US Cavalry on the Plains 1850–1890. Two events in the 19th century turned the minds of Americans westwards towards eventual and inevitable conflict with the Plains Indians. The first was victory in the Mexican-American War in 1848, which brought millions of acres of new land in the West under the control of the United States, and opened the way for settlement by landless Easterners. The second was the discovery of gold in Sutter's Creek, California, in 1849. Thousands travelled westwards to share in this strike - many by ship, but still more by wagon across the Plains. One of the results of this migration was conflict with the Indians who inhabited the Plains, and whose way of life depended on hunting the roaming buffalo herds. So it was natural that the Army, the nation's armed peace-keepers, should be sent to garrison the West and, ostensibly, to protect settlers and Indians from each other. This book by Philip Katcher tells the absorbing story of the US cavalrymen who patrolled the Plains from 1850-90, featuring many intriguing contemporary photographs and eight full page colour plates by Ron Volstad.
Contents: The 1850s - The Civil War Years - The Climax 1866-76 - The Sioux War, 1876-77 - The Last Campaigns: 1881-91 - Cavalry Organization - Army Life on the Plains
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