Academic journal article Military Review

A Good Year to Die

Academic journal article Military Review

A Good Year to Die

Article excerpt

A GOOD YEAR TO DIE by Charles M. Robinson Ill. 346 pages. Random House Inc., New York. 1995. $27.50).

Author Charles M. Robinson III superbly covers the Indian Campaign from 1876 through 1890. He focuses on 1876 and 1877 as the campaign's crucial years, recalling how the Indians endured broken treaty after broken treaty and were finally left with no alternative but to fight. It was a struggle not only for their lands, but also for their very survival as an Indian Nation. Routes through the Indian lands to the Pacific Northwest, the discovery of gold in the Black Hills and the insatiable quest for more land only speeded up the inevitable results.

Most Americans recall Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer's last stand at the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory, but Robinson digresses to the beginning of the unrest among the various Sioux, Northern Cheyenne and Arapaho tribes.

The US government was totally unprepared to conduct a campaign against the Indians as it was still recovering from the Civil War. The US Army was undermanned,underfinanced and unprepared to conduct or counter the hit-and-run warfare the Indians knew only too well. Even with the assistance of the various Crow, Shoshone, Ute. Pawnee, Nez Perce and Bannock Indian tribes, the Army was inept, leading to Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn. …

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