The Fetterman Massacre

The Fetterman Massacre : An American Saga

4.17 (169 ratings by Goodreads)
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The Fetterman Massacre occurred on December 21, 1866, at Fort Phil Kearny, a small outpost in the foothills of the Big Horns. The second battle in American history from which came no survivors, it became a cause celebre and was the subject of a congressional more

Product details

  • Paperback | 259 pages
  • 127 x 200.7 x 17.8mm | 272.16g
  • University of Nebraska Press
  • Lincoln, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illus., map
  • 0803257309
  • 9780803257306
  • 644,745

About Dee Brown

Dee Brown is the author of several novels in addition to his nonfiction books, which include Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, The Gentle Tamers: Women of the Old Wild West, and The Galvanized more

Review quote

"This meticulously documented book ... , based on Army records and firsthand reports, should stand as definitive. [It] is, by far, the best account yet of Fort Phil Kearny and the stirring events that took place... A must for devotees of Western Americana."-Robert F. Hannon, St. Louis Post-Dispatch|"For the first time we have the detailed story of all the little fights that preceded the major disaster... It is one of the best studies that has been made of any sector of the Indian wars."-Don Russell, Chicago Sunday Tribuneshow more

Back cover copy

'For the first time we have the detailed story of all the little fights that preceded the major disaster...It is one of the best studies that has been made of any sector of the Indian wars.' -Don russell, Chicago Sunday Tribuneshow more

Review Text

Although the story of Fort Phil Kearny and the Fetterman Massacre of 1866 has been fictionalized many times, often inaccurately, it has been largely neglected by formal historians. This meticulously documented and exciting book should stand as the definitive account. The chief protagonists in this tale of heartbreak and heroism, personal enmities and over-confidence, are Col. Henry B. Carrington, the cautious and conscientious commander of the fort, and Capt. William J. Fetterman, a brilliant officer ignorant of Indian warfare, whose recklessness led to his own death and that of 80 officers and men. Carrington, who had never before seen active service, was ordered to build two forts on the Bozeman Trail which led to the Montana goldfields through lands guaranteed forever by treaty to the Indians as closed hunting grounds. The Indians, chiefly Sioux, were infuriated by the invasion and warred on the whites under Chief Red Cloud. Phil Kearny, compact and strongly built, was their chief target. Lacking men, horses and rifles, his requests for help ignored, Carrington did not dare risk meeting the Indians in battle; his officers, led by Fetterman, accused him of cowardice. Finally on December 21, 1866, Fetterman disobeyed orders and led his men into a planned ambush from which not one white man escaped... Based on army records and first hand accounts, often shattering traditions, this is for Western historians, devotees and obligatory for Americans collections. (Kirkus Reviews)show more

Rating details

169 ratings
4.17 out of 5 stars
5 40% (67)
4 41% (70)
3 16% (27)
2 2% (4)
1 1% (1)
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