Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Nothern Plains, 1876-1877

Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Nothern Plains, 1876-1877

by Paul L. Hedren

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Overview

Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Nothern Plains, 1876-1877 by Paul L. Hedren

Lasting nearly two years, the Great Sioux War pitted almost one-third of the U.S. Army against Lakota Sioux and Northern Cheyennes. By the time it ended, this grueling war had played out on twenty-seven different battlefields scattered across five states, resulted in hundreds of casualties, cost millions of dollars, and transformed the landscape and the lives of survivors on both sides. It also entrenched a view of the army as largely inept.

In this compelling sourcebook, Paul Hedren uses extensive documentation to demonstrate that the American army adapted quickly to the challenges of fighting this unconventional war and was more effectively led and better equipped than is customarily believed. While it lost at Powder River and at the Little Big Horn, it did not lose the Great Sioux War.

In the first part of this volume, Hedren considers concepts of doctrine, training, culture, and matériel to aid understanding of the army’s structure and disposition. In part two he dissects the twenty-eight Great Sioux War deployments in chronological order, including documentation of command structures, regiments, and companies employed. In the concluding section, the author addresses how an otherwise sound American army was defeated in two battles and nearly lost a third. The book also features seven helpful appendices, a glossary, and an oversized map showing forts, encampments, and battle sites.

By expanding his purview to encompass all of the war’s battles—along with troop movements, strategies, and tactics—Hedren offers an authoritative account of the conduct of U.S. forces in a campaign all too frequently misunderstood.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780870623974
Publisher: University of Oklahoma Press
Publication date: 03/15/2011
Series: Frontier Military Series , #31
Pages: 240
Product dimensions: 6.30(w) x 9.50(h) x 1.00(d)

About the Author

Paul L. Hedren is a retired National Park Service superintendent residing in Omaha, Nebraska. He is the author of Fort Laramie and the Great Sioux War and Great Sioux War Orders of Battle: How the United States Army Waged War on the Northern Plains, 1876–1877.

Table of Contents

Preface 9

Acknowledgments 15

Part I Waging the Great Sioux War

The American Army of 1876 21

On Strategy and Tactics 34

The Great Sioux War Begins 41

The Black Hills Front 55

Reinforcements and Starting Over 59

Part II Deployments of the Great Sioux War

No.1 Fort Pease Relief 77

No.2 Big Horn Expedition 78

No.3 Powder River 80

No.4 Gibbon's Column 81

No.5 Black Hills Front 84

No.6 Yellowstone River 89

No.7 Terry's Column 96

No.8 Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition I 100

No.9 Reno Scout 104

No.10 Powder River Trail 105

No.11 Little Big Horn River 107

No.12 Big Horn and Yellowstone Expedition II 111

No.13 Terry's and Gibbon's Column 117

No.14 Tongue River Cantonment 123

No.15 Spring Creek Engagements 127

No.16 Cantonment Reno 128

No.17 Cedar Creek 130

No.18 Dismounting and Disarming the Sioux 132

No.19 Fort Peck Sortie 137

No.20 Fort Peck Expedition 138

No.21 Powder River Expedition 141

No.22 Red Fork of the Powder River 146

No.23 Wolf Mountains 147

No.24 Muddy Creek 149

No.25 In the Field near the Yellowstone River 152

No.26 In the Field near the Tongue River 154

No.27 Little Missouri Expedition 155

No.28 Big Horn Post 159

Part III What Went Right and Wrong?

Reflection and Analysis 163

Appendices

A Participating Great Sioux War Regiments and Companies and Instances of Post-Civil War/Pre-1876 Indian Campaign Experience 181

B Staff and Field-Grade Officers Engaged in the Great Sioux War 186

C Company-Grade Officers Engaged in the Great Sioux War 189

D Medical Officers and Contract Surgeons Engaged in the Great Sioux War 209

E Battles, Skirmishes, and Casualties of the Great Sioux War 211

F Officers Killed or Wounded in the Great Sioux War 213

G Glossary of Critical Military Terms 214

Bibliography 217

Index 229

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