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The Fetterman Massacre (formerly, 'Fort Phil Kearney: An American Saga) Paperback – September 1, 1970

4.4 out of 5 stars 69 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"This meticulously documented book . . . , based on Army records and firsthand reports, should stand as definitive. [It] is, by far, the best account yet of Fort Phil Kearny and the stirring events that took place. . . . A must for devotees of Western Americana."—Robert F. Hannon, St. Louis Post-Dispatch
(Robert F. Hannon St. Louis Post-Dispatch)

"For the first time we have the detailed story of all the little fights that preceded the major disaster. . . . It is one of the best studies that has been made of any sector of the Indian wars."—Don Russell, Chicago Sunday Tribune
(Don Russell Chicago Sunday Tribune)

From the Back Cover

'For the first time we have the detailed story of all the little fights that preceded the major disaster...It is one of the best studies that has been made of any sector of the Indian wars.' -Don russell, Chicago Sunday Tribune
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 259 pages
  • Publisher: Bison Books (September 1, 1970)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803257309
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803257306
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.6 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (69 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #685,865 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Chris K. Wilson on February 15, 2003
Format: Paperback
Before historical author Dee Brown penned his ultimate and most famous work "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee," he was out hiking in the sticks, so to say, with his carefully researched "The Fetterman Massacre."
Formerly known as "Fort Phil Kearny: An American Saga," but re-named "The Fetterman Massacre" to emphasize the most famous battle which took place at the cursed frontier fort, Brown's work is a carefully researched examination of the few fatal years of existence of a small cavalry outpost located in the foothills of the Big Horn mountains in 1865-66. When reading this work today, it is extremely difficult to imagine the terrible conditions these men lived under on a daily basis.
Sent by the U.S. government into a hostile land that belonged to the Sioux and Cheyenne Native Americans, these soldiers built a fort along the Montana Road to protect travelers and prospectors. But harsh weather conditions and the ever-present threat of furious Native American warriors offended by the placement of this fort in the heart of their ancestor's land, eventually led to the infamous massacre.
On the morning of Dec. 21, 1866, Captain William Fetterman led 80 men out of Fort Phil Kearny to rescue woodcutters under assault by Red Cloud's Oglala Sioux. Crazy Horse, among others, set a decoy trap for Fetterman and his doomed troops, and as they rode over a hill were attacked and killed to the man in a furious battle lasting about 20 minutes. This massacre eventually led to the dismantling of the fort, a Congressional investigation, and the destruction of Kearny Commander Henry Carrington's military career.
When reading Brown's novel today, one realizes that the situation Carrington was forced into was an almost impossible responsibility.
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Format: Paperback
I found Dee Brown's book on this military history to drag a bit at the start,but by the middle of the book I was pulled in by the intensity and detail of his research. A vivid and brutal account of the way of the west in the mid-19th century. From the cunning stealth and strength of the leader Red Cloud,to the meticuliousness and orderly fashion of Colonel Henry Carrington, who through him and sub-ordinates(Fetterman) misdecisions,led to an combined victory of Sioux,Cheyenne,and Arapaho. Dee Brown's detail and account of this pre-cursor event to Custer,should be read by every sincere western historian.
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This book is a real page turner, the real history reads fluidly and is not static boring historical accounts, but rather reads more like a story...you can almost feel the music and tempo increasing as the Indian attacks grow more frequent, .....isn't history fun in retrospect? Knowing now that Crazy Horse led the Fetterman attack, we know that he was there during these days watching each day as the fort was built. The military did a really outstanding job of planning every detail of how things were done, from building the fort with logs planed on two sides to how the wood trains would go out in two columns 100 yards apart with outriders. Using flag signals, to alert the fort as to Indians on one road or another. The Indians used mirrors to signal, and then started using flags to signal mocking the army's use of flag signaling. The horror of the men who were killed or captured....great book....get it today...
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Format: Paperback
This book finishes with incredible events that were set up at the beginning. It shows that this fight is where all the western stories in Hollywood originated; and is a real page turner as the Indians increase their activities. It will leave you impressed, both by the history you have finally learned, and the hardships endured by all parties involved. This is western history at its best.
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I read this too long ago. For those who love deeply researched, but accessible writing, this is the book. Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I couldn't wait to get back to a book written so long ago.
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Format: Paperback
The Fetterman Massacre occurred right after the Civil War. On the Montana Road, the commander Colonel Carrington was detailed to build and staff three forts in Montana and Wyoming. The Sioux and other Indian tribes led by Red Cloud laid seige to the forts. The Indians laid a trap and when one Captain Fetterman went beyond his orders, he and his troops were killed and their bodies mutilated. Dee Brown doesn't paint a pretty picture of the Army's decision to blaim Carrington or the Indian habit of butchering people. The only one who comes out positively is Colonel Carrington. I would agree with the earlier reviewer that the book starts out slowly, but it builds toward the climax of the battle and the aftermath.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
“The Fetterman Massacre”, by Dee Brown

Dee Brown is one of the premier scholars/historians of the 19th century relations between Whites and American Indians. He is also an extremely talented and polished writer/storyteller. His account of the nation-stunning Fetterman Massacre is likely the best, or nearly so, of the many treatises that have been written on the topic.

In the telling of this saga, Brown easily reveals the root cause to have been (quite predictably) the imbecility of the U. S. War Dept. and Washington D. C. (much as we suffer from same today). But Brown has written from the perspective of people directly involved in the tragedy and thus has produced an excellent work.
Highly Recommended !
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