Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877

Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877

Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877

Yellowstone Command: Colonel Nelson A. Miles and the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877

Synopsis

'Perhaps some prefer myth to reality, but those who wish to know what it was really like on campaign in the West in the 1870s would scarcely do better than to read this riveting account.'--Washington Times

Excerpt

On a winter day in February 1876, a contingent of blue-clad cavalry and infantry troops under Major James S. Brisbin left Fort Ellis, in southwestern Montana Territory, en route to relieve the trading post of Fort Pease, approximately 175 miles to the east, near the mouth of the Bighorn River. the soldiers reached the stockaded post on March 4, rescuing nineteen citizens threatened by Sioux Indians who had succeeded in killing six and wounding eight of their number. Thirteen others of the trading party had managed to escape earlier.

The action of Brisbin's relief column, which consisted of officers and men of the Second Cavalry and Seventh Infantry, was the first of a series of military events that spanned the next sixteen months and became known collectively as the Great Sioux War. the conflict climaxed in June with the defeat of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong. Custer's command by allied Sioux and Northern Cheyenne Indians at the Little Bighorn River. Throughout the summer of 1876, the military campaign languished under successive delays and uncertainties while the Commanders awaited reinforcements and direction. It was finally rejuvenated with the arrival of Colonel Nelson A. Miles, Fifth Infantry, who subsequently concluded the war.

The Great Sioux War has long interested historians and students of the post-bellum American West. Comprising the first large military undertaking after the close of the Civil War, and featuring the famous battle that became known as Custer's Last Stand, the war has come to symbolize all of the Indian conflicts on the trans-Mississippi frontier after 1865. Yet the struggle against the Teton Sioux and their Cheyenne compatriots in 1876 and 1877 did not start or end with Custer's defeat. in a previous study I considered the post-Little Bighorn campaign of Brigadier General George Crook. in the present work I offer a history of the role of Colonel Miles and his troops--the so- called Yellowstone Command--in ending the conflict. Miles and . . .

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