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Deliverance from the Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer's Seventh Cavalry

Deliverance from the Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer's Seventh Cavalry Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

Of the three surgeons who accompanied Custer’s Seventh Cavalry on June 25, 1876, only the youngest, twenty-eight-year-old Henry Porter, survived that day’s ordeal, riding through a gauntlet of Indian attackers and up the steep bluffs to Major Marcus Reno’s hilltop position. But the story of Dr. Porter’s wartime exploits goes far beyond the battle itself. In this compelling narrative of military endurance and medical ingenuity, Joan Nabseth Stevenson opens a new window on the Battle of the Little Big Horn by re-creating the desperate struggle for survival during the fight and in its wake.

As Stevenson recounts in gripping detail, Porter’s life-saving work on the battlefield began immediately, as he assumed the care of nearly sixty soldiers and two Indian scouts, attending to wounds and performing surgeries and amputations. He evacuated the critically wounded soldiers on mules and hand litters, embarking on a hazardous trek of fifteen miles that required two river crossings, the scaling of a steep cliff, and a treacherous descent into the safety of the steamboat Far West, waiting at the mouth of the Little Big Horn River. There began a harrowing 700-mile journey along the Yellowstone and Missouri Rivers to the post hospital at Fort Abraham Lincoln near Bismarck, Dakota Territory.

With its new insights into the role and function of the army medical corps and the evolution of battlefield medicine, this unusual book will take its place both as a contribution to the history of the Great Sioux War and alongside such vivid historical novels as Son of the Morning Star and Little Big Man. It will also ensure that the selfless deeds of a lone “contract” surgeon—unrecognized to this day by the U.S. government—will never be forgotten.

Review:

"Stevenson celebrates a long-forgotten feat of medical bravery in battle, one she regrets has gone unrecognized by the U.S. government. The only survivor of the three surgeons who traveled with Custer to Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876, was 28-year-old Henry Porter. A civilian contract surgeon, he assumed the medical care of Maj. Marcus Reno's 350-man battalion as they fought 2,000 Indian warriors. Porter attended the wounds of several dozen soldiers and performed amputations and other surgeries. But American medicine's dismissal of the germ theory of disease meant that 'hands that aimed to cure also continued to infect.' As flies swarmed the foul hospital area, the evacuation of Porter's patients on mules and hand litters began with a 15-mile trek to a steamboat for a 700-mile river journey to the post hospital near Bismarck in Dakota Territory. Concluding chapters cover Porter's marriage, his life as a civilian surgeon in Bismarck, and his participation in the 1879 investigation of Maj. Reno, accused of 'gross cowardice and neglect of duty.' Stevenson's medical perspective on Little Big Horn is revelatory, written with an eye for striking details. 9 b&w illus., 1 map. Agent: Don Lamm, Fletcher & Co." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Synopsis:

In this compelling narrative of military endurance and medical ingenuity, Joan Nabseth Stevenson opens a new window on the Battle of the Little Big Horn by re-creating the desperate struggle for survival that followed in its wake. With its new insights into the role and function of the army medical corps and the evolution of battlefield medicine, this unusual book will take its place both as a contribution to the history of the Great Sioux War and alongside such vivid historical novels as Son of the Morning Star and Little Big Man.

About the Author

Joan Nabseth Stevenson an independent scholar, holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from Stanford University. The daughter of a vascular surgeon, she lives with her husband, a neonatologist, in Los Altos Hills, California.

Product Details

ISBN:
9780806142661
Subtitle:
Doctor Henry Porter and Custer's Seventh Cavalry
Publisher:
University of Oklahoma Press
Author:
Stevenson, Joan Nabseth
Subject:
Medical
Subject:
Little Big Horn
Subject:
Custer
Subject:
Biography/Medical
Edition Description:
Hardcover
Publication Date:
20121008
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Language:
English
Illustrations:
19 bandw illus., 1 map
Pages:
232
Dimensions:
8.5 x 5.5 in

Related Subjects

Biography » Medical
Biography » Military
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Indian Wars
History and Social Science » Military » US Military » General
History and Social Science » US History » 19th Century
History and Social Science » US History » General

Deliverance from the Little Big Horn: Doctor Henry Porter and Custer's Seventh Cavalry
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 232 pages University of Oklahoma Press - English 9780806142661 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Stevenson celebrates a long-forgotten feat of medical bravery in battle, one she regrets has gone unrecognized by the U.S. government. The only survivor of the three surgeons who traveled with Custer to Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876, was 28-year-old Henry Porter. A civilian contract surgeon, he assumed the medical care of Maj. Marcus Reno's 350-man battalion as they fought 2,000 Indian warriors. Porter attended the wounds of several dozen soldiers and performed amputations and other surgeries. But American medicine's dismissal of the germ theory of disease meant that 'hands that aimed to cure also continued to infect.' As flies swarmed the foul hospital area, the evacuation of Porter's patients on mules and hand litters began with a 15-mile trek to a steamboat for a 700-mile river journey to the post hospital near Bismarck in Dakota Territory. Concluding chapters cover Porter's marriage, his life as a civilian surgeon in Bismarck, and his participation in the 1879 investigation of Maj. Reno, accused of 'gross cowardice and neglect of duty.' Stevenson's medical perspective on Little Big Horn is revelatory, written with an eye for striking details. 9 b&w illus., 1 map. Agent: Don Lamm, Fletcher & Co." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
"Synopsis" by ,
In this compelling narrative of military endurance and medical ingenuity, Joan Nabseth Stevenson opens a new window on the Battle of the Little Big Horn by re-creating the desperate struggle for survival that followed in its wake. With its new insights into the role and function of the army medical corps and the evolution of battlefield medicine, this unusual book will take its place both as a contribution to the history of the Great Sioux War and alongside such vivid historical novels as Son of the Morning Star and Little Big Man.

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