Johnny D. Boggs turns the battlefield itself into a character in this historical retelling of Custer's Last Stand, where George Custer led most of his command to annihilation at the Battle of Little Big Horn in southern Montana in 1876. More than 40 first-person narratives are used -- Indian and white, military and civilians, men and women -- to paint a panorama of the battle itself.
Publishers Weekly: "Boggs's approach uses the fictionalized narratives of historical participants … and he carries it off beautifully."
Booklist (*Starred Review*): "… an enthralling book …"
Historical Novels Review: "Boggs gives voice to all classes of soldier and Sioux, to the desperation of Custer's command and the determination of their foe."
(Champaign, IL) News-Gazette: "Boggs writes from the heart, almost as if he is channeling each person ..."
Fifty years have passed since my darling Autie, my love, my husband, my inspiration, was called to Glory, yet despite the aches (of aging bones and five decades of loneliness), I feel as if it happened only yesterday.
New York City is two thousand miles and twenty million memories away from the Little Big Horn in Montana, but today it feels closer. Too close.
Tears fill my eighty-four-year-old eyes as I sit in the sun room of the Doral Hotel and listen to the radio. The radio announcer's voice squeaks that he sees an airplane flying over the battlefield, but I can't hear the motor. Now, the voice tells me and millions of other listeners that William S. Hart, the great actor of those Western moving-picture shows, is among the tens of thousands of people in attendance. Fourteen thousand automobiles line the road leading to the battlefield where my dashing, gallant Autie -- and nigh three hundred other brave Americans -- breathed their last. Automobiles and flying machines! I wonder what Autie would think of that had he lived, if he were on the Little Big Horn this day, watching the festivities.
Watching? Hardly. Not my love. No, George Armstrong Custer would not bestandingon that hill, scarlet neckerchief flapping in the wind. Not the dashing boy who once, riding a spirited horse during the Grand Review of the Army of the Potomac, bolted down Pennsylvania Avenue and passed General Grant at the head of the parade, right in front of the White House. Autie claimed that his horse had been spooked by a thrown boquoet of flowers, but I, and General Grant, knew better. On the other hand, were it not for Autie, such a parade might have been held in Richmond, Virginia, in 1865, rather than in our nation's capital. No, Autie would not bewatching, standing still. He would beflyingthat biplane, swooping down from the skies, laughing wildly as he frightened the tourists, dignitaries, and Indians on the ground.