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Photographing Custer's Battlefield: The Images of Kenneth F. Roahen Hardcover – March 18, 2016
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About the Author
Sandy Barnard is an independent scholar and author of numerous books on Custer and the Little Big Horn, including Photographing Custer’s Battlefield: The Images of Kenneth F. Roahen.
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I've read other books about excavating the LBH battlefield by the author, so I know he is very informed about the battle. I've never seen the 60's era photos before, so for someone like me who can't get enough of the LBH battle, this book is a great addition to my library.
What author Barnard has done is present a collection of photographs of the battle area and match them with photographs he and his associate took from more or less the same position. The first set of photos were made by Kenneth Roahen across decades in the mid20th Century. Mr. Roahen was a game warden assigned the region who - both on his own and at the request of park personnel - sought to document the sites. Mr. Barnard, who admits to be a fanatic about the event, elected launch this attempt to duplicate the first set of photos. This he succeeds at impressively.
The dates involved mean this is not a collection of 19th Century pictures Mr. Barnard tries to duplicate; At the extreme there is around just 90 years separating the images. But, changes are often few on preserved battlefields and as this is the case, one is given an excellent sense of what the folks following Custer saw that day in June.
The pictures are divided into chapters following Custer's advance after separating from the battalions of Reno and Benteen, as well as the Reno/Benteen Battlefield. It culiminates at or near Last Stand Hill, where the greatest change - in terms of infrastructure and facilities - occurred. The text - narrative and related to the photos - is clear and cogent. Each chapter also begins with a map of the area with the location of each shot marked.
My quibbles with the book are the quality of the paper (it's not the best for presenting photos, being neither glossy not smooth) and the size of the reproductions themselves. Without no knowledge of what making them larger might do to the image quality, I wish they were enlarged.