Synopses & Reviews
This thrilling and definitive biography of George Armstrong Custer's Civil War years is nothing short of a heart-pounding cavalry charge through the battlefield heroics that thrust the gallant young officer into the national spotlight in the midst of the countrys darkest hours. From West Point to the daring actions that propelled him to the rank of general at age twenty-three to his unlikely romance with Libbie Bacon, Custers exploits are the stuff of legend.Always leading his men from the front with a personal courage seldom seen before or since, he was a key part of nearly every major engagement in the east. Not only did Custer capture the first battle flag taken by the Union and receive the white flag of surrender at Appomattox, but his field generalship at Gettysburg against Confederate cavalry General Jeb Stuart had historic implications in changing the course of that pivotal battle. For decades, historians have looked at Custer strictly through the lens of his death on the frontier, casting him as a failure. While some may say that the events that took place at the Little Big Horn are illustrative of Americas bloody westward expansion, they have in the process unjustly eclipsed Custers otherwise extraordinarily life and outstanding career and fall far short of encompassing his incredible service to his country. This biography of thundering cannons, pounding hooves, and stunning successes tells the true story of the origins of one of historys most dynamic and misunderstood figures. Award-winning historian Thom Hatch reexamines Custers early career to rebalance the scales and show why Custers epic fall could never have happened without the spectacular rise that made him an American legend.
"What most people know about Custer's life centers on one day: his fatal last stand at Little Bighorn in 1876. Not fair, claims Spur Award winner Hatch (for 2005's Black Kettle), who briskly and convincingly sets out to rescue the Union Army's youngest general from this ignominy. Hatch leads a romp through the Civil War, describing Custer's involvement in many key confrontations, including both Bull Runs, Brandy Station, Gettysburg, and Appomattox. An undistinguished graduate of West Point in 1861, Custer made a name for himself early in the war with daring cavalry charges and smart military strategies. His rapid advance through aide-de-camp positions for three generals, coupled with his willingness to get out on the battlefield with his men and his flair for self-promotion, made Custer one of the most colorful characters of the war. The deftly detailed narrative undergirds Hatch's emphasis on the importance of Custer's early military career while delivering the drama of the larger swirl of the Civil War. However, Hatch reveals little about Custer's private life or his inner self, elements of character that might have helped flesh out how and why this popular, accomplished general died so young." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
THOM HATCH is the author of eight books including, The Last American Outlaws: The Lives and Legends of Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid and The Custer Companion. A Marine Corps Vietnam veteran and a historian who specializes in the American West, the Civil War, and Native American conflicts, Hatch has received the prestigious Spur Award from the Western Writers of America for his previous work. He lives in Colorado with his wife and daughter.