Friday Reads – A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn by James Donovan

A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn, the Last Great Battle of the American West by James Donovan. From Powell’s:

In June of 1876, on a hill above a winding river called the Little Bighorn, George Armstrong Custer and all 210 men under his direct command were annihilated by nearly 2,000 Sioux and Cheyenne. This devastating loss caused an uproar, and public figures pointed fingers in order to avoid responsibility. Custer, who was conveniently dead, took the brunt of the blame.

The truth, however, was far more complex. A TERRIBLE GLORY is the first book to relate the entire story of this endlessly fascinating battle, and the first to call upon all the vital new forensic research of the past quarter century. It is also the first book to bring to light the details of the army cover-up–and unravel one of the greatest mysteries in US military history.

Reading this one in preparation for a trip to the battlefield in a couple weeks. It’s fascinating, and proves a couple things. First, the military has always been a complete clusterfuck, and second, politicians have always been unredeemingly corrupt.


Author: Chris

Chris La Tray is a writer, a walker, and a photographer. He is an enrolled member of the Little Shell Tribe of Chippewa Indians and lives in Missoula, MT.

2 thoughts on “Friday Reads – A Terrible Glory: Custer and the Little Bighorn by James Donovan”

    1. That’s true, which sounds terrible in retrospect, especially out of context. But the reality was Reno had one and was having nothing but problems with it, and Custer had had the same experience the last time he’d used one (jamming issues, and transportation being the biggest problem). Given Custer’s role in the attack, he needed to be highly mobile and fast, the “hammer” to drive the opponent against an “anvil.” They just didn’t realize what they were up against, a problem reinforced by having poorly trained and poorly equipped troops. It’s all quite fascinating.

Leave a Reply