Item description for INDIAN WAR VETERANS: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898 by Jerome Greene...
The decades-long military campaign for the American West is an endlessly fascinating topic, and award-winning author Jerome A. Greene adds substantially to this genre with Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898. Greene's study presents the first comprehensive collection of veteran (primarily former enlistedsoldiers') reminiscences. The vast majority of these writings have never before seen wide circulation.
Indian War Veterans addresses soldiers' experiences throughout the area of the trans-Mississippi West. As readers will quickly discover, the depth and breadth of coverage is truly monumental. Topics include recollections of fighting with Custer and the mutilation of the dead at Little Bighorn, the Fetterman fight, the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873, battles at Powder River and Rosebud Creek, fighting Crazy Horse at Wolf Mountains, Geronimo and the Apache wars, the Ute and Modoc wars, Wounded Knee, and much more. The remembrances also include selections as diverse as "Christmas at Fort Robinson," "Service with the Eighteenth Kansas Volunteer Cavalry," and "Chasing the Apache Kid."
These carefully drawn recollections derive from a wide array of sources, including manuscript and private collections, veterans' scrapbooks, obscure newspapers, and private veterans' statements. A special introductory essay about Indian war veterans contains new material about their post-service organizations all the way into the 1960s.
Complimenting the riveting entries are dozens of previously unpublished photographs. Readers will additionally find a gallery of never-before-seen full-color plates displaying a wide variety of Indian War Veterans' badges, medals, and associated materials.
No other book discusses the post-army lives of these men or presents their recollections of army life as thoroughly as Greene's Indian War Veterans. This groundbreaking study will appeal to lay readers, historians, site visitors and interpreters, Civil War and Indian wars enthusiasts, collectors, museum curators, and archeologists. "A treasure-trove of original sources on the Indian wars, an essential addition to every library on the subject." --Paul A. Hutton, University of New Mexico, and the author of "Phil Sheridan and his Army and "The Custer Reader." About the Author: Jerome A. Greene is an award-winning author and historian with the National Park Service. His books include The Guns of Independence: The Siege of Yorktown, 1781, Lakota and Cheyenne: Indian Views of the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877, Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyenne, 1876, and Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869. He resides in Colorado.
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.3" Height: 1.7" Weight: 1.4 lbs.
Release Date Jan 15, 2007
Publisher Savas Beatie
ISBN 193271426X ISBN13 9781932714265
Availability 0 units.
More About Jerome Greene
Jerome A. Greene is a historian with the National Park Service stationed in Denver and is the author/editor of several books and articles about frontier and Indian Wars history, including Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyennes, 1876.
Reviews - What do customers think about INDIAN WAR VETERANS: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898?
Redundant. Jul 16, 2008
I have a great interest in the men who served in the Western Army in the eighteen sixties to beginning of next century. The forced marches, harsh living conditions, brutal discipline,and sprodiac warfare with Native American tribes is very interesting reading. The comparision with French Foreign Legion history is very close,however, this read becomes quite redundant, and I was loathe to begin reading the same similar stories over and over.The writer may have been better of culling some of the chapters.
Amazing First-hand Accounts from Indian War Veterans Nov 30, 2007
Christmas at Fort Robinson, 1882 as experienced by Martin J. Weber, 1st sergeant, Troop H, Fifth U.S. Cavalry:
"Little children of the army were just as anxious for the advent of Santa Claus as the somewhat more highly favored little ones in the midst of the civilized East[...]We got safely down the Breakneck [...]arriving at the fort about 2 o'clock the afternoon of the 24th. When I passed the officers quarters the kiddies were all out running up and down the walks[...]When they saw me they began to shout, "The Christmas Wagon has come." The officers and men hearing them came out and asked if it was true. They could hardly believe it until the teamster drove his six weary mules up and we began to unload the Christmas goods. Even the officers were willing to help."
Jerome Greene has researched far and wide to bring us fascinating stories from the many Indian War veterans, like Martin Weber's, and the respective Indian War Veterans organizations with his most recent book, Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898 (IWV). It's amazing to learn that the last veteran of the Indian Wars died in 1971. Reginald A. Bradley enlisted in Troop C, Fourth Cavalry, at Fort Bowie in 1889. The majority of IWV presents a plethora of first-hand accounts from the campaigns and battles as told by the veterans themselves. In addition, we learn what life was like in the frontier army; it was all long days conducting mundane tasks or spending long hours marching or riding the horse going nowhere, it seemed.
Mr. Greene provides a lengthy introduction which details the many IWV organizations including their beginnings, purpose, and demise. Although the main purpose of these organizations was to lobby (mostly unsuccessfully) for legislation to ensure proper pensions for the veterans, they evolved into preserving the historical record of the countless officers and soldiers who served their country on the front lines of the various Indian Wars. These accounts were published in the group's annual publication "Winners of the West". Mr. Greene has corrected any errors which are minimal in most cases; however, these veterans remembered their experiences and grasped the issues surrounding them very well. The "politically incorrect" language is retained in these accounts, which were written in the early 20th century, so the reader's experience is so personal that one has the sense of hearing them directly from the veteran as he sits in his favorite chair.
Mr. Greene's focus is from campaigns across the American West divided into two parts: 1) Army life in the West, and 2) battles and campaigns from the northern plains, central and southern plains, mountain west, west coast, and southwest.
Humor and warmth grace these accounts but there is also brutality. Descriptions from Wounded Knee are filled with terror and heartache, as remembered by army medic Andrew M. Flynn, Troop A, Seventh U.S. Cavalry: "As we did not have much room, we had to load up the dead and put the wounded on top of them. Just as I was looking over the field, I came across a dead squaw and a little papoose who was sucking on a piece of hardtack. I picked up the little papoose and carried it in my arms. A little way farther on, I found another dead squaw and another papoose. I picked it up, too, and brought them over near the hospital tent, where there were a number of Indian women.
As I came over to where they were, I met a big, husky sergeant who said, "Why didn't you smash them up against a tree and kill them? Some day they'll be fighting us?"
I told him I would rather smash him than those little innocent children. The Indian women were so glad that I saved the papooses that they almost kissed me. But I told them I didn't have time for that."
Veterans experienced hardships on the trail. During the Yellowstone Expedition of 1873, William Foster Norris wrote about the suffering for lack of water as they approached a body of water so alkalized it was undrinkable: "It was pathetic to hear the animals eagerly give voice in their different ways as they saw the pool of water ahead where we were to camp, but it was still more pathetic to hear them express their disappointment when upon plunging their heads into it, they were unable to drink."
There are moments of wonder and panic as William D. Nugent witnessed a buffalo stampede during the Northern Pacific survey expedition of 1873: "Every second increased the volume of sound. Some thought it was an earthquake, others that it was the end of the world, and still others that it was Sitting Bull and his twenty thousand warriors[...]We now had the solution and all understood what this awful menace was: buffalos by the millions were coming[...]as far as the eye could see.
It looked like sure death[...]Our worn horses could not outdistance this onrushing death for even one mile[...]I never told any of my comrades how scared I was[...]
I saw Colonel Custer with some twenty men advance to possibly one hundred yards in the direction of the oncoming menace[...]When the buffalos had approached within one hundred yards of this small bunch of men, the soldiers shot one volley after another into the herd[...]The buffalos split, part passing to the right and the rest to the left[...]"
The fascinating stories Mr. Greene covers are countless: the Cheyenne and Arapaho War of 1867-69 (Beecher's Island and Washita), Red River War 1874-75 (Battle of Palo Duro Canyon), Nez Perce War 1877, Modoc War, the Geronimo Campaign 1885-86, the search for the Apache Kid, and much more.
Most readers have never read issues of "Winners of the West" so I'm confident you'll experience these accounts for the first time. Anyone interested in the Plains Indian Wars, the old frontier army, or Indian War veteran's organizations will value Mr. Greene's work.
Winning the West Aug 24, 2007
INDIAN WAR VETERANS, Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898, by Jerome A. Greene, Savas Beatie, New York (2007), 388 pages, $45.00.
This comprehensive compilation of essentially enlisted men's reminiscences is a superb collection of actual anecdotes, recollections, and experiences by the men who were there. Being enlisted men, their stories are limited to their actual tactile hands-on encounters. In a sense this is thoroughly refreshing; this is quite different from the all to frequent recollections of those in command that tend to justify their actions and critique their colleagues. As a result there are few explanations as to why they were sent to do what they did, but intense detail on what they saw and felt as participants. This is a prime history of observations by those who were there. Many have never before been published or were published in arcane publications over a century ago and for all practical purposes have been unavailable to the serious scholar or student. The emphasis is on the Plains campaigns but those against the Apache and the Southwest are not ignored. A chapter on the ill-fated Custer expedition is to be expected, but the first hand accounts are new. The details on the Rosebud and Powder River fights are excellent. Often overlooked campaigns and skirmishes are also included such as those of the Modoc War of 1873, Utah's Black Hawk War of 1865, the Chippewa Uprising of 1898, etc.
It should be noted that not all the recollections are those of battles. There are several fascinating remembrances of the cuisine, climate (especially the winters), geography, the Indians themselves and their habitat, the buffalo, Christmas, military life as a cavalryman, and military life as an infantryman. All in all, these writings by the men who lived through these times are not to be missed.
Of distinct note for the true aficionado of the Indian Wars is the lengthy introduction which details the sundries Indian Wars veterans associations, their histories, decorations (previously almost impossible to find photographs of many of their medals are provided), leaders, and their lobbying efforts before Congress for pension benefits and recognition for their noteworthy achievements as soldiers "winning the West." The only criticism one can proffer at all, and it is a minor one, is that the information furnished regarding the Order of Indian Wars of the United States is less than currently accurate. This sodality may have gone into partial hibernation from the 1940s and into the 1990s, but it never actually ceased to function; it continued to have an annual luncheon for its members. It reinitiated full functioning in the 1990s and is alive and well today. This reviewer strongly endorses this work to anyone sincerely interested in the Indian Wars of the second half of the nineteenth century and the intrepid men who fought them.
Not to be missed Apr 19, 2007
Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West 1864-1898 provides the first comprehensive collection of veteran reminiscences in print, and is a 'must' for any college-level holding strong in either American Indian history and culture or American military history. Soldiers' experiences are recounted, from fighting with Custer to Powder River battles, Wounded Knee and more. A range of sources compliments entries which are packed with firsthand observation and history, while dozens of previously unpublished photos and two original maps round out the information. INDIAN WAR VETERANS: MEMORIES OF ARMY LIFE AND CAMPAIGNS IN THE WEST, 1864-1898 is not to be missed by any holding seeking definitive coverage of Indian or American military history.
Diane C. Donovan California Bookwatch
Mr. Greene does it again. Apr 16, 2007
A great collection of articles of Indian War veterans covering many topics. Also included is background of indian war veterans associations and a photo insert of Indian war medals and badges. Hopefully Mr. Greene will put out a volume 2 like this one.Dont pass this book up as Mr. Greene is one of the best writers of the Indian Wars we have.