Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your email address or mobile phone number.
Hero of Beecher Island: The Life and Military Career of George A. Forsyth Paperback – February 1, 1997
History To Repeat & Some To Not
Check out these featured history titles.Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
More About the Author
Top Customer Reviews
Forsyth was born in 1837 in Pennsylvania and entered the army in the spring of 1861. He rose in rank from private to brigadier general in various cavalry units in the Civil War before being made chief of staff for Gen. Philip Sheridan.
After the war Forsyth was put in charge of an operation against the Cheyenne. It was in September 1868 that he had his famous fight on Beecher Island (named after Lt. Frederick Beecher who was killed there by the Indians). Forsyth was wounded three times. One strategic outcome of the action on Beecher Island was that Sheridan from this time on would utilize only large-scale campaigns against the Indians (Forsyth had been in charge of a small ranger-like force).
Once again on Sheridan's staff, Forsyth was on the 1874 Custer expedition to the Black Hills, during which he kept a diary that was later published. In 1875-76 he was sent by Washington on an inspection tour of various armies in Europe and Asia. In the 1880s he was in the southwest campaigning against the Apaches and commanded Ft. Huachuca, AZ. It was here that Forsyth was court-martialed on money mismanagement charges, found guilty, and formally reprimanded. In 1890 he retired from the army.Read more ›
There is much information contained within the book about the changing face of the US Army in which Forsyth served and later commanded. Dixon carefully details Forsyth's military experience. We begin to get a sense of what changes were going on in the Army during Forsyth's life. The evolution of the calvary under Forsyth's mentor Phil Sheridan is documented in chapter three "You Have Got A Bully Fight on Hand" (52). Dixon continues delving into this military biographia in chapter four, "I'll Shoot Down Any Man" (61). Although this chapter is mostly about the tense struggle of Beecher Island, the centerpiece of the book, it's what leads Forsyth to Beecher Island that stands as most interesting. Dixon brings out the idea that the railroad and the military were hand in glove in the old West, providing a late twentieth century reader to reflect on similarities between this paradigm of the Old West and the military-industrial complex of the Cold War era. Dixon infers a similar parallel at the beginning of chapter six, "The Armies of Asia and Europe" with the quote that the U.S. Army was, ". . . comparatively unknown, least appreciated, persistently misunderstood, and, for political effect, frequently misrepresented and occasionally even recklessly maligned in our national legislative hall" (122).Read more ›