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Washita Memories: Eyewitness Views of Custer’s Attack on Black Kettle’s Village Hardcover – December 4, 2006


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press; 1 edition (December 4, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806137592
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806137599
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,661,303 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Richard G. Hardorff is the author of numerous works on the Battle of the Little Bighorn, Custer, and the Plains Indians, including Lakota Recollections of the Custer Fight and Custer and the Little Bighorn. He resides in Genoa, Illinois.

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Format: Paperback
On November 27, 1868, the U.S. Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer attacked a peaceful Southern Cheyenne village along the Washita River in present-day western Oklahoma at daybreak. An early snow blanketed the sleeping village as Custer's cavalry with rifles blazing, rode through, shooting every man, woman, or child that moved. The "battle" did not last long. Custer ordered his men to burn the homes and belongings.

They rounded up the Cheyenne horse herd, their most valuable possession, and killed more than 800 of the helpless animals. Eyewitnesses said the dying animals moaned and cried like wounded people. Some did not die immediately, but were so wounded they could not stand up. Weeks later their carcasses showed they had chewed off all the grass they could reach from where they lay before death.

This "victory" over the Indians signaled the end of the Cheyennes' traditional way of life and resulted in the death of Black Kettle, their most prominent peace chief and his wife. He was more than seventy years old when he was killed.

Hardorff dug through long forgotten manuscripts and documents to create this documentary. These are firsthand stories given by both Indians and whites, soldiers and government officials, newspaper reports, and oral accounts of the Cheyenne people and their descendants, as well as Custer's white scouts such as Ben Clark.

"Soldiers were killing women and children. Ben Clark reported this to Custer and asked him if it was his wish that these people should be killed. It was only then that Custer told Clark to `give his compliments' to the officer in charge and `ask him to stop it'."

The book will appeal to historians because the documents are published without condensation or commentary.
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