ERY SMALL REMNANT by Michael Straight
Kirkus Star

ERY SMALL REMNANT

By
Email this review

KIRKUS REVIEW

A story of the West during the Civil War which is ""not fiction that stands in opposition to fact"" but drawn from events described in sworn testimony taken by a Commission of Inquiry and published by the United States Senate in 1867, as well as the scrapbooks and journal of the narrator-hero. In 1864, Major Edward Wyncoop was in command of Fort Lyon guarding the Santa Fe Trail. Indian warfare put an additional strain on Northern forces, and Wyncoop's chance to prevent bloodshed came when the Cheyennes offered up prisoners and cooperation with the Arapahoes against the warring Sioux and other tribes in exchange for prisoner-of-war security. His triumph -- a journey to Colonel Chivington, then military governor of Colorado, with Black Kettle to smoke the peace pipe -- turned to ashes when he was relieved of his post, sent back to Kansas -- and there received news of Chivington's treacherous slaughter of Cheyennes encamping as POWs at Big Bend. An inquiry into the massacre breaks Chivington's ambitious hold forever, but leads to the assassination of Soule, the one officer who would not follow Chivington at Big Bend and who testified against him knowing the danger. Restored to grace and command, Wyncoop turns aside a rumored colonley for a post as Indian agent at Larned for a period of resolute consecration...A manly, strong style suits this straight-shooting yet percipient novel of honor, the second to the author's credit (Currington, 1960).

Pub Date: March 18th, 1963
Publisher: Knopf