Format Type: PDF, Docs
Read Online: 1272
Few people who cross the Great Plains today recollect that for centuries the land was a battleground where Indian nations fought one another for their own survival and then stood bravely against the irrepressible forces of white civilization. Even among those aware of the history, Plains Indian conflicts have been seen largely in terms of American conquest. In this readable narrative history, well-known Indian historian Stan Hoig tells how the native peoples of the southern plains have struggled continually to retain their homelands and their way of life. Tribal Wars of the Southern Plains is a comprehensive account of Indian conflicts in the area between the Platte River and the Rio Grande, from the first written reports of the Spaniards in the sixteenth century through the United States-Cheyenne Battle of the Sand Hills in 1875. The reader follows the exploits and defeats of such chiefs as Lone Wolf, Satanta, Black Kettle, and Dull Knife as they signed treaties, led attacks, battled for land, and defended their villages in the huge region that was home to the Wichitas, Comanches, Cheyennes, Arapahos, Kiowas, Osages, Pawnees, and other Indian nations. Unlike many previous studies of the Plains Indian wars, this one-volume synthesis chronicles not only the Indian-white wars but also the Indian-Indian conflicts. Of central importance are the intertribal wars that preceded the arrival of the Spaniards and continued during the next three centuries, particularly as white incursions on the north and east forced tribes from those regions onto the Great Plains. Stan Hoig details the numerous battles and the major treaties. He also explains the warrior ethic, which persists even among Plains Indian veterans today; the dual societal structure of peace and war chiefs within the tribes, in which both sometimes acted at cross-purposes, much the same as the U.S. government and frontier whites; techniques and tactics of Plains Indian warfare; and the role of medicine men, the Sun Dance, and spirituality in Plains warfare. This is a perfect introduction to an important era in the Indian history of North America by an acknowledged expert.