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Encyclopedia of Indian Wars: Western Battles and Skirmishes 1850-1890 Hardcover – August 10, 2003


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Mountain Press Publishing Company (August 10, 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0878424687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0878424689
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6.3 x 1.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,000,630 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gregory F. Michno is the author of Lakota Noon: The Indian Narrative of Custer's Defeat and The Mystery of E Troop: Custer's Gray Horse Company at the Little Bighorn, The Encyclopedia of Indian Wars, and Forgotten Fights all published by Mountain Press, as well as USS Pampanito: Killer-Angel (University of Oklahoma Press), Death on the Hellships (Naval Institute), and Battle at Sand Creek: The Military Perspecitve. He has also written numerous articles in Montana: The Magazine of Western History, Journal of the West, Wild West, and other western history publications.



A member of the Western History Association, Order of the Indian Wars, Little Big Horn Associates, and several other organizations, Michno holds a master's degree in history from the University of Northern Colorado. He lives with his wife, Susan Michno, in Longmont, Colorado.

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Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5 stars
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The book is organized in an easy but efficient way for the reader.
Bob Reece
They are chronologically arranged, but keyed to excellent maps that allow the reader to quickly located battles that occurred in any particular region.
Bruce Trinque
Highly recommended as background reading and a reference to keep for anyone interested in the Indian Wars, American history or military history.
C. Ryan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

48 of 50 people found the following review helpful By Bob Reece on October 30, 2003
Format: Hardcover
One can quickly understand the exerted effort that went into the research of this book. Encyclopedia of Indian Wars is a must have book for anyone interested in the battles fought between 1850-1890.
The book is organized in an easy but efficient way for the reader. The battles are first listed by year followed in order by date. Page 362 has a great graph that shows the years followed by how many battles occurred in each year.
Then, the reader comes to Appendix: Data and Commentary where the author provides tables of statistics that focus on everything from which tribes had the most battles to states ranked by number of battles with total white and Indian casualties.
But, forget all that - this book is worth it alone just for the maps with a legend key to every battle, location and date.
This is a book every Indian war enthusiast will want.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By Bruce Trinque VINE VOICE on November 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
For anyone interested in any but the biggest, most famous of battles during the Indian Wars of the last half of the Nineteenth Century, there has been no reference work available to which the interested reader could turn to get the basic facts. Now, in the "Encyclopedia of Indian Wars: Western Battles and Skirmishes, 1850-1890", Greg Michno presents concise descriptions of over 600 fights, addressing the who-what-when-where of each incident. They are chronologically arranged, but keyed to excellent maps that allow the reader to quickly located battles that occurred in any particular region. Not all the fights involved the US Army; some were waged by volunteer troops or, occasionally, only civilians. In an appendix, summary statistics are given regarding the the frequency and time distribution of the battles, what Army units were involved, and what level of casualties were inflicted on both sides.
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29 of 30 people found the following review helpful By C. Ryan on November 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
Many books call themselves an encyclopedia of this or that but turn out to be simply random collections of information on their topic. However, Gregory Michno's Encyclopedia of Indian Wars: Western Battles and Skirmishes, 1850-1890 really is a miniature encyclopedia of the Indian Wars fought between the U.S. Army and various Native American tribes or groups during the period when Euro-Americans came to dominate the western United States.

The bulk of the book (345 out of 438 numbered 5x9" pages) consists of brief descriptions of 840 major and minor battles and "firefights" that occurred in twenty Midwestern and Western states/territories and adjoining parts of Mexico. The descriptions are arranged chronologically within each year, 1850-1890. Drawing largely on Army after-action reports, Mr. Michno's narratives are heavy on facts for each event: when, where, who, casualty counts and immediate results. By providing the names of many Army officers and NCOs as well as significant members of their Native American opposition it is possible to get a feel for some of the participants' careers over a number of years.

One of the most useful features is a 32-page introductory section of state/territory maps showing the locations, tied to accompanying lists and page references, for every action described in the book. This allows readers to locate all the events in a particular locale regardless of when they took place.

A conclusion and appendix section has several interesting statistical tables summarizing the intensity of the actions in terms of numbers of actions each year, the number of combatants involved and casualties incurred.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 23, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
What a valuable reference for devotees of the western Indian Wars! Detail-obsessed Gregory Michno had done us all a great service by putting in one volume nearly all of the small battles and skirmishes you probably never heard of. This is the point of this book. Do not expect exhaustive recounts of the larger, better known battles. Even Little Bighorn is not given a full page, but that's good. You won't buy this book for that. You will buy it IF you want information on the lesser battles and skirmishes that are very difficult to find any info about at all, let alone the details Michno has been able to gather.
There are no battle maps. There are only state maps showing the general location of each battle/skirmish. There are also photos thrown in every 3-4 pages usually of the site of one of the fights. That's a nice touch.
And what a deal! A great price for a 400+ page REFERENCE book crammed full of information, 3 indexes, an appendix, and a conclusion complete with tables and charts. Get it.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David M. Dougherty VINE VOICE on June 11, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This work by author Michno clearly demonstrates that scholarship trumps polemics based in political agendas, particularly the politically correct agendas currently fashionable. Mr Michno has created both a wonderful reference work, but he is so thorough for the time covered (1850-1890) that I simply started at the front of his book and read to the last. There is much to learn here, and the author fills in many blanks in the knowledge of those who have only read various works on Custer, MacKenzie, Crook, Crazy Horse, Cohise, etc., etc. The Indian wars of the West were fought much more often by citizen volunteers and very small detachments of troops against Indians under a wide variety of circumstances than by large Army units against swirling clouds of fierce warriors. As the author concludes, the West was a very WILD place.

There is something for everyone here. For example I am relatively unknowledgeable concerning Indian conflicts in California, Oregon and Washington except for the Modoc War in 1873. This volume greatly enhanced my knowledge and pointed the way to future reading. My apologies to the West Coast for overlooking the Indian conflicts there.

The maps in the beginning of the book was interesting and helpful, but their most impressive feature was to demonstrate that Indian conflicts were extremely widespread throughout the West. And as the author notes, his work is only the tip of the iceberg being based primarily on military reports and newspaper accounts. Probably tens of thousands of incidents where stray Indians or small bands were killed, or prospectors, trappers, settlers, emigrants or cowboys were captured or killed went unrecorded. The total human toll will never be known, but the author's appendices are extremely useful.
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