A Life Cut Short at the Little Big Horn
U.S. Army Surgeon George E. Lord
Published by: University of Oklahoma Press
Imprint: University of Oklahoma Press
260 Pages | 6 x 9 | 39 b&w illus., 5 maps
Drawing on newly discovered documents, Todd E. Harburn describes Lord’s education and training at Bowdoin College in Maine and the Chicago Medical College, detailing what the study of medicine entailed at the time for “a young man of promise . . . held in universal esteem.” Lord’s time as a contract physician with the army took him in 1874 to the U.S. Northern Boundary Survey. From there Harburn recounts how, after a failed romance and the rigors of the U.S. Army Medical Board examination, the young doctor proceeded to his first—and only—appointment as a post surgeon, at Fort Buford in Dakota Territory. What followed, of course, was Lord’s service, and his death, in the Little Big Horn campaign, which this book shows us for the first time from the unique perspective of the surgeon.
A portrait of a singular figure in the milieu of the American military’s nineteenth-century medical elite, A Life Cut Short at the Little Big Horn offers a close look at a familiar chapter in U.S. history, and a reminder of the humanity lost in a battle that resonates to this day.
“Three doctors rode with Custer to the Little Bighorn—two died there. They were among the most educated and accomplished men in a battle that has spawned endless interest, yet until recently, only survivor Dr. Henry Porter had much written about him. That has been corrected over the past six years by a current-day physician, Dr. Todd Harburn. His zealous research gave us the story of Dr. James DeWolf in 2017. He has now completed the trilogy with this biography of Dr. George Lord. The tale of Lord’s great professional achievement and personal mystery will interest all students of the Battle of the Little Bighorn.”—James S. Brust, coauthor of Where Custer Fell, Photographs of the Little Bighorn Battlefield Then and Now
“An admirable addition to the Little Big Horn canon.”—James Donovan, author of A Terrible Glory