Normal People
The Plague of Doves

The Fetterman Massacre

The Fetterman MassacreThe Fetterman Massacre by Dee Brown
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

At Agate Fossil Beds National Monument in the Nebraska Panhandle, the most exciting thing for me was the surprising collection of Native American artifacts that the family which once owned the ranch on which the fossils were discovered, had been given by their Native American friends. And the most surprising of those items was the war club American Horse used to kill Captain Fetterman. I distinctly went "Wow!" when I read the label posted by the club.

Now, this volume tells a different story of Fetterman's end--that he and a partner took their lives rather than being killed by the Lakota and their allies. I Googled and learned that this is a discrepancy between Native and Military versions of the story. Prior to reading this book, I had only read about the massacre and Red Cloud's war from accounts by or sympathetic to the Native perspective.

Last summer I bought this volume from the gift shop at Fort Hartsuff in the Nebraska Sandhills and finally read it while on vacation in the Black Hills this summer. It is a detailed account of the establishment and short life of Fort Phil Kearny and the famous massacre which helped contribute to Red Cloud's victory in his war against the United States and the ultimate disestablishment of the fort. So, if you like histories of the West or of the military, you'll enjoy this volume.

View all my reviews

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