Author Sandy Barnard will discuss George Armstrong Custer during a joint meeting of the Barton County Historical Society and the Quivira chapter of the Santa Fe Trail Association on Monday, April 22. Barnard, a well known Custer expert, will provide the program, “Where Custer Fell and Where is He Buried?” at 7:30 p.m. at the Barton County Historical Society Museum, located south at 85 South U.S. 281 – just south of the Arkansas River bridge in Great Bend.
Barnard will discuss the controversy on whether the Army actually retrieved Custer’s body and buried it at West Point. The program is free to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
Custer’s body was found and buried on Last Stand Hill in 1876. There is a mini-controversy about whether the Army successfully retrieved his body and reburied it in 1877 at West Point. Barnard, a journalist and nonfiction writer for more than 40 years, specializes in researching the Civil War and the Plains Indians wars. He is well known for his research and writing on the Battle of Little Big Horn, the career of Lt. Col. Custer, and the men of the 7th U.S. Cavalry who served with him or followed him.
Barnard is especially recognized for his expertise on newspaper reporter Mark H. Kellogg, killed with Custer at the Little Big Horn; First Sgt. John Ryan, a prominent Little Big Horn survivor; and Major Elliott, a key 7th Cavalry officer in the 1860s. In the 1980s, Barnard assisted the National Park Service with media relations during archeological projects at then-Custer Battlefield National Monument.
Barnard’s books include:
• Where Custer Fell , a study of historic photographs of the Little Bighorn Battlefield in collaboration with
James S. Brust and Brian C. Pohanka that was published in 2005;
• The third edition of Digging Into Custer’s Last Stand, which first appeared in 1986.
• Campaigning with the Irish Brigade: Pvt. John Ryan, 28th Massachusetts ;
• Ten Years with Custer, a 7th Cavalryman’s Memoirs;
• Custer’s First Sergeant John Ryan;
• I Go With Custer, The Life and Death of Reporter Mark Kellogg;
• Shovels & Speculation, Archeologists Hunt Custer ;
• Speaking About Custer , A Collection of Lectures
• A Hoosier Quaker Goes to War , The Life & Death of Major Joel H. Elliott, 7th Cavalry,
Three of his books have received the John M. Carroll Award for book of the year from the Little Big Horn Associates: A Hoosier Quaker (2011); Where Custer Fell (2006); and Ten Years With Custer (2002).
For 23 years (1989-2011), he served as the editor of the annual Greasy Grass magazine published by the Custer Battlefield Historical & Museum Association. A U.S. Army veteran who received the Bronze Star Medal while serving as an intelligence officer in Vietnam in 1968-1969, Barnard holds degrees from Boston College and the University of Missouri School of Journalism. A retired journalism professor at Indiana State University, he lives with his wife, Betty, in Wake Forest, N.C., where he operates AST Press and Rare Books, which includes Indianwarsbooks.com.