Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Very Cinema-graphic Passage

Off and on, I have been reading The Earth Is Weeping - The Epic Story of the Indian Wars for the American West by Peter Cozzens.  It is, of course, a very sad story, one that cries out for there had to be a better way. Regardless, it is well done and rich in anecdotes.  There was one passage in the book that really struck me.  And, maybe because of the movies I have watched, it strikes me as the most cinema-graphic passage I have ever read.  I leave it to the reader to figure out the back story,  I've added clips so you can listen to music.

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In the predawn hours of May 17, 1876 the staccato bugle notes of "Boots and Saddles"



pierced the black stillness at Fort Abraham Lincoln.  The field exam had begun. The regiment mounted, the band struck up "Garryowen,"





and in the receding darkness the Seventh Cavalry passed in review.  General Terry permitted married officers and men a grief pause for a farewell embrace with their families.  The band changed tunes to "The Girl I Left Behind Me,"





and the long column snaked west onto the prairie.  A furtive light knifed through the fog to reveal a singular mirage: the marching cavalry appeared suspended between earth and sky.

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In a film about the same regiment in a later battle Sam Elliot evaluated Custer somewhat harshly.



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Peter J Reilly will be posting more to this blog soon.












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