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Critical review - Circle of fire The Indian war of 1865

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Circle of fire The Indian war of 1865 The bibliography of this book review is: McDermott, John D. Circle of fire: the Indian war of 1865. Mechanicsburg, PA 17055: Stackpole books, 2003, 1st edition, 304 pages. Only the first 176 pages deal with the actual historical aspects of the war, the rest of the book is endnotes and the bibliography. Circle of fire is a monograph that describes the war between the plains Indians and the American government in 1865. The book gives very descriptive explanations on the expeditions through the Indian Territory in 1865 and is also highly detailed when informing the reader about the movement of the American army in the battles between the two nations, and in some cases it also describes the route the Indians traveled, when such material has been available. The first chapter in the book describes how a division of the army had killed almost a whole tribe of Cheyenne and Arapaho Indians at sand creek in 1864, (McDermott,2003:13) this act was the starting point to the war in 1865. The Indians sought revenge and raided small stations, wagon trains and farms, the government sent out different divisions of the army to stop the attacks. The massacre on the tribe in 1864 as mentioned above was not the only reason as to why the Indians attacked the ...read more.


in the single battles, how big the units were on both sides, and what kind of weapons the different units carried "the 11th Kansas had Smith single-shot, breech-loading carbines, while the 11th Ohio troops had seven-shot repeating Spencers and the 3rd infantry had Springfield muskets". (McDermott,2003:88) Furthermore he provides us with information about who has been killed and wounded in each battle "killed on the battlefield were Pvts. George W. McDonald and Sebastian Nehring of Company 1. Wounded were Sgt. Adolph Hankammer, Clp. Henry Grimm and Pvts. Henry W. Hill all from Company 1" (McDermott,2003:93). Also he writes what kind of provision the Indians stole from the warehouses when they were raiding the different towns and ranches and what the value of the goods was. To each chapter there is a map so one can see where the different towns and forts are located, (McDermott,2993:19) for a person that already knows something about the area these maps are very helpful and one can follow the routes the army marched along and keep track on the very detailed descriptions of the events McDermott writes about. For a person with none or very little knowledge to the region the maps are not very useful, he mentions in which states the battles are fought but for a person without knowledge to the geography of the specific area it is somewhat confusing. ...read more.


(McDermott,2003:158) In the epilogue (McDermott,2003:171) he writes what happened to the key figures in the book after the war, it being both Indians and Americans. It is a good way to end the book, he has described these people very detailed during the book and it is a good idea to tell the reader what happened to them in the following years. The strength of the book is the effort the author has put into details in describing the different events during the war, but it is also the book's weakness, it depends on who is reading the book. McDermott is a very objective writer, I did not get the feeling that he favors one side above the other, we never hear about his emotions toward the events, he only describes what happened. He has used materials describing the conditions from both sides. The author's reason as to why he has written this book is to give the reader new information about the events in 1865, some of the secondary material he uses is written as late as 1999. (McDermott,2003:266) He wishes to give the reader an opportunity to use this book instead of going through tons of articles and other materials at different libraries. Word count: 1,333 Circle of fire Written by Gitte Schultz Introduction to history 1 ...read more.

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