The book was written by Evan S. Connell, who prior to that time had written mostly fiction. Connell's book, which includes much of the history of the American West and the Indian Wars, was very successful with critics and made the best-seller lists.
A film version of the book was made for television, and aired in 1991, winning five Emmy Awards. It starred Gary Cole as Brevet Major General, and Lieutenant Colonel 7th U.S. Cavalry George Armstrong Custer, Rosanna Arquette as Custer's wife Libby, and David Strathairn as Captain Frederick Benteen. Dean Stockwell portrayed Custer's Civil War commander (In 1864-65) Lieutenant General Philip H. Sheridan