Had George Custer been killed at Appomattox, writes the author, he would have been remembered only as the great cavalry general who ranked next to Sheridan in the Union Army. At 23, the "Boy General" combined audacity, courage, leadership and an uncanny instinct for striking the critical blow in battle. By contrast, his reputation as a frontier commander was tarnished, and his claim to immortality rests on the debacle at the Little Big Horn. Utley, former chief historian and assistant director of the National Park Service, has written extensively about military action in the West. Here he examines the man behind the legenda man of contradictions who inspired devotion or hatred but not indifference. Custer's quest for money led to shady deals and probable kickbacks; he faced a court-martial and was suspended from the Army for a period. Utley gives a detailed picture of the frontier Army and the events that led up to the Last Stand. He refutes the notion that the battle was an act of bravado to secure personal glory for Custer. Rather, he argues, it was bad luck. Nobody expected the Indians to stand and fight; other companies mismanaged intelligence, and all of them underestimated their opponents. Utley makes a plausible case. This is heady material for western and military buffs. Illustrations. 13,500 first printing; BOMC and History Book Club selections.
Copyright 1988 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
When first published in 1988, Cavalier in Bucksin received the 1989 Western Heritage Wrangler Award for Outstanding Nonfiction.See all Editorial Reviews
CAVALIER IN BUCKSKIN was a treat to listen to on many levels. I listened to the audiobook written by ROBERT M. UTLEY and it was one I didn’t want to turn off. Read morePublished 3 months ago by Teresa
Just when you think you can't learn one more thing about a subject, an author like Utley presents facts you either had forgotten or didn't know. Read morePublished 9 months ago by L. P. Zuber
I've read quite a few books on Custer, and I've found the debate about which is the best book on him as controversial as the man himself, and our views on him. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Chris Owens
Cavalier in Buckskin
This biography of George Armstrong Custer devotes most of its pages to his post Civil War career. Read more
This was a Christmas present for my husband. He has been reading much about the Civil War and especially likes Robert M. Utley. He was delighted to receive this book.Published 20 months ago by Karen Cassidy
This is an excellent biography about Custer. The text is easy to read. The prose flows smoothly. Robert Utley writes about Custer in an even-handended, some what sparse style. Read morePublished on April 5, 2013 by kim harris
This is a great concise work of biography and history, written by one of the greatest living historians of the American West. Read morePublished on June 1, 2008 by KOP ESF
Robert M. Utley is probably our most thoughtful scholar of George Armstrong Custer and his ultimate demise at the Little Bighorn in 1876. Read morePublished on October 17, 2007 by Bomojaz
This biography of George Armstrong Custer devotes most of its pages to his post Civil War career. Most people only know that he died at the Little Bighorn battle; they know the... Read morePublished on September 3, 2002 by Acute Observer