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The Fetterman Massacre

4.19  ·  Rating Details ·  163 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
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 célèbre and was the subject of a congressional investigation.
Paperback, 259 pages
Published September 1st 1970 by Bison Books
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Chris G Derrick
Dec 30, 2015 Chris G Derrick rated it it was amazing
A truly great read for anyone with the slightest interest in the subject - the second largest defeat (after Custer's) of the US Cavalry by the native Americans.
Dee Brown's book takes the reader from the very beginning of the long journey, slowly heading towards the site of what would eventually become Fort Phil Kearny.
The description of the building process and the hardships endured by both the men and the animals throughout the bitter winter make the reader feel they're genuinely there experie
J.P. Mac
Mar 14, 2014 J.P. Mac rated it it was amazing
Fascinating description of the U.S. Army's 1866 construction of Ft. Phil Kearny and the subsequent massacre of a detachment that left no survivors. Based on Army records and firsthand accounts, the narrative builds to an ambush by two thousand Sioux of Captain William Fetterman and his 80 cavalry and infantry.

While hardened veterans of the Civil War, Fetterman and most of his officers had no experience fighting Sioux and Arapaho, but plenty of confidence in their own martial abilities. At the sa
Joel Toppen
Jan 14, 2017 Joel Toppen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Outstanding Account

Very readable, this engaging story is told in a way that takes the reader back in time. The story of Red Cloud's War is told from the perspective of the soldiers and civilians that took up post at Fort Phil Kearny in what is now, northern Wyoming. My only regret is that the book does not give me much insight from the Native point of view.
Bob Cantrell
May 07, 2016 Bob Cantrell rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A complex story

I have always had a love of the American West and the people, who faced the perils of it. One of my favor story is of the Fetterman Massacre in 1866. This story has always intrigued me because there were no survivors of the fight on the U.S. Army troops involved. Dee Brown presents a narrative of the events leading to the fight and the aftermath of it. Who is to blame for the massacre is anybody's guess. My money is still on Fetterman for his belief that Indians couldn't fight. Ye
Austin Gisriel
Oct 04, 2015 Austin Gisriel rated it it was amazing
Dee Brown, who also authored "Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee," has turned her extensive research into a fast-paced narrative that details one of the Old West's most legendary tales. Originally titled, "Fort Phil Kearny: An American Saga," the book does indeed center on Colonel Henry B. Carrington who built the fort from which Captain William J. Fetterman rode to his doom. The massacre itself fills only one chapter out of 11, but it is remarkably detailed and by no means is this a criticism. On th ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Michael rated it liked it
This is a interesting event in American history. Another case white pride and arrogance being his demise. It is Little Big Horn on a smaller scale. The only down side is there was no survivors or eye witnesses. The slaughter took place outside of the line of site from the nearby fort. So the story of the Fetterman massacre is well documented except for the massacre itself. It's still a good book, but don't expect any details about the battle itself. No one (white man) lived to tell what happened ...more
Aug 26, 2012 Leslie rated it really liked it
Very engaging history of this event--one of the situations that indirectly led to Custer's aggressiveness 10 years later. Part of the problem was officers who had served in the Civil War but had no knowledge of the different type of fighting employed by the Indians. The officers of the massacred party were contemptuous,vastly over-confident and disobeyed a direct order NOT to pursue Indians beyond a certain point. Well written and provides an excellent view into life on the frontier at that time ...more
Oct 13, 2010 Will rated it really liked it
This title is somewhat misleading. The book is really about the history of Ft. Phil Kearny, WY, where Fetterman left on his infamous ride through the Sioux nation with 80 men. It is the story of a place, the people who built and fought around it, and the second battle in American history from which there were no survivors from the losing side. Extremely well written. If you are interested in the West, in the Indian Wars, or the 19th Century Army, this book is for you. Recommended.
May 19, 2015 Betsy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
On June 25, 1876, five companies of cavalry under the command of G.A. Custer perished at the Little Bighorn, even though the rest of the 7th Cavalry survived. Ten years before, December 21, 1866, some 90 men under the command of Captain Fetterman were killed and mutilated near Fort Phil Kearney during Red Cloud' s War. Since none of the men survived, there was much speculation about why this tragedy happened. In this book, Dee Brown gives a straightforward version leading up to the massacre.
Doug Tabner
May 05, 2016 Doug Tabner rated it it was amazing
If Custer hadn't had the arrogant misfortune to lead over 200 men to their deaths ten years later, the Fetterman Massacre would have gone down in history as the biggest defeat the US army ever suffered at the hands of the Indians. And Dee Brown, author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, did a good job of documenting it.

Colin Powell
Mar 04, 2013 Colin Powell rated it it was amazing
This is a splendid piece of up close history with notes taken from interviews and records with people concerned with the actual event. The whole affair leading up to the ghastly conclusion is well documented and presented in fine detail. At times the reader feels like he is actually there in the untamed western frontier.
Sep 05, 2009 Michael rated it liked it
A relatively quick read, but I remember wondering how accurate the author's imagination of the battles could be -- nonetheless, despite a bit of unnecessary skepticism, the descriptions are compelling. Probably a bit too focused a topic for the general reader.
Andy Plazatruckcom
Jun 28, 2013 Andy Plazatruckcom rated it really liked it
Very good, well written and interesting. Bought this book at Ft. Phil Kearney, very cool to read about it after seeing where it happened.
Jul 25, 2016 Kathy rated it it was amazing
I always like reading Dee Brown's books--you learn so much about the West. This was an event I had never heard about before, and was very interesting.
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Dorris Alexander “Dee” Brown (1908–2002) was a celebrated author of both fiction and nonfiction, whose classic study Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee is widely credited with exposing the systematic destruction of American Indian tribes to a world audience. Brown was born in Louisiana and grew up in Arkansas. He worked as a reporter and a printer before enrolling at Arkansas State Teachers College, wh ...more
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