Ask almost anyone to describe Custer's Last Stand and you will most probably receive a response that paints a picture of a valiant leader and his troops, surrounded by fearsome Indians, bravely facing insurmountable odds. But if you ask Herman J. Viola, you'll get a completely different story. That's because Viola has spent the last several years interviewing Native American survivors and their descendants and collecting their stories of the events that day. These stories as well as a number of additional essays are all a part of Little Bighorn Remembered.
This book is unique in many ways. Unlike most historical accounts, Little Bighorn Remembered focuses mainly on primary sources. There are over 100 pages which contain the stories and recollections of members of the four tribes involved in that day's battle, two of which fought Custer, and, to many people's surprise, two of which were working with Custer. In addition to the stories, the book is illustrated with more than 200 maps, photographs, reproductions, and drawings of the battle. Many of these documents were created by those who survived and are appearing here for the first time in print. The book also includes a number of historical essays which help fill in the details of the battle and the time leading up to it. This book is not about Custer. It is about the Indians who fought on both sides and why they felt they had no other choice but to be there. Little Bighorn Remembered is fascinating reading. For history buffs and military enthusiasts, it provides a great deal of additional information from a point of view few books have ever taken. For those unfamiliar with this historical event, it could prove to be a difficult book to jump into, but persevere. The first-hand accounts offer a stunning look at how a historian pieces together multiple tellings of the same tale, and the additional essays are enlightening. Â¦Wes Breazeale is a writer living in Portland, Oregon.