Georgia, 1898: On what may be the last day of his life, Captain Frederick Benteen the man who saved Custer s Seventh Cavalry from almost certain death at Little Bighorn receives a letter from an ambitious boy offering to restore his reputation. For over 23 years Benteen has silently watched Custer s legend grow. His General has been dead for more than 20 years, killed in action, considered a hero, while the public has never forgiven Benteen for surviving. Now, at last, he begins to put down some account of those two horrific days pinned down on a ridge. What follows is an exquisite eulogy for his fellow soldiers, both alive and dead. Funny, moving, rich in character and incident, this acclaimed novel avoids the bloody battle scenes and maudlin romance that characterize much Civil War-based fiction in favor of an unsparing and poetic story that explores what it means to be a soldier then and now."