Synopses & Reviews
Frederick William Benteen (1834-98) was a military officer during the Civil War and the Black Hills War against the Lakotas and the Northern Cheyennes. He was in command of a battalion at the Battle of Little Bighorn, and some say that his controversial actions during the battle may have contributed to Custers disastrous defeat.
In Harvest of Barren Regrets, Charles K. Mills explores Benteens complex personality and life as a career army man during one of the most violent and compelling periods in U.S. military history. He views Benteen as misjudged by history, a man forced to shoulder much of the blame for events far beyond his influence or control. As Mills says at the end of this wonderful biography, “There are no monuments to Frederick William Benteen today. He remains as he lived: a rather obscure supporting actor who appeared briefly on center stage in a well-known American history drama and then quietly faded away. It was his misfortune to live largely unknown and to die largely misunderstood.”
“Charles K. Mills is a diligent researcher and a thoughtful historian. He knows the Civil War and frontier armies intimately, and he expertly places his subject in accurate context. He has sized up Benteen as well as anyone can and laid out his appraisal clearly, objectively, and unequivocally. . . . This is a major contribution to the literature of the Little Bighorn.”—Robert M. Utley, Montana: The Magazine of Western History Robert M. Utley
“This is the one book to get for the fullest picture of a complex officer who rose to brevet colonel during the Civil War before joining the 7th Cavalry at Fort Riley, Kansas, in 1867. . . . Author Charles Mills largely sees Benteen as a flawed common man who became the hero of an American tragedy.”—Wild West
Montana: The Magazine of Western History
"In Harvest of Barren Regrets, Charles K. Mills, a historian who lives in Tucson, Arizona, has written an excellent account of Benteen's twenty-seven-year career."—Roger D. Cunningham, Journal of America's Military Past Wild West
About the Author
Charles K. Mills is a historian and the author of the novel A Mighty Afternoon. He lives in Tucson, Arizona. James Donovan is the author of A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn—the Last Great Battle of the American West and Custer and the Little Bighorn, both main selections of the Military Book Club.