Overview

In the spring of 1832, when the Indian warrior Black Hawk and a thousand followers marched into Illinois to reoccupy lands earlier ceded to American settlers, the U.S. Army turned to rival tribes for military support. In order to grasp Indian motives, John Hall explores their alliances in earlier wars with colonial powers as well as in intertribal antagonisms and conflicts. Providing a rare view of Indian attitudes and strategies in war and peace, Hall deepens our understanding of Native Americans and the complex...
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UNCOMMON DEFENSE

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Overview

In the spring of 1832, when the Indian warrior Black Hawk and a thousand followers marched into Illinois to reoccupy lands earlier ceded to American settlers, the U.S. Army turned to rival tribes for military support. In order to grasp Indian motives, John Hall explores their alliances in earlier wars with colonial powers as well as in intertribal antagonisms and conflicts. Providing a rare view of Indian attitudes and strategies in war and peace, Hall deepens our understanding of Native Americans and the complex roles they played in the nation's history.
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
The Black Hawk War of 1832 was a three-month conflict that resulted in the expulsion of the Sauk nation from Illinois. The war has often been viewed as a decisive victory by U.S. military forces, resulting in the seizure of Native American lands for white settlers. Hall (history, Univ. of Wisconsin, Madison) revises that view by examining the military's native allies in the conflict, namely, the Dakota, Ho Chunk, Menominee, and Potawatomi, who saw the conflict as an opportunity to inflict harm on their traditional enemy, the Sauk. Thus, they allied themselves to the United States, using diplomatic protocols that dated to the arrival of the French and English in the Great Lakes region of North America. While the native warriors were looking to the past for established methods of accommodation to shape their relationship with the U.S. military, they unwittingly aided the United States in securing a future for Illinois that excluded all native peoples. VERDICT This highly recommended work should be read alongside Kerry A. Trask's Black Hawk: The Battle for the Heart of America.—John Burch, Campbellsville Univ. Lib., KY
Watson Professor of American History, University of Texas at Dallas - R. David Edmunds
Far from the standard account, this sophisticated analysis of the Black Hawk War illustrates that the conflict was a many-sided affair with tribal people pursuing their own agendas. Well researched - engagingly written.
Emeritus Professor, University of Wisconsin-Madison - Edward M. Coffman
John Hall's splendid book is a balanced and comprehensive account of the complex interrelations of the Indian tribes, Army, and settlers in the era of the Black Hawk War. Particularly significant is Hall's analysis of the reasons why the other tribes allied with the Army rather than Black Hawk.
Dartmouth College - Colin G. Calloway
Uncommon Defense shows that the conflict between Black Hawk and the United States was also an 'Indian war' in which Menominees, Dakotas, Ho Chunks, and Potawatomis sided with the Americans against the Sauks, and different tribes had their own agendas, strategies, and experiences. A refreshing look at a story we thought we knew well.
U.S. Army - Brigadier General H.R. McMaster
This exceptionally well-researched and elegantly written book is a must-read for those who want to understand better the history of the American frontier and the complexity of wars fought amongst indigenous peoples.... John Hall's compelling analysis of the U.S.-Indian diplomacy during the Black Hawk War is instructive as the United States and its allies confront tribal societies in places like Afghanistan and Pakistan while endeavoring to defeat transnational enemies and shape the course of local conflicts that predated our involvement there and are almost certain to continue long after we are gone.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780674053953
  • Publisher: Harvard University Press
  • Publication date: 1/30/2010
  • Sold by: Barnes & Noble
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 384
  • File size: 670 KB

Meet the Author

John W. Hall is Ambrose-Hesseltine Assistant Professor of Military History, University of Wisconsin–Madison.

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Table of Contents

  • American occupation of the pays d'en haut, 1796-1831
  • Distribution of Indian villages on the eve of war and selected battles
  • Introduction

  1. Roots of Conflict
  2. A New Onontio
  3. A Mounting Storm
  4. Crisis on the Upper Mississippi
  5. Everything to Lose
  6. Warpath
  7. Final Blows
  8. Losing the Peace
  9. An Indian War

  • Epilogue
  • Notes
  • Acknowledgments
  • Index

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