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am 24. März 2000
I wouldn't call this the definitive work on the battle of the Little Bighorn. A novice to the battle might be a little overwhelmed, but it is agreed among most students that Fox made a few mistakes. Biggest one: he had Captain Yates leading a battalion far north to the so-called "Ford D," to round up the Indian women and children. This is based on very slim evidence. While most think that Yates or some other officer did lead some men a little north of Custer Hill, perhaps or perhaps not to snap up the women and children, it is believed that he did not go very far and that there were probably no fatalities. Fox claims the body of Mark Kellogg was found near Ford D, but this is surely incorrect. All the firsthand accounts I have read clearly point to the vicinity of Deep Ravine as the spot where Kellogg's corpse was discovered.
Furthermore, Fox relies rather heavily on the Indian accounts collected by Dr. Marquis. This is unfortunate because it has been demonstrated that Marquis padded his account of Wooden Leg with the experiences of other men (crediting them to Wooden Leg), and also doctored the Indian accounts to fit his own preconceived notions of the battle, i.e. fictionalizing them. The Marquis interviews should only be used with extreme caution.
He also believes that most of the Indian casualties were suffered on the southern end of the battle, and that the soldiers on Custer Hill and the South Skirmish Line barely fought at all. I think Gregory Michno has disproven this theory --- most Indian casualties occurred in the northern area of the battlefield. This matter, though, is a subject of much contention that has yet to be resolved.
To anyone seriously interested in the Little Bighorn, I would also recommend Gregory Michno's "Lakota Noon" as a counterbalance. Neither Fox's nor Michno's books are perfect, but both are necessary reading for a real understanding of the battle. Don't forget, of course, the firsthand accounts by the people who were there. The Little Bighorn is a very heavily documented battle, and here on Amazon you can find many collections of primary sources. I would particularly recommend the collections of Walter Camp's interviews.
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am 7. Juli 1999
As a cultural anthropologist with emphasis on plains indian tribes and history and a frequent visitor to the Little Big Horn Battlefield Monument, I have read Mr. Fox's book a number of times and have gone over the ground with it in hand. I have also read many of the other accounts, both contemporary and historical to attempt an understanding of what occurred at the Little Big Horn. Fox's precise, analytical and well-reasoned account, taking into consideration the physical evidence at the site, seems irrefutable. Contrary to one reviewer, I found no evidence of "rambling" at all, but a thorough analysis of all aspects of the battle from archeological evidence, oral and written histories to US Army Calvary tacitcs in use at the time, that support Fox's thesis, which is different and original from all that have preceeded it. Congratulations to Mr. Fox for a model of historical, archeological and anthropological research. I believe he has indeed broken new ground in the field. If you have any interest at all in the plains tribes, Custer or western history you owe it to yourself to read this fine book.
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am 15. März 1999
I found this account of the Little Bighorn event very informative and full of new information and conclusions which are all plausible. At times it became difficult to follow and even "ramble". Once the reader gets past these areas, a clear view of the events (called episodes in the text) comes into view. I wish that the author had an opportunity to excavate the Cemetary Ridge area of the monument, since definite proof of one of the most interesting aspects of the work may be hidden there, but since this isn't possible, this part of the story may never be fully realized.
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