In response to:
Reds from the April 14, 1983 issue
To the Editors:
Page Stegner, who reviewed Peter Matthiesen’s In the Spirit of Crazy Horse [NYR, April 14], needs a lesson in history and geography. He informs us that the killing of two FBI agents in June, 1975, took place in the vicinity of Pine Ridge, South Dakota, “near Rapid City,” and “some fifty miles southeast of Custer’s last stand.” In round figures, Pine Ridge is a hundred air miles from Rapid City, and four hundred miles from “Custer’s last stand,” which took place at Crow Agency, Montana, June 25, 1876.
Virgil J. Vogel
Page Stegner replies:
It is, roughly, a hundred miles as the crow flies to Pine Ridge, South Dakota, but that is not what the sentence Mr. Vogel refers to said. It said that the Pine Ridge Reservation is near Rapid City—about forty-two miles, actually, if one travels southeast on Highway 40. I call that near. For that matter, to a Westerner (which I am), a hundred miles is also near. The reference to Custer’s Last Stand is, as Mr. Vogel observes, a mistake on my part. I moved the Battle of the Bighorn from Crow Reservation, Montana, to the Custer National Monument in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Mea culpa.
June 30, 1983