U.S. Infantry in the Indian Wars 1865-91

Overview

Thanks to Hollywood's many portrayals of the US Cavalry, it is little understood that the infantry played as great a part in the Indian Wars of the 1860s-80s, and were more consistently successful.

The great Paiute War of 1866, where the infantry of the most renowned Indian-fighting general, George Cook, excelled in battle, together with the role of other infantry units in the final subjugation of Geronimo's Apaches in 1886, are but two ...

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Overview

Thanks to Hollywood's many portrayals of the US Cavalry, it is little understood that the infantry played as great a part in the Indian Wars of the 1860s-80s, and were more consistently successful.

The great Paiute War of 1866, where the infantry of the most renowned Indian-fighting general, George Cook, excelled in battle, together with the role of other infantry units in the final subjugation of Geronimo's Apaches in 1886, are but two instances of their achievements.

Moreover, after the Custer massacre, it was the infantry under Gen Nelson Miles who out-fought Crazy Horse's Sioux in the Wolf Mountains in 1877; Crazy Horse christened them 'Walk-a-Heaps'.
The struggle against the Indians was the longest war in American military history and the Indians were formidable opponents. They knew the terrain, could live off the land and fielded some of the finest light cavalry in the world. Facing such a determined foe, one soldier even wrote: "The front is all around and the rear is nowhere." The US Infantry endured years of sporadic battles that were bitterly contested against an enemy who was fighting for their very survival.

Presenting an illustrated history of these critical but overlooked soldiers of the Indian Wars, and featuring their involvement in the legendary battles of Wounded Knee and Wolf Mountains, this narrative includes details of their tactics, training, uniforms and equipment culminating in the eventual "closing" of the American Frontier in 1890 and the final conquest of the indigenous inhabitants of North America.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"The book is well-illustrated throughout ... The full-color illustrations by Richard Hook are first class ... one of the very few books to show infantrymen in campaign dress and adaptations made to it throughout this period ... I can highly recommend this book to anyone with an interest in the American West, U.S. Army and the Indian Wars." -Harold Davidson, Toy Soldier & Model Figure (April 2008)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781841769059
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing, Limited
  • Publication date: 4/24/2007
  • Series: Men-at-Arms Series
  • Pages: 48
  • Sales rank: 964,072
  • Product dimensions: 7.25 (w) x 9.75 (h) x 0.15 (d)

Meet the Author

Ron Field is Head of History at the Cotswold School in Bourton-on-the-Water. He was awarded a Fulbright Scholarship in 1982 and taught history at Piedmont High School in California from 1982 to 1983. He was associate editor of the Confederate Historical Society of Great Britain, from 1983 to 1992. He is an internationally acknowledged expert on US military history, and was elected a Fellow of the Company of Military Historians, based in Washington, DC, in 2005. The author lives in Gloucestershire, UK.
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Table of Contents


Introduction     3
Organization, and character
Campaigning with the Infantry     5
"Walk-a-Heaps" - infantry on the march
Mounted Infantry
Infantty wagons
Summary of Main Campaigns & Actions     11
The Powder River War, 1865-67
The Comanche Campaigns, 1867-69
The Modoc War, 1872-73
The Red River War, 1874-75
The Black Hills War, 1874-75
The Nez Perce Campaign, 1877
The Cheyenne, Bannock & Ute Campaigns, 1878-79
The Apache Campaigns, 1871-74 & 1885-86
The Wounded Knee Campaign, 1890-91
Uniforms     18
1865-72: officers-enlisted men
The 1872 pattern uniform and modifications: officers - enlisted men
Further uniform changes 1880-91
Summer clothing
Winter campaign clothing
Arms & Equipage     39
Select Bibliography     43
Plate Commentaries     44
Index     48
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