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Drawing Battle Lines (HC)
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Drawing Battle Lines: The Map Testimony of Custer's Last Fight, is a unique description of Custer's final fight because it serves as a comprehensive pictorial view of the battle based on drawings and maps made by participants and researchers. Many of these maps have never been published, studied, or even viewed by the general public.
The widespread dispersal of these original maps has made effective, comparitive research virtually impossible without an extraordinary large library. It is also clear that most maps of the battle have received only cursory study by scholars and researchers. DRAWING BATTLE LINES provides a primary resource for all those interested in discussing the visual testimony of the Battle of the Little Bighorn found in these maps.
Unfortunately, maps of the battle have historically played a subordinate role to the written or oral interviews. Many who fought in the Custer fight, as well as interviewers of the participants, realized the universal art of drawing could clarify information otherwise cluttered by language, interpretation and cultural differences. This book combines both the visual and the historical, and here, a picture is worth a thousand words.
Michael Donahue has organized these drawings chronologically in each section: Soldier, Warrior, Civilian and Miscellaneous. Included is each map maker's portrait (when available) and a brief biography, understanding that these were people with individual stories and perspectives. The author has carefully analyzed each map providing a summary of its critical values and flaws, using only the original maps and sketches created by eyewitnesses or second generation researchers who interviewed battle participants.
While this book might seem a cartographer's delight, it is intended to create a historically accurate and visual study guide. It is much more than just a book of maps. These literal battle lines in map form were drawn by those who had direct and indirect knowledge of this tragic episode in our nation's history.