This book review was written by Eugene Kernes
“Together as never before, the Lakota resolved to stand against the white man as one people in order to preserve their land and their way of life. | This resolve was soon put to the test. When gold was discovered in the Rocky Mountains in 1859, the floodgates opened as miners of every description poured into the region. The Lakota reacted by engaging upon a stratagem of hit-and-run tactics that have come to be known as guerrilla warfare. At the forefront of the attacks was the great military leader and mystic, Sitting Bull.” – Francis Hayes, Chapter One: The Combatants, Page 8
“The Black Hills had great practical as well as spiritual value to the Sioux. They were referred to by Sitting Bull as the meat pack of the nation due to the abundance of wildlife that occupied them. This made them a hunter’s paradise. The sheltered meadows in the region were ideal for campsites, while the ramrod-straight pines were just the thing for fashioning lodgepoles. | The Hills were also strategically important as a place to retreat to in times of war.” – Francis Hayes, Chapter Two: Gold in the Black Hills, Page 17
“THE GREATEST VICTORY that the Plains Indians ever experienced over the United States Army also sounded the death knell for the Sioux and Cheyenee. The massive village had moved into the Bighorn mountains following the battle and spent several days celebrating their victory. Among the thousands gathered, many thought that the soldiers would not dare to even approach them now that they had flexed their combined muscle. But older, wiser heads knew otherwise. Foremost among them was Sitting Bull. He knew that, far from standing back, the army would now pursue them with renewed vigor – and they wouldn’t stop until the last Indian was either dead or confined to the reservation.” – Francis Hayes, Chapter Eleven: Aftermath, Page 123
Is This An Overview?
During 1876, Americans thought that the Native Americans have been conquered and were no longer a cause for concern. But then they received reports of a military unit being devastated by the Native Americans. This event has become known as The Battle of the Little Bighorn. What culminated into the battle, started with American expansion. The US government sought the Native American land for various reasons such as to build a transcontinental railway, and the rumored gold on Native American land.
The US government wanted to make a treaty for the region, to put the Native Americans into reservations where they would be provided for. Some Native Americans did sign such a treaty. Those that did not sign the treaty, knew that any treaty with the US government was worthless. When the US government could not stop their people from entering Native American land, they advised the Native Americans to sell the land. But the land was not for sale.
To prevent American expansion, the Native Americans united to preserve their way of life. The opponents used different strategies, but the Native Americans were underestimated. The American forces lost. The Native Americans defended their land, and were victorious, but their victory was temporary. As the Native Americans were recognized as a threat, the US government made provisions for more forts and military might in the region. The US government retaliation had over time overcome the Native Americans.
This is short book. Book might be short, but does express a complex understanding of the people involved. There are many details provided on the battle, and general events that caused the conflicts. There is not much detail on the various cultures. Some events can be harder to understand without the related historical details.