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May 27 , 2010

Warpath And Bivouac Or The Conquest Of The Sioux


"Warpath And Bivouac Or The Conquest Of The Sioux" by John Finerty is an eyewitness account of the last major Indian war on the Great Plains in 1876 and a smaller follow-up campaign in 1879 against Sitting Bull, the Sioux last holdout.

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John E. Finerty (1846-1908) was a newspaper reporter for the Chicago Times who was assigned by his paper to accompany and report on the U. S. Army expedition to force the remaining Plains Indian tribes onto reservations. It was mounted in 1876 under the overall command of General Alfred Terry with Generals George Crook, and Nelson Miles, as sub column commanders. It was this campaign that Custer suffered his famous defeat at the Little Big Horn.

Finerty gives a complete picture of what campaigning was like in the 1870's and records the eyewitness on-the-spot sights and sounds of Indian warfare. He also reports on the later 1879 campaign to force the surrender of Sitting Bull and his Sioux who were the last hold outs from Custer's defeat.

Finerty's account of the Battle of the Rosebud which preceded the Custer massacre, is a clear picture of the spirit of resistance of the Plains Indians facing the destruction of their traditional way of life. The book is a clear picture of both Indian warfare and U. S. Army policy in this last great Indian war.

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