my opinion, Jerome Greene does a good job of giving
a detailed explanation of the events leading up
to Custer's attack on the Cheyenne camp on the Washita.
He starts with the infamous Sand Creek Massacre
and then follows the chain of events resulting from
the 1864 event up to the assault at Washita. Greene
remains impartial and does a good job of presenting
all sides of the story. I consider it the mark of
a good historian who can relate the facts of any
event and manage to avoid coloring it too much with
their own opinions.
does a good job of showing how various Indian raids
in Kansas provided the justifiable cause for Sheridan
to have the operation staged. He also shows that
Black Kettle was attempting to appeal for peace
but had little control over the warrior factions.
I found it a terrible irony that Black Kettle and
his wife were among the first to die during the
morning of the assault on Washita.
book also has a chapter devoted to the repercussions
of the Washita and a chapter covering the controversies
surrounding the event. There is a considerable amount
of information presented around the loss of Elliot
and his men during the fighting and the long term
effect this had on the 7th Cavalry. Greene also
shows how Custer's relative success in 1868 might
have influenced his thinking later at the Little
Bighorn. Now this last bit definitely slides into
the realm of speculation, but Greene tends to remain
objective in his history of the battle.
this point, I really do have to recommend the book.
I am already looking up anything and everything
else he has written on the Frontier Army and the
Plains Indian wars.