Synopses & Reviews
Historic moments in the Battle of the Little Big Horn are recounted by Custer's chief of scouts, Lieutenant Charles A. Varnum, who commanded a detachment of Arikara scouts. He describes his meeting with Custer on a high bluff on the morning of June 25,1876, and the general's fateful decision to attack, in spite of a warning that the valley was filling up with mounted Indians. Varnum, who rode with Major Marcus Reno's troop, relives all that can be seen and heard in the smoke and swirl of the battle.
One of the few to emerge from the Little Big Horn debacle untainted by controversy, Varnum served in the Seventh Cavalry for thirty-two years. His testimony at the Reno court of inquiry in 1879 is included in this book. Near the end of his career, he received the Medal of Honor for heroism at Wounded Knee.
About the Author
John M. Carroll edited and added notes and a preface to this book, which is based on unfinished manuscripts left by Varnum and was originally published as I, Varnum: The Autobiographical Reminiscences of Custer's Chief of Scouts. Carroll, a leading Custer scholar, is director of the Frontier Military Research Center and editor of The Black Military Experience in the American West (1974) and General Custer and the Battle of the Little Big Horn: The Federal View (1985), among other works.