LibriVox recording of My Life on the Plains, by Gen. George A. Custer. Read by Ken Campbell.
George Armstrong Custer (December 5, 1839 – June 25, 1876), one of the most mythologized figures in American history, was an United States Army officer and cavalry commander in the American Civil War and the Indian Wars. He eventually met his fate in the battle of Little Big Horn in one of the most notable defeats of American armed forces.
My Life on the Plains is an autobiographical first-hand account of the Indian Wars of 1867-1869, detailing the winter campaign of 1868 in which Custer led the 7th US cavalry against the Cheyenne indians. The book is a historical document of the perspectives and attitudes of it's age and author as well as an account of army life during the expeditions of the Indian Wars. Expect a fair amount of masculine bravado, historical fact-bending and quite a few stomach-turning descriptions of violence from both the indians and the cavalry. (Summary by Illiterati)
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June 20, 2011 Subject:
Derring-do in the Age of Empire
Please note that these are the memoirs of a cavalry officer from the mid-nineteenth century. If casual racism and hypocrisy are too much for you then avoid this work. That said, Custer is a fine writer and tells a good story well. His account of the Wabash Battle/Massacre is important historically and pretty accurate (bar his considerable over-statement of the enemy dead).
Custer probably knew he was recording Indian and frontier life as they were passing into history - he certainly didn't know that he was doing the same for the horse cavalry officer. Anyway, for any student of the Old West or cavalry or nineteenth century sentiments this is a fascinating account.
The reader has an appropriate voice and accent for the work and he does an excellent job throughout.