A Dispatch to Custer tells the little-known story of Lieutenant Lyman Kidder, a young soldier sent on a mission in 1867 to deliver new orders to Lieutenant Colonel George Custer. En route a band of Sioux and Cheyenne ambushed Kidder and his party, killing all eleven soldiers and their Sioux scout. Custer discovered their mutilated bodies a few days later and ordered they be buried in a common grave. When Kidder's father was notified of his son's death, he began the process of recovering his son's remains. Told mainly through the letters of Kidder's family and military colleagues, A Dispatch to Custer conveys a rare intimacy, while the authors' insightful interpretations fill out the story.
"It seems likely the relatively obscure death of a young lieutenant and his men may have had a considerable influence long after in shaping the nation's 19th century policies with American Indians. . . . [A Dispatch to Custer] sustains interest from first to last." --Matt Taylor, Tri-City Herald (Kennewick, WA)
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