.

Only six Cheyenne Indians (but 32 Sioux) died in the fighting that wiped out the command of General George Custer.    Brave Wolf was at the scene on that bloody Sunday in 1876.   Brave Wolf and others of his tribe recall the courage of the doomed men in the Seventh Cavalry and give a firsthand account of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.

Published six months after Custer's death, Frederick Whittaker's "A Complete Life of General George A. Custer" traces the American icon's life from his boyhood in Ohio through his cadet years at West Point, his Civil War exploits, his impressive rise to the rank of Major General of cavalry in the Army of the Potomac and his transition to the peacetime army.  My reading of this book was enriched by the fact that, as a Custer contemporary, Whittaker was not only in touch with the the 19th century ambience, but that he had the added advantages of active service as a trooper in the 6th New York Cavalry and access to Custer's papers, Civil War memoirs and personal anecdotes through his collaboration with Custer's widow, Elizabeth.

The Custer Myth: A Source Book of Custeriana
by W. A. Graham
Hardcover  (1953)

By far the best of the vast Custer literature.    Graham gathers together in one place primary data and lets you draw your own conclusions.    On Custer, Graham is the only author I have read who writes without massaging his data to support some preconcieved theory.    This book was not bashed out to meet a schedule or catch a market window; Graham gathered data literally for decades.   Being an army officer -- Judge Advocate Corp -- gave him access to files and access to survivors who were eyewitnesses to the fight at Reno's end of the field.

Written with the expertise of an historian and imagined on an epic scale with all of the grandeur of the Yellowstone country, Robert Skimin vividly recreates the life and times of two of the most celebrated leaders of their time, Gen. George Armstrong Custer and Chief Sitting Bull.
Capturing in rich detail native Sioux spirituality and culture, as well as the American history and politics of the day, The River and the Horsemen is the spellbinding story of the personal and political events that led to one of the bloodiest days in western warfare — captivating the interest of the whole world.

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