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Red Cloud's War: The Bozeman Trail, 1866-1868 (2 Volume Set) Hardcover – December 30, 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 6 customer reviews

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About the Author

John D. McDermott is author of Circle of Fire: The Indian War of 1865 and numerous other books and articles on the American West.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 704 pages
  • Publisher: The Arthur H. Clark Company; First Edition edition (December 30, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0870623761
  • ISBN-13: 978-0870623769
  • Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 2.4 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,023,186 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I guess I'm not surprised to see nobody has yet reviewed this two volume set detailing the history of The Bozeman Trail. Yes, these books carry a $75.00 price tag, but if you are interested in America's western history I feel this set is the best yet to be written on the subject. The Bozeman Trail was designed to provide a shortcut to the goldfields in Virginia City, Montana. However, nobody told the Native Americans it was okay for this road to pass through the Powder River country with Fort Reno and Fort Phil Kearny in Wyoming and Fort C.F. Smith in Montana which were built to protect those traveling through.

When I think of the history of this ill-conceived idea I immediately think of three major battles that took place, namely the Fetterman Fight on December 21, 1866, near Fort Phil Kearny, the Hayfield Fight outside of Fort C.F. Smith in Montana on August 1, 1867, and the Wagon Box Fight which took place near Fort Phil Kearny on August 2, 1867. This two volume set delves into considerable detail regarding these three affairs in addition to practically every other minor skirmish during the two year period of its history. In this respect I am sometimes told more than I care to know about who was involved in each of these incidents on both sides.

In addition to Chief Red Cloud and numerous other Native Americans we are provided with the personalities of others such as Henry Carrington, William Fetterman, Jim Bridger, Frederick Brown, George Grummond, John "Portugee" Phillips, and others who spent time on these desolate outposts. A case has been made in a previous book in favor of William Judd Fetterman as to whether or not he disobeyed orders in pursuing the enemy beyond Lodge Trail Ridge. Author McDermott believes that Fetterman did, indeed, disobey orders.
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Format: Hardcover
Although, the campaign of 1876 is better known, it is the campaign on the Bozeman Trail a decade earlier that best illustrates the Indian brand of warfare: small raids, murder of the helpless and theft and all of the other minor actions that characterize guerrilla warfare and exist in the nether world between criminality and soldiering. The great strength of this book is in describing the guerrilla campaign waged by the Indians. The author also persuasively argues that the main cause of the army's failures were senior officers who demanded too much from soldiers who were poorly armed, poorly trained and too few in number to accomplish their mission. The author's treatment of the Fetterman Fight, the best known individual action in the campaign, is far less impressive. Mr. McDermott dismisses out of hand recent works questioning the Carrington line that Fetterman was responsible for the defeat because he was vainglorious and disobeyed orders. No matter how this argument is dressed up, it rests on the long-term effort of Carrington and his wives to protect Carrington's reputation by besmirching Fetterman. A far better treatment of the action can be found in J.W. Vaughn's vintage classic, Indian Fights. Overall, Mr. McDermott has produced a valuable, fresh, well-written and well researched account of the bloody events that occurred on the Bozeman Trail. It is only out of deference to Captain Fetterman that I have awarded 4 rather than 5 stars.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a great source of information on Fort Phil Carney and CF Smith. I have read it twice.
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