GDG- Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick

Tom Barrett tbarrett21 at
Fri Jan 20 08:44:06 CST 2012

I've read...more than a half dozen books on the subject and IMHO Philbrick's
is head and shoulders above the rest.  Even after all of the others read, I
don't think I really understood what happened until I'd read Philbrick.

I'm not familiar with anything like a serious study of PTSD in the post-CW
period.  If anybody knows of one, I, for one would be interested.

I have heard that cavalry troops suffered terrible disabilities later in
life.  Long term horseback riding is apparently every bit as rough on the
human frame as frequent PLF's.



-----Original Message-----
From: gettysburg-bounces at [mailto:gettysburg-bounces at]
On Behalf Of Michael DiLauro
Sent: Friday, January 20, 2012 9:03 AM
To: gettysburg at
Subject: GDG- Custer: G'burg, LBH & Philbrick

Esteemed GDG Member Contributes:
Please allow me to share some thoughts on this recent discussion:
1. Great stuff. As usual learned alot.
2. Although I may have missed it (I'm a 'digest' person and the lack of
'snipping' makes reading everything tedious) I did not see a reference to
Nathaniel Philbrick's recent book on Custer & LBH. He was a 'talking head'
on the AE/PBS show. Thought it was great, comprehensive, and broke new
ground. Perhaps I am prejudiced....he's a favorite author of mine. Would
like to hear other's thoughts on the book. BTW his most recent book on why
we should all read/re-read Moby Dick has several references to the ACW and
Melville's anticipation of it in MD.
3. Seems to me Custer's greatest among many sins was to underestimate his
opponent, something a thoughtful, competent competitior would never do, both
in sports and 'real' life.
4. I seem to recall reading somewhere about the # of ACW vets who suffered
from PTSD. Just slightly better than speculation but makes perfect sense
when thinking about the conduct of several of Custer's officers (Reno?)
drinking, depression, etc.
Mike DiLauro
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