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The story of the Great Sioux War, including the battle of the Little Big Horn, as seen through the eyes of contemporary newspaper correspondents, both civilian and military. Many of these reports have not appeared in print since the first time they were published more than 130 years ago.
Henry Ware Lawton’s nearly four decades as a professional soldier in the U.S. Army tie his story closely to that of America in the nineteenth century, from the Civil War to the settlement of the West, to the experiment with empire. Lawton served the country nearly uninterrupted from the day he enlisted at age 18—soon after Lincoln’s first call for volunteers to fight in the Civil War, where he earned a Medal of Honor—to his death at age 56, a major general in the Philippine War. In between, he fought in the Spanish-American War and the Indian Wars; during that time he rose to national prominence as the man who captured Geronimo.
George Crook was one of the most prominent military figures of the late-nineteenth-century Indian Wars. Yet today his name is largely unrecognized despite the important role he played in such pivotal events in western history as the Custer fight at the Little Big Horn, the death of Crazy Horse, and the Geronimo campaigns. As Paul Magid portrays Crook in this highly readable second volume of a projected three-volume biography, the general was an innovative and eccentric soldier, with a complex and often contradictory personality, whose activities often generated intense controversy. Though known for his uncompromising ferocity in battle, he nevertheless respected his enemies and grew to know and feel compassion for them. Describing campaigns against the Paiutes, Apaches, Sioux, and Cheyennes, Magid’s vivid narrative explores Crook’s abilities as an Indian fighter. The Apaches, among the fiercest peoples in the West, called Crook the Gray Fox after an animal viewed in their culture as a herald of impending death. Generals Grant and Sherman both regarded him as indispensable to their efforts to subjugate the western tribes. Though noted for his aggressiveness in combat, Crook was a reticent officer who rarely raised his voice, habitually dressed in shabby civilian attire, and often rode a mule in the field. He was also self-confident to the point of arrogance, harbored fierce grudges, and because he marched to his own beat, got along poorly with his superiors. He had many enduring friendships both in- and outside the army, though he divulged little of his inner self to others and some of his closest comrades knew he could be cold and insensitive. As Magid relates these crucial episodes of Crook’s life, a dominant contradiction emerges: while he was an unforgiving warrior in the field, he not infrequently risked his career to do battle with his military superiors and with politicians in Washington to obtain fair treatment for the very people against whom he fought. Upon hearing of the general’s death in 1890, Chief Red Cloud spoke for his Sioux people: “He, at least, never lied to us. His words gave the people hope.”
The defeat of George Armstrong Custer and the Seventh Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Bighorn was big news in 1876. Newspaper coverage of the battle initiated hot debates about whether the U.S. government should change its policy toward American Indians and who was to blame for the army’s loss—the latter, an argument that ignites passion to this day. In Shooting Arrows and Slinging Mud, James E. Mueller draws on exhaustive research of period newspapers to explore press coverage of the famous battle. As he analyzes a wide range of accounts—some grim, some circumspect, some even laced with humor—Mueller offers a unique take on the dramatic events that so shook the American public. Among the many myths surrounding the Little Bighorn is that journalists of that time were incompetent hacks who, in response to the stunning news of Custer’s defeat, called for bloodthirsty revenge against the Indians and portrayed the “boy general” as a glamorous hero who had suffered a martyr’s death. Mueller argues otherwise, explaining that the journalists of 1876 were not uniformly biased against the Indians, and they did a credible job of describing the battle. They reported facts as they knew them, wrote thoughtful editorials, and asked important questions. Although not without their biases, journalists reporting on the Battle of the Little Bighorn cannot be credited—or faulted—for creating the legend of Custer’s Last Stand. Indeed, as Mueller reveals, after the initial burst of attention, these journalists quickly moved on to other stories of their day. It would be art and popular culture—biographies, paintings, Wild West shows, novels, and movies—that would forever embed the Last Stand in the American psyche.
An accessible and authoritative overview of the scholarship that has shaped our understanding of one of the most iconic battles in the history of the American West Combines contributions from an array of respected scholars, historians, and battlefield scientists Outlines the political and cultural conditions that laid the foundation for the Centennial Campaign and examines how George Armstrong Custer became its figurehead Provides a detailed analysis of the battle maneuverings at Little Bighorn, paying special attention to Indian testimony from the battlefield Concludes with a section examining how the Battle of Little Bighorn has been mythologized and its pervading influence on American culture
Lasting nearly two years, the Great Sioux War pitted almost one-third of the U.S. Army against Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyennes. By the time it ended, this grueling war had played out on twenty-seven different battlefields scattered across five states, resulted in hundreds of casualties, cost millions of dollars, and transformed the landscape and the lives of survivors on both sides. It also entrenched a view of the army as largely inept. In this compelling sourcebook, Paul Hedren uses extensive documentation to demonstrate that the American army adapted quickly to the challenges of fighting this unconventional war and was more effectively led and better equipped than is customarily believed. While it lost at Powder River and at the Little Big Horn, it did not lose the Great Sioux War. In the first part of this volume, Hedren considers concepts of doctrine, training, culture, and mat riel to aid understanding of the army's structure and disposition. In part two he dissects the twenty-eight Great Sioux War deployments in chronological order, including documentation of command structures, regiments, and companies employed. In the concluding section, the author addresses how an otherwise sound American army was defeated in two battles and nearly lost a third. The book also features seven helpful appendices, a glossary, and an oversized map showing forts, encampments, and battle sites. By expanding his purview to encompass all of the war's battles-along with troop movements, strategies, and tactics-Hedren offers an authoritative account of the conduct of U.S. forces in a campaign all too frequently misunderstood. The leather-bound collector's edition is limited to fifty numbered and signed copies.
With so much written about the actual battle at the Little Bighorn on June 25, 1876, Roger L. Williams has now compiled a wealth of data concerning the men of the 7th Cavalry at the time of the engagement. Military Register of Custer's Last Command presents for the first time the complete military history of every enlisted man on the regimental rolls, with particular attention devoted to the well-known campaigns from the Washita to Wounded Knee. As the first in-depth analysis of the statistics related to the battle, Military Register of Custer's Last Command is the most extensive work available on the 7th Cavalry. With its exhaustive bibliography, it will stand as a definitive resource for historians and enthusiasts and a tribute to all enlisted soldiers on the western frontier.

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