In August 1862 the Sioux of Minnesota rose up against their white neighbors in the bloodiest massacre in the history of the West, with four times the fatalities of the Battle of Little Big Horn. They had been viewed by white settlers as a friendly tribe, but in reality they were deeply resentful over the loss of lands, the disappearance of the buffalo, broken treaties, the government's delayed annuity payments, and the refusal of traders to release food to starving Indians. During their week-long rampage the Sioux killed some 800 settlers, took scores of women and children captive, sent tens of thousands of refugees fleeing eastward, and marked the outbreak of a series of wars between whites and Indians over the Great Plains that did not end until nearly thirty years later at a place called Wounded Knee. This book is a gripping but evenhanded reconstruction of the lives and deaths of settlers, Indians, traders, agents, and soldiers as they unknowingly created an epic chapter of frontier history.
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(203mm x 140mm x 22mm)
Da Capo Press Inc
Publisher: The Perseus Books Group
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US Kirkus Review »
This well planned and well written book by a Chicago advertising executive turned historian tells of the worst Indian massacre in American history, the terrible uprising of the Minnesota Sioux in August, 1862. Because of the first Battle of Bull Run the affair was largely overlooked at the time in the East and since then has been surprisingly neglected by Western historians. The trouble came because four young Indians without cause killed five whites and then announced that the whites had started war on the Sioux; at once the Sioux, already discontented because of white encroachments, started further killings which spread like fire through remote farms and settled villages. Responsible chiefs tried to stop the bloodshed and failed; more than 800 whites, largely European emigrant settlers, were butchered with incredible ferocity. White troops under an incompetent general, Sibley, finally ended the uprising, capturing hundreds of Indians who were sentenced to death; in the end 38 were hanged, many of them innocent. Carefully documented but too heavily loaded with tales of atrocities for pleasant reading, this volume fills a gap in the annals of the West and should find a place in public and historical libraries, but many addicts of history will be sickened by its detailed accounts of tortures. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Author Biography - C. M. Oehler
C. M. Oehler wrote Time in the Timber, a memoir of his experiences as a lumberjack.