Dr. Henry R. Porter: The Surgeon Who Survived Little Bighorn

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"Custer came to me and said: 'Porter, there is a large camp of Indians ahead, and we are going to have a great killing.'"

The words of army contract surgeon Henry R. Porter are chilling today in their matter-of-fact reference to the battle to come—a battle of which Porter would be one of the few white survivors. Drawing on his writings, this biography tells the story of Porter's transformation from young easterner to ambitious frontier settler and medical practicioner in mid-19th century America. In its details of frontier life, of the infamous Battle of Little Bighorn, and of Porter's later travels around the world (which ended with his death in Agra, India), the reader finds richness that brings history vividly to life. Appendices contain a list of items from the North Dakota Historical Society's Henry R. Porter collection and a detailed Porter lineage.

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Editorial Reviews

C&RL News
Porter's story is important for the part he played in frontier medical history and the development of Bismarck, North Dakota
Michigan Alumnus
"thanks to retired surgeon L.G. Walker, Jr., we now know about Henry Porter's fascinating life.... clearly a labor of love and this book doesn't disappoint. This is no boring monograph; it's a fascinating short study of a man who narrowly escaped one of the most famous disasters in history and went on to have several careers as a consummate man of his times"
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780786431717
  • Publisher: McFarland & Company, Incorporated Publishers
  • Publication date: 12/4/2007
  • Pages: 231
  • Product dimensions: 9.00 (w) x 6.00 (h) x 0.60 (d)

Meet the Author

Retired surgeon L.G. Walker, Jr., M.D., lives in Charlotte, North Carolina. Walker is also a Professor of Clinical Surgery, Emeritus, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and has published widely on scientific topic and articles.

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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments     vii
Preface     1
Early Life and Education     3
Medical School Adventures     8
Western Adventures     19
Bismarck, on the Frontier     30
The Road to Little Bighorn     42
The Battle as Seen by Porter     54
After the Battle     61
Recalling the Battle     66
Return to Bismarck     76
Hail to the Chief     83
Early Business Ventures     91
The Reno Inquiry     96
Banking on Bismarck     105
A Capital Matter     110
Farewell to Lottie     119
Banking Business     128
Travels Abroad     133
Italian Journey     141
Up the Nile     147
Travels to the Holy Land and Around the Mediterranean     153
Washington and Bismarck     162
Final Years     170
Forgotten Hero     180
Epilogue     184
Holdings of Dr. H.R. Porter Items, North Dakota Historical Society, Bismarck     185
Porter Lineage     189
Chapter Notes     191
Bibliography     209
Index     215
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