Custer's Black Hills Trail

The 1874 Black Hills "Custer" Expedition

On the border between Wyoming and South Dakota, the Black Hills was still a mysterious place unknown to the white world long after the West had been settled. Gen. George Armstrong Custer's Black Hills Expedition of 1874 changed everything, and set off the last great gold rush in the continental U.S. This significant and eventful expedition was also one of the best-documented in the Old West. At least ten of the explorers kept journals or filed reports. Five journalists wrote stories full of picturesque detail. And photographer W.H. Illingworth recorded dozens of fascinating and invaluable images. His photos and the first-hand accounts are woven together in two books, for a unique experience of life on the trail. (Essay continues here.)

Two beautiful books tell the complete story of this history-changing Expedition.

Exploring with Custer: The 1874 Black Hills Expedition (Purchase here)

By Ernest Grafe and Paul Horsted. The first photographs ever taken in the Black Hills (in 1874), are precisely matched with 50 modern images showing the same locations today. Rare reports, journals and diaries of Custer and his men guide you along their trail, from your armchair or out in the Black Hills. Maps and GPS coordinates show photo sites, camp sites and other historical areas across the Black Hills. 8.5x11 inches, 304 pages, 120 maps, 150 photographs in full color. ISBN 13: 978-0-9718053-1-6 Retail $34.95 (soft cover) (Hard cover edition is SOLD OUT). Free 25-page sample here (3mb PDF)

Crossing the Plains with Custer (Purchase here)

By Paul Horsted, Ernest Grafe, and Jon Nelson. As Exploring with Custer follows the Expedition route through the Black Hills, this companion book traces Custer's Trail across the plains. First-hand accounts and beautiful modern color photographs reveal the 665-mile wagon route from Fort Lincoln to the Black Hills and back home again. Dozens of artifacts from the Custer Expedition are also featured (a few samples are pictured below). If you enjoyed the first book, you'll love this one too! 8.5x11 inches, 304 pages, 120 maps, 150 photographs in full color. ISBN 13: 978-0-9718053-5-4 Retail $45.00 (soft cover) ISBN 13: 978-0-9718053-4-7 Retail $75.00 (hard cover) Free 24-page sample here (8mb PDF)

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