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Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Northern Plains, 1876–1877 (Frontier Military) Paperback – August 5, 2012


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Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Northern Plains, 1876–1877 (Frontier Military) + After Custer: Loss and Transformation in Sioux Country
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Product Details

  • Series: Frontier Military (Book 31)
  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press (August 5, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806143223
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806143224
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,897,970 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Paul L. Hedren is a retired National Park Service superintendent residing in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the author of Fort Laramie and the Great Sioux War and, most recently, We Trailed the Sioux: Enlisted Men Speak on Custer, Crook, and the Great Sioux War.

Customer Reviews

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Hedren's work is a valuable contribution to military history and will be appreciated by serious students.
John M. Lane
Bought this after our family visited Little Bighorn and Fort Phil Kearny...it is a great book with detail I really value..
Mark
I like the statistics, incl. the casualties on the Indians side, and the detailed map of the Great Sioux War 1876-1877.
Sharpe-The Macho Man

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By book lover on March 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Paul L. Hedren's latest book on the Great Sioux War serves several functions, all of them vital to a proper study of the Sioux War. First and foremost, it makes you think. That's because Mr. Hedren's take on the Sioux War differs from many past narratives which place the army in a state of general unpreparedness, from the officer corps down to the enlisted men (i.e., experience and training). Hedren argues that the army was, in fact, very well led, that the enlisted men were more experienced than generally believed, and that the war, overall, was well fought by the army. So how does he explain, for example, the battle of the Little Big Horn? The essence of his opinion (in which I agree) is that on this day the Sioux and Cheyenne fought with rare desperation and outgeneraled the general. To quote from the book: "This day belonged to the Lakotas and Northern Cheyennes. Custer and Sheridan's Army's well-drilled soldiers, splendid tactics, and superior weapons were no match at all." Additionally, Hedren breaks the campaign down into 28 different deployments -- each of which gets its own analysis. The reader is thus presented with a new way to view, study and understand all of the actions in "The Great Sioux War," as it has since come to be called in most of the popular literature. But what's more, each deployment comes with its corresponding "Orders of Battle." This is where Hedren lists all of the troops (cavalry and/or infantry) involved in each deployment along with the officers in charge. Personally, I find this a truly wonderful feature. There's also seven useful appendices including the names of all the medical officers and contract surgeons involved in the campaign and another that lists the casualty stats of the various battles and skirmishes (including the estimated Indian losses).Read more ›
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By John M. Lane on August 10, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is a review of the GREAT SIOUX WAR - ORDERS OF BATTLE: HOW THE UNITED STATES ARMY WAGED WAR ON THE NORTHERN PLAINS, 1876-1877 by Paul L. Hedren. The author is a retired National Park Service historian with a reputation for careful research and impressive scholarship. Mine is the hard cover edition published in 2011 by the Arthur H. Clark Company as Number 31 of the "Frontier Military Series."

Hedren writes well which adds to the appeal of this book and he emphasizes the importance of his subject by declaring that the Great Sioux War was "America's greatest Indian war" (on p. 14.) He also describes the Frontier Regulars as better led and more effective than generally portrayed. Except for a few notable exceptions such as Custer's defeat at the Little Bighorn, the Army won the war and performed creditably on most of its 27 deployments.

This is one of the things I like best about Hedren. He describes warfare on the High Plains in military terms. You won't find any rants about Custer's arrogance or whether or not his subordinates let him down. He sees the fights which made up this war as pieces of military history and I agree with most of his points.

His analysis would benefit from borrowing John Arquilla's template about "irregular warfare" as described in INSURGENTS, RAIDERS, AND BANDITS: HOW MASTERS OF IRREGULAR WARFARE HAVE SHAPED OUR WORLD. Of course this book wasn't available to him, but its template does help explain the otherwise mysterious and stunning defeat Custer sustained at the Little Bighorn.

Hedren's work is a valuable contribution to military history and will be appreciated by serious students. I like THE GREAT SIOUX WAR and gave it five stars.
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Format: Paperback
Just as historian Shelby Foote provided accurate, interesting and intelligent insight into the Civil War, Paul Hedren sifts through the hyperbole of the wars against the Plains Indians to give readers thoughtful understanding and a realistic presentation free of political grandstanding.

In a book of nearly 250 pages, we learn the procedures developed, and adjusted, to defeat a foe that was sufficiently cunning and so competently led that about 1/3 of the entire U.S. Army was involved in the subjugation of the Indians who chose freedom instead of confinement to their reservations.

Read other books if you are looking for insight into the lives of those who fought, and died. Read the Great Sioux War Orders of Battle if you want to learn the facts as to how the army was instructed to confront their foe, and to learn what adjustments were implemented along the way.

Further, I doubt any researcher or writer should consider discussing any of the battles in 1876 or 1877 unless he or she has read this book. Certainly, no writer should write about Crazy Horse, Gall, and Sitting Bull's fight against Crook, Custer, or the 7th Cavalry until they have read this book.
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By Sharpe-The Macho Man on March 3, 2014
Format: Paperback
This book is great. I like the statistics, incl. the casualties on the Indians side,
and the detailed map of the Great Sioux War 1876-1877.
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