This is the definitive story of the Longest War in American History. The Indian wars remain the most misunderstood campaign ever waged by the U. S. Army. From the first sustained skirmishes west of the Mississippi River in the 1850's to the sweeping clashes of hundreds of soldiers and warriors along the upper plains decades later, these wars consumed most of the active duty resources of the army for the greater part of the nineteenth century and resulted in the disruption of nearly all of the native cultures in the West. Yet the popular understanding of the Indian wars is marred by stereotypes and misinformation as well as a tendency to view these individual wars - the battles against the Sioux, the Cheyenne, the Nez Perce, the Apache, and other groups - as distinct incidents rather than parts of a single overarching campaign.
Dispelling notions that American Indians were simply attempting to stop encroachment on their homelands or that they shared common views on how to approach the Europeans, Bill Yenne explains in "Indian Wars: The Campaign for the American West", that these wars, fought for more than five decades across a landscape the size of continental Europe, were part of a general long-term strategy by the U. S. Army to control the West as well as extensions of conflicts among native peoples that predated European contact. Complete with a general history of Indian and European relations from the earliest encounters to the opening of the west, and featuring legendary figures from both sides, including Crazy Horse, Chief Joseph, Sitting Bull, Geronimo, George Custer, Kit Carson, and George Crook, "Indian Wars" allows the reader to better understand the sequence of events that transformed the West and helped define the American temperament.