Princess Monahsetah, the Concealed Wife of General Custer. (Nonfiction)

Gail Kelly-Custer, Trafford Publishing, $23, Softcover.
Gail Kelly-Custer, Trafford Publishing, $23, Softcover.

Anything concerning George Armstrong Custer reeks of the legendary. This book about his alleged child by Monahsetah, a Cheyenne woman taken prisoner at the battle of the Washita in 1868, is no exception. Gossip spread by Custer’s enemies in the 7th Cavalry––notably, Capt. Frederick Benteen––and stories repeated in Indian circles have kept the Custer-Monahsetah legend alive. Gail Kelly-Custer believes that she is the great great granddaughter of their Cheyenne marriage, and in Princess Monahsetah, she tells of their passionate devotion to one another and to Crazy Horse, Monahsetah’s relative and Custer’s best friend. The general’s other wife, the childless Libbie Custer, is cast as a jealous, cold-blooded shrew who cannot accept her husband’s equal love for two women. In short, this is not a history. It is a historical romance, in which Custer––an entirely honorable bigamist wounded by Libbie’s lack of understanding––and Monahsetah exchange long, soulful gazes before they consummate their union.

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