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Cullens, J. "Custer's Last Stand." Army Quarterly and Defense Journal [Great Britain] 90.1 (1965): 104-9.
Describes the Battle of Little Bighorn and the subsequent skirmishes with the Indians.  Important to note is Cullen's particularly detailed attention to battle strategy.  This article intricately describes the countless battles General Custer was involved in from a military perspective.  In addition to a military perspective, other points of view are discussed.  Cullen shifts the focus toward Custer and his effect on the history of America.  No other single event in American history has captured public imagination more completely.  Custer has shaped culture in a profound way.  Cullen relates Little Bighorn to a number of other military conquests.  The author states, "[Bighorn] is rather like the charge of the Light Brigade at Balaclava in that both were exercises in military futility which led to disaster and a place in history."  Custer's place in history is examined and its effect explored.
Dippie, Brian W. " 'The Thrillin'est Fight Ever!' Sheridan Re-enacts Custer's Last Stand." Annals of Wyoming 54.2 (1982): 2-9.
Efforts to reenact George Armstrong Custer's legendary "Last Stand" received considerable support from citizens of Montana and Wyoming beginning in the 1890's.  Dippie, a renowned Custer expert, analyzes the effect the Custer myth had on town commerce.  Town boosters in Billings and Sheridan especially promoted the idea as a way of drawing tourist dollars into their economies.  Many people viewed reenactments of the Bighorn battle, and this had a significant effect on tourism and consequently the economy of various places.  The Northern Pacific and Burlington railroads joined the endeavor and transported eager viewers to several of the reenactments between 1891 and 1927.  Yet the greatest of these performances occurred in 1902 at Sheridan, Wyoming, in which elements of the Wyoming National Guard were pitted against members of the Crow tribe.  This great public performance is examined in detail, as a crowd estimated as high as 10,000 people and a horde of photographers turned the occasion into an economic success.
Dippie, Brian W. Custer's Last Stand: The Anatomy of an American Myth. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1994.
This amazing collection of letters, pictures, artwork, military correspondence, items of popular culture, and personal diary entries, creates and explains the Custer legend as it exists and has progressed throughout history. Not only does this book answer the question "Why?" but also raises questions of its own. Dippie examines the myth and history of the "Last Stand" and its progression over time through the eyes and words and works of poets, artists, novelists, film, stage re-enactment, and reactions of Americans and creation of culture. Dippie measures the Custer myth to the chivalric afterglow and heroic stance of Custer as an enduring figure of American pride. The Custerphiles bible for understanding the myth.
Hutton, Paul A. "From Little Bighorn to Little Big Man: The Changing Image of a Western Hero in Popular Culture." Western Historical Quarterly 7.1 (1976): 19-45.
This essay presents a brief history and account of the Battle of Little Bighorn. However, its main purpose it not to present an historical account but instead to explore the changing perceptions of Custer throughout history as he goes from hero to villain and back again. It includes an overview of the representations of Custer in novels, biographies, the press, dime novels, poetry, wild west shows, paintings, comic books, children's literature, and television. It also presents a brief cinematic timeline of the motion pictures dedicated to capturing the life of Custer and his Last Stand. Overall, it is a fairly comprehensive overview of the changing images of Custer throughout history, and shows that "the fame of Custer was not enough to guarantee him a perpetual positive image."
Hutton, Paul Andrew, ed. The Custer Reader. Lincoln: U of Nebraska P, 1992.
This extensive collection of various authors' works regarding Custer's life and his mythical presentation throughout history is a must read for any serious Custer buff.  This is the George Armstrong Custer "Bible."  Included are the many phases of Custer's life: the Civil War years, his years as a cadet at West Point, and his rise as a prominent public figure in the military to the immortal "Last Stand" at Bighorn (1876).  The book also examines the Custer myth.  Presented are accounts of Custer's changing image as a western hero in popular culture.  A pictorial record of the old west and Hollywood's portrayal of Custer as a martyred hero are also included.  Present are actual accounts from survivors of the battle.  Kate Bighead discusses her involvement and perspective of the battle as a surviving eye-witness.  Also discussed is Custer as an Indian fighter with the 7th regiment, some reminiscences through letters as a young cavalry officer, and Custer's growth as a prominent American hero.
Hutton, Paul Andrew. "'Correct in Every Detail': General Custer in Hollywood." Montana: The Magazine of Western History 41.1 (1991): 28-57.
This is a filmic history and analysis of the motion pictures devoted to Custer and the Battle of Little Bighorn, including commentary on the filmmakers and actors; plots and key scenes; images and posters; and a brief historical context and commentary on the accuracy of said films. It includes a great deal of information about The Died with Their Boots On, and does not shy away from a critique of the film's historical inaccuracies. Overall, it is a comprehensive reflection on the enduring presence of Custer and the ups and downs of his "celluloid career" in American cinema.
Langellier, John P. Custer: The Man, the Myth, the Movies. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2000.
This book contains a brief historical background of Custer and his popular depictions throughout history; it presents "Custeriana's many faces" within organized and detailed chapters that chart Custer's journey through American pop culture. Though the book itself is dominated with a history of Custer's enigmatic film presence, the appendices also present a detailed chronicle of all the existing serials, television programs, and televised documentaries, with episodic synopses of both the 1930s serials and the television shows.
Pearson, Roberta E. "Custer's Still the Hero: Textual Stability and Transformation." Journal of Film and Video 47.1/3, The Western (1995): 82-97.
This essay explores the ways in which particular aspects of the western genre—what the author dubs as its "regimes of verisimilitude"—provide an explanation for the similarities existing between They Died with Their Boots On and the 1991 ABC miniseries Son of the Morning Star. In the process, she provides a filmic analysis of certain key aspects of each work that help the reader to understand how specific recurring aspects of the western affect the content and influence the tradition of specific themes that can be found in these two works. Also of interest is a brief analysis of the historical inaccuracies of They Died with Their Boots On.
Rolland, Marc. "Knocking the Paste Eye out of the Idol: The Second Death of George Armstrong Custer." Revue Francaise d'etudes Americaines [France], 1993.
The American film depiction of cultural icons is a constantly changing subject. Custer, as an American hero, has been depicted in much the same manner throughout history. The brash, golden, boy-general image is tattooed in the minds of Americans. This image has become part of American culture. Until recently Custer's image was constant, then the air surrounding Custer transformed dramatically. Today the Custer image is explained with diversity. Custer as a martyr, a fool, a righteous hero, an Indian killer, a delinquent, as a proponent of western expansion, as a husband, and as a less than morally sound idol. The other side of Custer is explored in further detail, through multiple films such as: Custer of the West (1967), With Custer at the Little Bighorn (1926), The Oregon Trail (1939), They Died with Their Boots On (1941),and Little Big Man (1970). Discusses the changing attitudes of American culture on the events of the Little Bighorn. Examines the changing depiction in American film of the life and myth of American hero General George A Custer (1839-76) and his disastrous 1876 defeat at Little Bighorn.
Rosenberg, Bruce A. "Custer: The Legend of the Martyred Hero in America." Journal of the Folklore Institute 9.2/3 (1972): 110-32.
This essay explores the myth of Custer and Little Bighorn in the context of other heroic battles and heroes that have captured our imagination throughout history. Rosenberg explores not only the how but the why: namely, how was the myth introduced into American culture and disseminated in its various forms? and why does the legend of Custer continue to exist in various incarnations throughout American history? By presenting both negative and positive versions of him throughout history, this essay not only gives an insightful look into the Custer myth, but it also shows the implications such enduring myths have on a nation's history and culture.
Ross, Thom. "Undiscovered History: The Thoughts of Thom Ross." Western Historical Quarterly 35.2 (2004): 214-24.
"The meaning of history is not in the details. It is in the interpretation of the historical event. How a culture grasps, comprehends, and absorbs an historical event is where you will find its meaning." —Thom Ross. Though not immediately identifiable as being relevant to Custer and Little Bighorn, this interview with famed Western artist Thom Ross does offer fascinating insights into the process of reinterpreting history and myth through a unique and artistic approach. Ross discusses several of his works, and the stylistic motivations behind his interpretations. Ross has also done several Custer paintings that add to the diverse artistic archive that exists; in the process, he shows us his own personal interpretations of the mythic legend.
Steckmesser, Kent L. "Custer In Fiction." American West 1.4 (1964): 47-52, 63-64.
Captures the essence of Custer's adapting image as it is presented in fictional works. Focuses on changing literary and historical interpretation in this analysis. An analysis of the novels concerned with George Armstrong Custer confirms that literary interpretation changes when historical interpretation changes. Steckmesser starts from the beginning, examining earliest works such as Frederick Whittaker's 1876 eulogistic biography and his 1882 Beadle's "dime biography," which established the initial pattern. He continues in his analysis with juvenile and adult literature, which portrayed Custer with profound indifference to historical facts, as a truly romantic, heroic, and legendary figure. This tradition came to an abrupt end with Frederick F. Van de Water's 1934 biography portraying Custer as an "impetuous and irresponsible egotist." This and Helen Hunt Jackson's 1881 plea for the Indians has changed the literary approach to a debunking effort. Public view of Custer has changed dramatically. An "admirable" Custer has now been replaced by a "petulant and self-seeking neurotic" in Custerana.
Stekler, Paul. "Custer and Crazy Horse Ride Again . . . and Again, and Again: Filmmaking and History at Little Bighorn." Montana: The Magazine of Western History 42.4 (1992): 63-72.
Relates the author's experiences in the summer of 1991 making a documentary film, Last Stand at Little Bighorn. This well put-together product is an extensive collection of actual accounts as author Paul Steckler compiled knowledge for the answer behind Little Bighorn. Discusses a wide range of topics from various perspectives. The film examines both the 1876 battle between General George Armstrong Custer's 7th Cavalry and the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians and contemporary myths surrounding the event. Not only does this work create myth; it aids in understanding the existing Custer myth. The praise this work has received is justly deserved. Steckler takes a powerful and positive stance in his effort to uncover truth behind the myth. The author's celluloid contribution is notable because it takes the perspective of the Native Americans. Topics further discussed: Indian wars, Indian life at Little Bighorn, Montana expansion, Custer's life. Other filmmaking documentaries are also discussed. Overall, this essay is a fascinating examination from an independent filmmaker of the ways that history can be distorted and changed to fit a particular narrative, genre, or perspective—in this case, a film intended to reach a wide television audience.
Utley, Robert M. "Custer: Hero Or Butcher?" American History Illustrated 5.10 (1971): 4-9, 43-48.
Summarizes the image of Major General George Armstrong Custer with a focus on his career as an Indian fighter from 1867 to June 1876. Historians have had as much difficulty in judging Custer's character as his contemporaries did. Custer is complex. His contemporaries called him "stubborn," "arrogant," and "selfish." Either Custerphobe or Custerphile, Custer is a character. Discusses issues by decade and how they relate to the image of Custer. Timely emphasis on Red History and the Vietnam War transformed the image of an Indian-fighting cavalryman. Why does George Armstrong Custer have an image in American culture? Other field commanders deserved equal or greater recognition, but they lacked the distinctive personal style that captures popular fancy -— and an autobiography, and wife-biographer. Yet Custer's attitudes that Indians should be civilized under Army guidance, combined with his admiration for many Indian customs as well as their physical proficiencies, were contradictions shared by most frontier commanders.
Utley, Robert M. Custer and the Great Controversy: The Origin and Development of a Legend. Los Angeles: Westernlore Press, 1962.
An expansion of Custer historian Utley's masters thesis, this book is a detailed historical account of Little Bighorn, and how the legend of Custer emerged from this history to become the enduring American myth at the center of the Last Stand. The battle itself is also steeped in legend, and Utley provides background, press reports, Indian accounts, and the post Little Bighorn "Great Debate" over Custer's role and the reasons for the battle's failure to lay a foundation for the changing perceptions of the Custer myth. The book also includes a useful bibliographical survey that provides a valuable list of sources to one who wishes to further study this moment in history.

See Also

Bernardi, Daniel. The Birth of Whiteness: Race and the Emergence of U.S. Cinema. New Brunswick: Rutgers UP, 1996.

Deloria, Vine. Custer Died for your Sins: An Indian Manifesto. New York: Macmillan, 1969.

Hays, Robert G. A Race at Bay: New York Times Editorials on "the Indian problem," 1860-1900. Carbondale : Southern Illinois UP, 1997.

Josephy, Alvin M., Jr. "They Died With Their Boots On." Past Imperfect: History According to the Movies. Ed. Mark C. Carnes. New York: Holt, 1995.

Moss, Marilyn Ann. Raoul Walsh: The True Adventures of Hollywood's Legendary Director. Lexington: UP of Kentucky, 2011.

Pitts, Michael. Hollywood and American History: A Filmography of over 250 Motion Pictures depicting U.S. History. Jefferson : McFarland, 1984.

Rollins, Peter C. The Columbia Companion to American History on Film: How the Movies Have Portrayed the American Past. New York: Columbia UP, 2003.

Rosenberg, Bruce A. Custer and the Epic of Defeat. University Park: Penn State UP, 1974.

Slotkin, Richard. The Fatal Environment: The Myth of the Frontier on the Age of Industrialization, 1800-1890. Middletown: Wesleyan UP, 1985.

Video/Audio Resources

Crazy Horse: The Last Warrior. A&E Home Video, 1995.
After the Sioux defeated General George Crook, Crazy Horse wages war against gold prospectors from Montana.
Last Stand at Little Bighorn. Produced and directed by Paul Stekler; written by James Welch and Paul Stekler. (American Experience) Distributed by PBS Video, 1992.
Examines the Battle of the Little Bighorn, known as "Custer's Last Stand," from an Indian and white man's perspective.  Uses journals, oral accounts, Indian ledger drawings, archival footage, and feature films to present the dual viewpoints of this historic event.
The Legend of Custer. Wavelength Video. Distributed by Simitar Entertainment, Inc., 1992.
Focuses on his career and his final battles. Crazy Horse and Custer provides a different perspective of the general and the Indian wars.
Sitting Bull: Chief of the Lakota Nation. A&E Home Video, 1995.
A stirring portrait of this legendary Native American who led the Lakota Sioux to victory over General Custer at Little Big Horn.

Online Resources

America's West: Development and History [Archived]

American Indian Heritage Foundation

Gallagher, Tag. "Raoul Walsh." Sense of Cinema.
Essay and filmography on Walsh.

General George A. Custer Home Page

Gomery, Douglas. "Raoul Walsh." Film Reference.
Facts and brief analysis of Walsh's career.