Quite aside from its contribution to the public image of Custer, this important book placed him and his associates against a concrete background of onrushing events. Drawing on newspaper reports and the general's own words, Whittaker captures the excitement of the era. In Volume 1 a boy's life in Ohio is made immediate. Then Custer's escapades as a cadet at West Point (where he was called Fanny because of his golden locks), his courtship of Judge Bacon's saucy daughter, and his singular service as a cavalryman in the Civil War are described in vivid circumstantial detail. From the first Battle of Bull Run through Gettysburg and the Virginia campaign he is seen in action, conspicuously defying death and winning promotion. Volume 2 deals with Custer's fighting in the West, ending with a memorable description of his last stand at the Little Big Horn in June 1876.
The introduction to Volume 1 is by Gregory J. W. Urwin, who won praise for Custer Victorious: The Civil War Battles of General George Armstrong Custer, also a Bison Book.