A Distant Trumpet


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By Paul Horgan

Historical in substance, romantic in spirit, heroic in scale, A Distant Trumpet is a novel of the American West. At its center is Matthew Carlton Hazard, born in 1857 at Fox Creek, Indiana; raised by his mother after his father’s death in the Battle of Chickamauga; and designated, at the solemn age of seven, by President Abraham Lincoln himself to the Army of the United States. Commissioned in 1880 as second lieutenant of cavalry, Matthew reports for duty to Fort Delivery, Arizona, where he will contend in the Apache Wars; serve under and with brave fellow officers like Captain Hiram Prescott and the enigmatic Major General Upton Quait; learn the ways of love and duty in his marriage to Laura Greenleaf; befriend White Horn, Apache-chief-turned-Army-Scout, and with him conduct a death-defying mission to bring peace at last to the wild, war-torn Western frontier.

Assembling a cast of memorable characters and crafting one exciting episode after another, Paul Horgan proves himself in these pages as a master storyteller with the head of a hist­orian and the heart of a poet. A best-selling success after its original publication in 1960, A Distant Trumpet has been hailed as “a towering structure of romantic fiction built on a solid foundation of fact”; “a vivid, pulsating tale”; “a first-rate historical novel about the eternally mystifying, fascinating, dramatic complexities of human character”; and “the finest novel yet on the Southwest.”

Our tasks, like the winds, are never finished. A soldier’s work, to be done, sometimes has to be done over and over…


Paul Horgan (1903–1995) was an American Catholic historian and novelist, praised by David McCullough as “a writer of large vision and many-sidedness” with a matchless “command of language and feeling for human nature.” Author of forty-plus books, including seventeen novels, Horgan received two Pulitzer Prizes (in 1955, for Great River: The Rio Grande in North American History; in 1975, for Lamy of Santa Fe) as well as nineteen honorary degrees and the University of Notre Dame’s Laetare Medal.

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Paperback: 540pp.

ISBN: 978-1685953355