Academic journal article Military Review

Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899

Academic journal article Military Review

Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899

Article excerpt

FORT ROBINSON AND THE AMERICAN WEST, 1874-1899, Thomas R. Buecker, Nebraska State Historical society, 1999, 265 pages, $40.00.

In Fort Robinson and the American West, 1874-1899, Thomas R. Buecker gives more than just a history of a place. This superb book is detailed, extremely well written and filled with high-quality illustrations. Buecker, adding greatly to knowledge of the Indian War period from 1874 to 1899, skillfully weaves events surrounding Fort Robinson into the greater scheme of western expansion.

What I particularly like about Buecker's history is how closely it ties in with major events that occurred on the northern plains at the height of the great Sioux War of 1876-77. Also, his depiction of civilmilitary relations during the era is particularly instructive for today's professional officers. Interagency friction certainly caused problems for a peacetime force thrown into a peacekeeping role not of its own choosing.

Buecker gives a partial view of Bureau of Indian Affairs attempts to control local agencies in situations for which it was obviously not equipped. The Army's frequent intercession on behalf of the Bureau caused great anxiety for commanders and troops. For a short time the Army was allowed control of the agencies to help stem armed violence and commanders' frustration. …

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