The Civil War Adventures of George Armstrong Custer
By Thom Hatch
St. Martin's Press, Hardcover, 9781250028501, 366pp.
Publication Date: December 10, 2013
"Glorious War," the thrilling and definitive biography of George Armstrong Custer's Civil War years, is nothing short of a heart-pounding cavalry charge through the battlefield heroics that thrust the gallant young officer into the national spotlight in the midst of the country's darkest hours. From West Point to the daring military actions that propelled him to the rank of general at age twenty-three to his unlikely romance with Libbie Bacon, Custer's exploits are the stuff of legend.
Always leading his men from the front with a personal courage seldom seen before or since, he was a key part of nearly every major engagement in the east. Not only did Custer capture the first battle flag taken by the Union Army and receive the white flag of surrender at Appomattox, but his field generalship at Gettysburg against Confederate cavalry General Jeb Stuart had historic implications in changing the course of that pivotal battle.
For decades, historians have looked at Custer strictly through the lens of his death on the frontier, his last stand, casting him as a failure. While some may say that the events that took place at the Little Big Horn are illustrative of America's bloody westward expansion, they have in the process unjustly eclipsed Custer's otherwise extraordinarily life and outstanding career and fall far short of encompassing his incredible service to his country. This biography of thundering cannons, pounding hooves, and stunning successes tells the true story of the origins of one of history's most dynamic and misunderstood figures. Award-winning historian Thom Hatch reexamines Custer's early career to rebalance the scales and show why Custer's epic fall could never have happened without the spectacular rise that made him an American legend.
Advance Praise for Glorious War
“A lively and very readable account of the early career of George Armstrong Custer.”
--Larry McMurtry, Pulitzer Prize winner and author of Custer and Lonesome Dove
"Hatch’s research and knowledge are formidable; his prose, clear and accessible, even when he’s describing the chaotic intricacies of battle – and of human relationships… A considerable achievement."
--The Plain Dealer
“The deftly detailed narrative undergirds Hatch’s emphasis on the importance of Custer’s early military career while delivering the drama of the larger swirl of the Civil War.”
“Finally, instead of the zoom-lens focus on George Armstrong Custer at the Little Big Horn, we are treated to a wide-angle portrait of Custer the Civil War hero. The ‘Boy General’—promoted to brigadier general at twenty-three—receives from acclaimed author Thom Hatch a rich portrait that is no hagiography, but rather [is]painted in a multitude of colors befitting the swashbuckling adventurer with his yellow curls and red ties. Both those long fascinated by Custer and students of the Civil War will find new insights to enliven the Custer conversation.”
--Ronald C. White, Jr., The New York Times bestselling author of A. Lincoln
“An admiring, fast-paced, thoroughly readable account of Custer at war.”
"Custer's legendary pluck, luck, and sheer audacity shine throughout the narrative. VERDICT Recommended as a lively read for Civil War history buffs during the 150th anniversaries and beyond."
“George Armstrong Custer is remembered for a single, spectacular defeat, yet he was one of America's most successful soldiers. Thom Hatch explores that historical contradiction in this exciting tale of Custer’s forgotten Civil War career. Hatch’s prose, as fast paced as a cavalry charge, sweeps the reader along through many of the Civil War’s greatest battles.”
--Paul Andrew Hutton, award-winning author of The Custer Reader
The Last Outlaws:
“[The Last Outlaws] is eloquent of not only the Old West that we think of when we see a photograph of a butte or a mustang or a Colt revolver but also of the implacable forces of time and change that extinguished it.”
--The Wall Street Journal
“Fans of Old West lore will find The Last Outlaws an absorbing and entertaining read.”
Osceoloa and the Great Seminole War
“It’s a fascinating history, touching on the complex relationships among white, black, and Native Americans in the contested territory we now know as Florida... Hatch’s meticulous research is evident in his depiction of Seminole village life and his detailed descriptions of conferences and battles.”
“Sitting Bull, Geronimo and Crazy Horse are well known to every schoolchild. Hatch deftly brings Osceola to the pantheon of legendary Native American leaders.”
“Engaging, well-researched… This important book adds to our understanding of the shameful mistreatment of Native Americans and their resistance.”
“The Seminole tribe of Florida had an origin as complex and tragic as the history of race in America. The Creek Indians of Alabama, escaped black slaves, and Muskogee-speaking natives of Florida together made up the tribe which took its name from the Spanish word for fugitives or wild men. They were united by a fierce independence and were led by a man of great natural gifts, as varied in his background as the tribe he led -- named Billy Powell at birth, known to history as Osceola. His story, stirring and sad in equal measure, is now told by Thom Hatch in his new history of the Seminole ordeal.”
--Thomas Powers, Los Angeles Times Book Prize Winner and National Book Critics Circle Finalist for The Killing of Crazy Horse