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Foreword INDIES announced their 2016 winners on Saturday night and Artifacts of Little Big Horn was named the GOLD winner in their Reference category!
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Spent Tuesday, June 13th through Friday, June 16th at the Little Big Horn Association (LBHA) Conference in Salina, KS. I joined up with many old friends and wonderful historians. So many highlights, to include an impressive talk by David Harrington, titled, “Custer and Miles in Kansas: The Beginning of a Beautiful Friendship.” I never knew George and Nelson were so close … and so much alike. Our bus tours took us to many places famous in the early 1860s Indian Wars. We visited the sites of Cheyenne Dog Soldier raids along the Saline and Solomon Rivers in Kansas. Then toured Ft Harker and Ft Hayes, where Custer served commanding the 7th Cavalry. We enjoyed countless rich and interesting stories. What an amazing event!
I am now in Hardin, MT, very close to the Little Big Horn Battlefield. On Sunday, June 18th, Father’s Day, a few of us met with several Crow and Cheyenne Native American descendants of warriors who fought either with Custer as scouts (Crow Indians) or against him (Cheyenne). They have been gracious enough to show us things and tell us things never written about, and which we would never have known. I also managed to photograph newly discovered Native American artifacts – perhaps for a Second Edition of “Artifacts of the Battle of Little Big Horn.”
I’ll be in Hardin until next Sunday, at the Custer Battlefield Historical and Museum Association symposium, and then home on Monday. A great trip, but I’ll be happy to get home to my lovely wife and new Sheltie, Stormy.
“They won the battle, but lost the war” summarizes Mr. Hutchinson’s approach to the Battle of the Little Big Horn and the route of Custer’s troops. The U.S. persisted in a relentless military campaign to drive the natives into reservations under their control, while the remnant under Sitting Bull found that the Canadian “Mounties” who were both policemen and magistrates stressed cooperation, provided they observe Canadian law. Click the PLAY button below, to listen to the Podcast.
It’s been a week or so since our first book event to introduce my latest photographic endeavor, Artifacts of the Battle of the Little Big Horn: Custer, the 7th Cavalry & Lakota and Cheyenne Warriors. The response to our invitation was so overwhelming that I needed some time to reflect on the entire evening and how to tell you about it before I started this blog.
First, it was such a privilege to be hosted by the Adams County Arts Council Center. It’s a place where the arts inspire, engage and entertain people everyday. I thought it was the perfect setting to present a work of historical photography.
Just as the program was set to begin, I looked out toward the Main Gallery entrance, and the line was literally out the door. I could feel the energy in the room….it seemed like magic was in the air. Chris Glatfelter, the Director of the Center, kicked-off the program by introducing our “MC” Stan McGee, from the National Park Service at Harpers Ferry. Stan outlined the program for the evening and introduced Chris Ziegler, National Park Service at Hardin, Montana. Chris described how the project to photograph and write about the artifacts of Little Big Horn started initially, and how I got permission to photograph the entire onsite National Park collection of those artifacts.
I felt very honored that Ted Streeter, the Mayor of Gettysburg, came to participate in our event. The Mayor introduced Chris Gwinn, a Supervisor Park Ranger at the Gettysburg National Park, and me. Chris interviewed me “Charlie Rose” style, using his Masters Degree in Public History to help the audience explore lesser-known aspects of the Battle of the Little Big Horn. Through his questions we were able to shine a light on the tension between morals and duty; explore the varying points of view about Custer’s actions and the strategy of the 7th Cavalry; and describe the fate of the Indian Warriors at the battle. Our discussion highlighted how the history of a battle so well known to millions around the world is also filled with lots of mystery and lore.
I want to thank the table of historians, including Bruce Liddic and Dave Harrington, who kept me on the right track. Thanks to all those who waited in line for me to sign their book, their awesome comments and to the fantastic team that put the event together.
Just to wind up, I simply cannot adequately express my gratitude to all the people who shared the evening with me and made this unforgettable evening possible.
Hey there Friends and Readers, Podcasts are awesome! When Apple first thought of the iPod it was intended primarily for the music world. Perhaps Apple didn’t anticipate the universal popularity and acceptance of the talk show format. I was thrilled that Jerry Christianson invited me to guest on his show “The Seminary Explores Podcast,” to talk about the significance of Little Big Horn Battle. Over the past 140 years, the Battle of Little Big Horn is one that is studied, analyzed, argued and scrutinized repeatedly. I suspect that every blade of grass on this battlefield is somehow controversial. It has been a fascination of mine for well over thirty years. I must admit my feelings about Custer and the Battle have changed as my research intensified, and my knowledge increased. Jerry and I discussed Custer’s character. On the one hand, it radiated charisma and confidence, a certain swagger, characteristic of cavalry officers, and on the other demonstrated an egotistical attitude, refusal to accept advice, and failure to communicate well with subordinate officers. We covered various strategies and approaches of the US Government in its desire to settle the West. One of the most interesting topics was the plight of the Indians after winning the battle. They were pursued relentlessly by the US Army until many settled on the Great Reservation, and many more fled North across the Canadian border. We discussed the differences in the approach to what was seen as the “Indian problem” between the US and Canadian Governments. The US being more a military approach and Canada being more an obey-the-law police type approach. I discuss this further in my book. I will let you know as soon as the Podcast is on line. I hope you will tune in and enjoy these exciting and interesting topics
Hello Friends and Readers
I’m excited about the Catoctin Colorfest! Thanks to Jim Rada, a friend and fine author, I will be at the 53rd Catoctin Colorfest. We will share a booth and table at the event to talk about and sign our books. Colorfest takes place on October 8 & 9, 2016, in the Community Park on Frederick Road, Thurmont, MD. The hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM each day. Breakfast is available from various food vendors starting at 7:00 AM. A shuttle bus service is available from 8:00 AM to 6:00 PM. Admission is free to Colorfest, but a nominal fee is charged at the parking locations throughout the town.
In addition to Colorfest, there is a book event introducing “Artifacts of the Little Big Horn: Custer, the 7th Cavalry & the Lakota and Cheyenne Warriors,” on Friday, October 14th at Adams County Arts Center,
125 S. Washington Street, Gettysburg, PA. I will talk a bit about the new book and the rather amazing journey to its completion. Each attendee will receive a copy of the Little Big Horn book, which I will personalize and sign. There will be light fare, wine, and much socializing.
We are also busy working on the schedule for various book fairs and signings during the latter part of 2016, and the entire next year, 2017. Just to name one, I will be setting up next to my good friend and awesome artist, Keith Rocco, at the World Model Expo in Chicago in July 2017.
Hey there Readers and Friends,
Just thought I’d let you know, if you’re in the area on Thursday, August 18th, I’ll be at the Adams County Arts Council, 125 S. Washington St., from noon to about one o’clock. I will give a talk on “Writing Historical Fiction.” The discussion will cover the process of how to manage historical research; maintain historical accuracy; how to weave fictional characters among real historical personalities; write dialogue among those real historical personalities; and, how to treat accents and regional dialects. Finally, we'll discuss the obligation and responsibility of historical fiction writers to history, itself.
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