Custer's English Soldier

Custer’s English Soldier: The story of Henry Holden, by David Rowland. [Self Published] Finsbury Publishing, 2 Harvest Close, Telescombe Cliffs, East Sussex, BN10 7JG.  Paperback. £15 plus postage.

What Rowland says: “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 [and was awarded the Medal of Honor] 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. 

“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.”

The Review

I have read and enjoyed other books by David Rowland but I was a little disappointed by this offering. Mr. Rowland states that this is the “True story of a Brighton man who fought alongside Custer at Little Big Horn.” In  fact Custer may have already been killed when Henry Holden was involved in any action.

The “true story” contains very little of Henry Holden because very little is actually known about him, especially the year and place of his birth.The first known records of him are after he arrived in America and enlisted in the U.S. Army during the last months of the Civil War.

I would have liked to have known more about Holden’s army career prior to the 7th Cavalry episodes.

Henry Holden was a true hero of the Little Big Horn engagement for which, among others, he was awarded America’s highest military honour.

David Rowland’s book is well presented with good reference to the Battle and its aftermath. However there is much that still remains unknown about Henry Holden, which hopefully in time will be found and researched so the “true story” can at last be told.

All in all a good read but certainly not one for the purist.

Tony Clevett

 

& The Small Print

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