With Custer on the Little Bighorn

With Custer on the Little Bighorn

A Newly Discovered First-person Account

Book - 1996
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Baker & Taylor
A corporal from the Seventh Cavalry recounts events at the Little Big Horn

Blackwell North Amer
In 1872, seventeen-year-old William O. Taylor, barely five feet tall, enlisted in the army at Troy, New York. Almost immediately he was assigned to the Seventh Cavalry. At 12:30 p.m. on the fateful day, June 25, 1876, Taylor's contingent, under the command of Major Marcus Reno, was told to move forward "at as rapid a gait as prudent and charge afterwards." At the same time, General George A. Custer and his force left the trail and moved right. Suddenly, Taylor and his comrades were caught in a furious surprise attack by the Sioux. "The Death Angel," writes Private Taylor, "was very near."
For thirty-six hours, without water, Taylor's battalion was dug in until finally reinforced by other troops of the Seventh Cavalry. It was then they learned that only a short distance away, Custer's force had been annihilated.
Beginning at 5:00 a.m. on the morning of June 27, Private Taylor and the remnants of his regiment attended to the burial of Custer's dead.
"The most that could be done," writes Taylor in his extraordinary account of a military disaster that will never be erased from the American consciousness, "was to cover the remains with some branches of sagebrush and scatter a little earth on top, enough to cover their nakedness, a covering that would remain but a few hours at the most when the wind and rain would undo our work, and the wolves whose mournful and ominous howls we had already heard, would scatter their bones over the surrounding ground."
The memories of that singular event in American history obsessed William O. Taylor for the rest of his days. The result is this moving personal and revelatory memoir published here for the first time since its creation.

& Taylor

A newly discovered account of an infamous battle by a nineteenth-century corporal from the U.S. Seventh Cavalry on burial duty at Custer's last stand reconstructs troop movements and comments on the commanders, their men, the campaign, and their enemies. 40,000 first printing. $40,000 ad/promo. Tour.

Publisher: New York : Viking, 1996
ISBN: 9780670868032
Characteristics: xiii, 206 p. : ill., map ; 24 cm


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