This is the true story of a Brighton man who fought alongside Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn and won the congressional medal of honour for his bravery. Released in October 2011, this book is the culmination of over 25 years of research into Custer's last stand, and the role that Henry Holden played in it.
David writes: "It was in the early 1980s that I first heard the name of Henry Holden, and started to research his life. By
1985 I had already begun to amass a large collection of documents, and in the late 1980s I joined an organisation called The English Westerners,
a group of enthusiasts interested in American history. I was also a member of several American historical groups, including the Order of the Indian
Wars, the Custer Battlefield Association and the Little Bighorn Associates. During that research I uncovered several facts that I didn't at first
quite understand, and I found that opinions about Custer himself were sharply divided.
"Now, more than 120 years after the event, and with a lot of help from archaeologists, investigators and forensic experts using modern methods, we are at last able to dispel some of the myths of that fateful date in American western history. There were no survivors among the soldiers who fought side-by-side with Custer on the fateful afternoon of 25th June, 1876. Holden, as we shall see, played a vital role that day, but we was spared the murderous battle itself. Our only first-hand evidence of Custer's fall comes from Indian warriors who were interviewed by European journalists some ten years after the battle. These warriors were still young, not old men whose minds were failing. They had lived in the largest Indian village ever assembled on the Great Plains, and it was a momentous, unforgettable event in their lives. They probably toned down their reports for fear of government reprisals, but their evidence cannot easily be dismissed."
"Some Custer apologists have refused to accept their accounts of what happened (even ten years after the battle there were still some who would not believe that Custer had been killed) and to this day two passionate groups oppose each other - one believing that Custer could do no wrong, the other believing the exact opposite."
"I am not claiming to know exactly what happened everywhere on the battlefield - there is a lot more to uncover and many more areas to explore - but with modern techniques at our disposal more facts are being uncovered and perhaps soon some more of the myths will be dispelled. I do believe that my account in this book is very close to revealing exactly what happened on that now-distant afternoon."
"Those who have read my previous books will know that I am a stickler for the truth, and I take great pride in the accuracy of my research, refusing to publish anything not backed up by evidence. Although I am aware that this book will prove controversial in some quarters, I am confident that the research does stand up, having been gathered in the main by American experts highly regarded in their field."