From Little Bighorn to Vietnam: Workshop Lecturer Documents the Seventh Cavalry's History

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

J.L. "Bud" Alley was a participant in one of the bloodiest battles during the Vietnam War, which was fought in the Ia Drang Valley in November of 1965. For years afterward, Alley struggled to make sense of how the events of that day fit into historical context. His soul-searching and research led him to write The Ghosts of the Green Grass, a narrative nonfiction story of his experiences and those of others who served in the Second Battalion Seventh U.S. Cavalry.

Alley will share some of those experiences during the latest in a series of workshops sponsored by the Tennessee State Library and Archives. The workshop, which is free and open to the public, will be held in the auditorium of the State Library and Archives Saturday, Jan. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 11 a.m.

In his book, Alley charts his own personal journey from his home on the banks of the Chattahoochee River in Georgia to the battlefields of Vietnam. He also references the history of the Seventh Cavalry, first led by General George A. Custer following the Civil War. The book draws parallels between Ia Drang and the Battle of Little Bighorn, fought by Custer's men nearly a century earlier.

"We are very happy with the response we have received from the the public to our workshop series," Secretary of State Tre Hargett said. "On a couple of our most recent workshops, we've been completely booked because of the high levels of interest in the topics discussed. While patrons are visiting the State Library and Archives for workshops, they also have the opportunity to learn about the many other fine books, maps and other materials we have in our collections."

Although the workshop is free, reservations are required because seating is limited. To make an online reservation, please visit: (Note: If you make a reservation and your plans to attend the workshop change, please update your status to give others who may wish to attend an opportunity to register.)

The State Library and Archives building is located at 403 Seventh Avenue North, directly west of the State Capitol in downtown Nashville. Free parking is available in front, beside and behind the building.