“I read this entire gripping saga in one sitting, fascinated by Joan Stevenson's exciting narrative style and her perceptive insights into certain heretofore obscure details of our nation's most famous failed military expedition. With her keen knowledge of the medical practices of the era, Stevenson sheds graphic illumination on the skills and bravery of the physicians and soldiers who served on that tragic battlefield. This remarkable book is an important addition to the history of medicine, military history, and any collection of Americana.”—Sherwin B. Nuland, Clinical Professor of Surgery, Yale University School of Medicine, and author of How We Die: Reflections on Life’s Final Chapter
“A gripping account of medical care in the Indian-fighting army. Often grim but always insightful, Stevenson’s examination of doctoring in the 1870s is an exceptional contribution to Custer and Little Big Horn literature and to the woeful saga of medicine in the Old Army.” —Paul L. Hedren, author of After Custer: Loss and Transformation in Sioux Country and Great Sioux War Orders of Battle
"Joan Stevenson explores an important and often overlooked dimension of the Battle of the Little Big Horn: the intricate medical aspects. Told largely through the life and experiences of the only surgeon with Custer’s command to survive that bloody day, Deliverance from the Little Big Horn offers a stirring tale that will readily appeal to readers enamored not only of that engagement but of other army-Indian conflicts throughout the West."—Jerome A. Greene, author of Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War and editor of Lakota and Cheyenne: Indian Views of the Great Sioux War, 1876–1877
This is a book that needed to be written. In Deliverance from the Little Big Horn, Joan Nabseth Stevenson has tackled a complicated, unfortunately somewhat obscure topic with a level of expertise and credibility that places her among the finest Old West medical writers around.
She re-polishes the sometimes weary and dull recounting of the Custer battle with the grit and gory detail it deserves. She has accurately depicted the challenges, limitations and delivery of medical trauma care of the day. To tell the tale of Maj. Marcus Reno’s perspective of the battle, withdrawal and “deliverance” from the point of view of the Old West contract army physician Dr. Henry Porter is brilliant. I highly recommend the book to all True West readers.
—James P. Kornberg, M.D., Sc.D, “Frontier Doc” True West contributing editor
Custer’s Seventh Cavalry had three surgeons among its ranks before the Battle of Little Big Horn. When it was over only one, 28-year-old Henry Porter, was still alive. John Nabseth Stevenson’s evocative account of Porter’s battlefield heroics in the face of overwhelming odds is a wonderful addition to the existing literature on this seminal battle.
Following the attack, and the frontier surgeries he performed on more than 60 soldiers, Porter was instrumental in evacuating survivors and keeping them alive over a rough 15-mile journey to a steamboat, followed by a 700-mile journey to the nearest hospital in Bismarck. Stevenson reveals that the U.S. government has still not acknowledged Porter’s deeds. Perhaps this book will change that.—Cowboys & Indians
“Stevenson’s medical perspective on Little Big Horn is revelatory, written with an eye for striking details.”—Publishers Weekly
This is a mesmerizing story, masterfully researched and excellently written” Johnny D. Boggs in Roundup Magazine
Joan Nabseth Stevenson an independent scholar, holds a Ph.D. in Slavic Languages and Literature from Stanford University. The daughter of a vascular surgeon, she lives with her husband, a neonatologist, in Los Altos Hills, California.