Quotes from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn

Nathaniel Philbrick ·  466 pages

Rating: (8.1K votes)


“We interact with one another as individuals responding to a complex haze of factors: professional responsibilities, personal likes and dislikes, ambition, jealousy, self-interest, and, in at least some instances, genuine altruism. Living in the here and now, we are awash with sensations of the present, memories of the past, and expectations and fears for the future. Our actions are not determined by any one cause; they are the fulfillment of who we are at that particular moment. After that moment passes, we continue to evolve, to change, and our memories of that moment inevitably change with us as we live with the consequences of our past actions, consequences we were unaware of at the time.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Faint heart never won fair lady,” he wrote; “neither did it ever pursue and overtake an Indian village.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Odd things happen in a battle, and the human heart has strange and gruesome depths and the human brain still stranger shallows;”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Living in the here and now, we are awash with sensations of the present, memories of the past, and expectations and fears for the future. Our actions are not determined by any one cause; they are the fulfillment of who we are at that particular moment. After that moment passes, we continue to evolve, to change, and our memories of that moment inevitably change with us as we live with the consequences of our past actions, consequences we were unaware of at the time.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Custer wrote, “I often think I would greatly prefer to cast my lot among those of my people adhered to the free open plains rather than submit to the confined limits of a reservation, there to be the recipient of the blessed benefits of civilization, with its vices thrown in without stint or measure.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn



“As Herman Melville wrote of that seagoing monster of a man Captain Ahab, “All mortal greatness is but disease.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“fluidity of the sea, not the rigidity of irresistible law, characterizes human conduct, especially in the midst of a calamity.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“If half of the two thousand warriors fired ten arrows each during the engagement, that would have been a total of ten thousand arrows,”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Over the next hundred years, more gold would be extracted from a single mine in the Black Hills (an estimated $1 billion) than from any other mine in the continental United States.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Soon after, Tom, all of twenty years old, became the only soldier in the Civil War to win two Medals of Honor. In”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn



“I’ve always known that I had the happy facility of making enemies of any one I ever knew,”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“a space of time is a great breeder of myths.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“When an enlisted man sees his commanding officer lose his head entirely…,” Private Taylor wrote, “it would…demoralize anyone taught to breathe, almost, at the word of command.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Hindsight has a way of corrupting people’s memories, inviting them to view a past event not as it actually occurred but as they wished it had occurred given the ultimate result.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


“Custer did not drink; he didn’t have to. His emotional effusions unhinged his judgment in ways that went far beyond alcohol’s ability to interfere with clear thinking.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn



“The future is never more important than to a people on the verge of a cataclysm.”
― Nathaniel Philbrick, quote from The Last Stand: Custer, Sitting Bull, and the Battle of the Little Bighorn


About the author

Nathaniel Philbrick
Born place: in Boston, The United States
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