Washita: The U.S. Army and the Southern Cheyennes, 1867-1869

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Overview

On November 27, 1868, the U.S. Seventh Cavalry under Lt. Col. George Armstrong Custer attacked a Southern Cheyenne village along the Washita River in present-day western Oklahoma. The subsequent U.S. victory signaled the end of the Cheyennes’ traditional way of life and resulted in the death of Black Kettle, their most prominent peace chief.

In this remarkably balanced history, Jerome A. Greene describes the causes, conduct, and consequences of the event even as he addresses the multiple controversies surrounding the conflict. As Greene explains, the engagement brought both praise and condemnation for Custer and carried long-range implications for his stunning defeat at the Battle of the Little Bighorn eight years later.

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Editorial Reviews

KLIATT - Patricia Moore
Greene, a retired research historian for the National Park Service, carefully describes the forces, the events and the political pressures on both Native Americans and the US Army that led to the savage Battle of Washita on November 27, 1868. Under direct orders from Sheridan, General George Custer led his army battalion in a surprise attack on the sleeping villages of Cheyenne, Arapahoe and other groups camped along the Washita River in what is now Oklahoma. Carefully presenting the position of the peaceful Southern Cheyenne leader Black Kettle and the young war-minded "Dog Soldier" Cheyennes whom Black Kettle could not control, Greene extensively researched government and contemporary publications for his account of the end of the Cheyenne way of life. Eventually relegated to an Indian Territory reservation, the Southern Cheyenne never regained their traditional way of life. Custer bathed in the mostly positive popular American feedback from this battle until his death at the Little Big Horn eight years later. While meticulously researched and detailed, this text moves quickly enough to be of value for most young adults. Reviewer: Patricia Moore
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780806138855
  • Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
  • Publication date: 3/28/2008
  • Series: Campaigns and Commanders Series
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 816,190
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.80 (d)

Meet the Author

Jerome A. Greene is retired as Research Historian for the National Park Service. He is the author of numerous books, including Stricken Field: The Little Bighorn since 1876, Battles and Skirmishes of the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877: The Military View; Lakota and Cheyenne: Indian Views of the Great Sioux War, 1876-1877; and Morning Star Dawn: The Powder River Expedition and the Northern Cheyennes, 1876, all published by the University of Oklahoma Press.

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