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Exploring with Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition Paperback – 2002

4.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
Textbook Amy Krouse Rosenthal
The bestselling author of "Encyclopedia an Ordinary Life" returns with a literary experience that is unprecedented, unforgettable, and explosively human. Hardcover | Kindle book
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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Golden Valley Press; 3rd edition edition (2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0971805318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0971805316
  • Product Dimensions: 11 x 8.6 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #474,838 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I suppose one could criticize this book as an exercise in trivia, but interesting trivia it is! The infamous George Armstrong Custer and his 7th Cavalry undertook an expedition to the Black Hills of South Dakota in 1874. The authors have undertaken a meticulous reconstruction of Custer's route with topographic maps illustrating every step the great man and his troopers took.

That might be construed as pretty dry stuff, but about everybody with an interest in landscape should find the photos in this book fascinating. A photographer, William H. Illingworth, accompanied Custer and took several dozen photographs of the Black Hills. With amazing diligence, the modern day authors of this book tracked down the exact locations from where Illingworth took his photos and took photos from the same place. They publish the two photos, one from 1874 and the other from the present day, on facing pages. Thus, you have a time machine of sorts -- comparing what Illingworth saw in 1874 with what exists now.

It is gratifying that so much of the Black Hills hasn't changed much since Custer, although interestingly there are a lot more trees now than there were then. Moreover, the photos are beautiful in themselves.

You might not want to read this book from cover to cover unless you are really, really interested in Custer, but you will enjoy comparing the old photos and the new photos and the aesthetics of both.

Smallchief
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By Bomojaz on March 19, 2007
Format: Paperback
This is an amazing book. Utilizing numerous diaries kept by soldiers on Custer's Black Hills Expedition of 1874 as well as the photographs taken by expedition photographer William Illingworth, the authors have retraced in minute detail the exact route taken by the unit. Using topo maps and even Long./Lat. coordinates (the first time I've ever seen this done - great for the modern GPS-equipped traveler of today), the authors detail the exact route and all the camping sites - the complete itinerary of the two month excursion made in a figure 8 from Ft. Abraham Lincoln to the Black Hills and back again. Complete driving instructions for anyone interested in seeing for himself are also included. The maps are fantastic. In addition to all this, the authors include Then-and-Now photos of many of the location photographs taken by Illingworth; how the authors were able to find the exact camera locations of many of Illingworth's photos is incredible. The book, published on slick, durable paper, is an eyeful as well as a storehouse of information. It makes the explorer-history buff want to head for the Black Hills as soon as possible. It's history examined with a microscope, and for this reader, fascinating and endlessly rewarding. A great book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I tracked down a hardcover copy of this book and was not disappointed. I saw the softcover at the Little Bighorn Battlefield and was so incredibly impressed with the writing, photography, and pictures of dug artifacts that I tracked down the rare HC of it. Having well over 1,000 history books, this rates in writing, editing, and publishing (the fine art of doing so) as easily in my top-20 of all volumes I own. If you remotely like the Indian Wars and love the Civil War, this is a must-have book to own. It's the cornerstone of any Indian Wars book collection. To understand what happened in 1876 to Custer, you must read this volume and its companion piece by the same author. The author is also a very fine historian and a heck of a nice man. I've corresponded with him and he's a delight to get to know. Utterly compelling reading from someone who is absolutely in-love with his subject. I hope he'll do a 3rd volume that will actually discuss the Custer fight at the Little Bighorn. I'd love his "take" on that subject, esp. if it includes a lot of photos of artifacts dug at the battle site. For the most part, books showing pictures of dug Indian Wars artifacts are shoddy at best- not so with this author's works.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A very good book that has great pictures (past and present) and illustrations. It a fascinating look into the character of Custer and his men and the aspects of a military exploration of the West. It's a great book to read along a trip to the Black Hills, one of the most beautiful areas of the country. A good companion book is, "Crossing the Plains with Custer."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you have ever desired to travel into the Black Hills of South Dakota and you did not know just where to start, this volume will prove to be a most excellent guide to that end. Though written to take you where General George Armstrong Custer and his US Seventh Cavalry traveled during perhaps the most documented US military expedition on the North American continent, you will find this book a perfect companion for touring this part of our great country, and doing so without 'saddling up' to a major military campaign, unless you simply desire to do so. This book will work for you either way.

Should you never leave your home, or ever travel to this region, you will still gain a truly entertaining and educational experience as to the what, when, where, why, how, and who, of this country and that expedition from this extremely well laid out volume. Now if you desire a 19th century high plains military shoot 'um up tale of the Old West, this book would not be what you are looking for.

There is an intense amount of detailed facts packed into this book should you require a one-title-finds-much research tome for your project. Also, the photography, both 19th and 21century, therein makes owning this book a must, if nothing else. The quality and craftsmanship of this album is first-rate, and are penny-for-pound a real dollar value, bar-none. Both Grafe and Horsted do this topic true justice, and mine being autographed makes it 'tall' among the tomes from which I continue my ongoing studies of "Custerology". No personal, or professional, library on the topic of Custer is near complete without this volume within. I also found the authors most cordial to communicate with as I labored to obtain additional information on this book set, and I think you will too, if you require or desire it. Do investigate this book, as you will be most pleased that you did. Good hunting!
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