This historical western was written before Custer was known as General, a time when those who knew and marched with Custer were still alive. Edwin L. Sabin tells the story of a man who was “as great in peace as in war” from the perspective of Ned Fletcher, a bugler who served under the general. From the westward expansion of Northern Pacific Railway, to Custer’s encounters with Sitting Bull and the famous Battle of the Little Bighorn, this account of Custer’s adventures is told in an engaging manner and is based upon extensive research. Sabin muses on what really happened at the Battle of Little Bighorn and weaves us a tale that seamlessly combines entertaining storytelling with factual accuracy.
While there were no survivors from Custer’s Last Stand (or Battle of the Greasy Grass, as it is referred to by Native Americans), the author was able to piece out this quintessential American story from records, Mrs. Custer’s writings, and news articles from that time. With the help of the dutiful young soldier, Ned Fletcher, this story embodies what Sabin is best known for—western tales that imbue lessons in good and evil.