Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version

Winter 2012


Great Plains Quarterly 32:1 (Winter 2012).


Copyright © 2012 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska.


The Great Sioux War of 1876-77 was the greatest Indian war ever fought by the United States government. That, together with the continued fascination of the Little Bighorn, has generated enough books and articles to fill a small library. Most follow a common thread of narration or analysis, but Paul L. Hedren's Great Sioux War Orders of Battle takes a different approach. Divided into three parts, it covers the 1876 army, its mission and strategy in the Plains, deployment and tactics, and analysis.

On the surface, this would seem like a book for the specialist. However, the body of text is supplemented by seven appendices sorting out the various military terms, staff and field officers, company-grade officers, and medical officers, with lists of all those engaged, prior experience, and casualties. Thus Great Sioux War Orders of Battle becomes useful for the nonspecialist who is not necessarily familiar with rank, battle experience, or terminology.