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By M. John Lubetkin

Progress at the nation’s moment transcontinental railroad slowed in 1873. The Northern Pacific’s proposed middle—the 250 miles among current Billings and Glendive, Montana—had but to be surveyed, and Sioux and Cheyenne Indians adverse building in the course of the Yellowstone Valley, the center in their searching grounds. a prior surveying excursion alongside the Yellowstone River in 1872 had ended in the dying of a famous member of the celebration, the near-death of the railroad’s leader engineer, the embarrassment of the U.S. military, and a public kin and monetary catastrophe for the Northern Pacific.

Such is the backdrop for Custer and the 1873 Yellowstone Survey, the tale of the excursion informed via files chosen and interpreted via historian M. John Lubetkin. The U.S. military was resolute to punish the Sioux, and the Northern Pacific desperately had to whole its engineering paintings and resume development. The excursion fixed in 1873—larger than all earlier surveys combined—included “embedded” newspaper correspondents and 1,600 infantry and cavalry, the latter led by means of George Armstrong Custer.

Lubetkin has accumulated firsthand debts from the correspondents, diarists, and journalists who followed this significant excursion, together with that of stories correspondent Samuel J. Barrows. Barrows’s narrative—written in a sequence of dispatches to the New York Tribune—provides a accomplished, usually funny description of occasions, and his skillability with shorthand enabled him to trap quotations and discussion with an authenticity unequalled by way of different writers at the survey.

The excursion marched west from the Missouri River in mid-June of 1873 and, in 3 months, coated approximately 1,000, usually grueling miles. Encompassing the saga of transcontinental railroading, cultural clash at the northern plains, and an array of significant Indian and Anglo-American characters, Custer and the 1873 Yellowstone Survey will fascinate Custer enthusiasts and somebody drawn to the background of the yankee West.

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Custer and the 1873 Yellowstone Survey: A Documentary History (Frontier Military Series) by M. John Lubetkin


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