INDIAN WARS OF THE U.S. ARMY, 1776-1865 by Fairfax Downey


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This latest book by a prolific writer of histories (The Guns at Gettysburg, Indian Fighting Army, etc.) and of historical novels for juveniles, gives the impression, to one reader at least, of being assembled from left-overs. The title, an elastic one, is at times misleading. The opening chapter deals with the scalping of Jane McCrae by Indians under Burgoyne, which aroused the colonists but which did not lead to a true Indian War. Other incidents are little more than isolated massacres, while the author's inclusion of the Lewis and Clark expedition among his Indian Wars as being basically a military reconnaissance is one to arouse historical questions. There is, however, much excellent material in the book, such as the chapter on Tecumseh; other chapters, among them that on the Battle of Sand reek, bear evidence of hasty writing and poor research. The best parts of the book are the detailed accounts of early army life and the fine military drawings by H. Charles McBarron. The book will appeal to TV historians rather than to professionals in the field, to high school seniors rather than to seasoned adults.

Pub Date: June 14th, 1963
Publisher: Doubleday