Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in GREAT PLAINS QUARTERLY 11:4 (Fall 1991). Copyright © 1991 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska–Lincoln.


It is only in recent decades that the Trans-Mississippi Indian wars have become the subject of considerable scholarly as well as popular investigation and writing. It is even more recently that such study has gone beyond indignation at the fate of the Indians themselves. Sherry L. Smith's book is an attempt to understand both sides, and in particular those generally unheard participants, the enlisted men of the regular army. William Earl Smith was the author's great-grandfather, and a major part of the book is his journal of the campaign of General George Crook against the Sioux and Northern Cheyennes in the fall of 1876, culminating in the battle on the Red Fork of the Powder River.