Nathaniel Shilbrick The Last Stand Essay

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When facts enter the mind they fall victim to the distortion of time, and memory. There is perhaps no better example of this than Custer's Last Stand on June 25, 1875. One of the greatest blunders of military history, it has been twisted by those who bore witness to it in an attempt to not assign blame to any single belligerent, yet avoiding letting any of them completely off the hook. The Last Stand, by Nathaniel Philbrick, presents of the facts mostly from the point of view of 7th Calvary, with bits from the Native Americans. The pace of the book is steady, much like the pursuit of Sitting Bull, and his Lakota. Philbrick follows carefully the trail of the 7th Calvary, piecing together various accounts to present a continuous panorama of …show more content…
Philbrick does not pull punches when representing the much romanticized Last Stand. From General Terry down we are given a pitiful yet honest account of the dangers of avarice. The commanding officers are presented as each looking for an opportunity to obtain glory for themselves, even at the cost of unity of command. Bickering, and subtle power plays ultimately undermine the strength of the 7th Company. Since the infamous Last Stand certain witnesses, and Hollywood have put a courageous spin of Custar's Last Stand. Turning Custer and the 7th Company into heroes, and villainizing Sitting Bull and the Lakota. Philbrick does not shy from the fact that Custer desecrated the dead of the Lakota found in an abandoned village, or that Sitting Bull took a defensive attitude towards the soldiers, and ordered his warriors to only attack in defense. As a whole Philbrick has objectively collected the facts leading up to the Last Stand, and presented them in a respectful manner to both the 7th Company, and the Lakota, in The Last Stand. The story is told mostly from the side of the 7th Company yet does not weigh in their favor, merely giving the evidence regardless of whether it is favorable, or patriotic. Skillfully he leaves out personal condemnation to any one person taking an unbiased stance, that of the

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