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Books at On Military Matters


Updated as of 5/16/2024

ABBREVIATIONS: dj-dust jacket, biblio-bibliography, b/w-black and white, illust-illustrations, b/c-book club addition.
rct - recent arrival or pending publication, spc - OMM Special Price
US Indian Wars

1-68350 Halbert, H.S. and Ball, T.H. CREEK WAR OF 1813 AND 1814, THE The first edition of Halbert and Ball's Creek War was published in 1895, and a new edition containing an introductory essay, supplementary notes, a bibliography, and an index by Frank L. Owsley Jr., was published in 1969. This standard account of one of the most controversial wars in which Americans have fought is again available, with introductory materials and a bibliography revised to reflect the advances in scholarship since the 1969 edition. This facsimile reproduction of the 1895 original provides a full and sympathetic account of the Indians' point of view, from the earliest visit of the great Shawnee chief Tecumseh to the southern tribes in 1811, through the buildup of apprehension and hostilities leading to the fateful battles at Burnt Corn, Fort Mims, and Holy Ground.b/w illust/maps, biblio, index. 1 vol, 400 pgs 2001 TUSCALOOSA, ALABAMA UNIV
NEW-pb ......$30.00

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1-205060 Harper, Gordon FIGHTS ON THE LITTLE HORN: Unveiling the Mysteries of Custer's Last Stand This remarkable book synthesizes a lifetime of in-depth research into one of America's most storied disasters, the defeat of Custer's 7th Cavalry at the hands of the Sioux and Cheyenne Indians, as well as the complete annihilation of that part of the cavalry led by Custer himself.

The author, Gordon Harper, spent countless hours on the battlefield itself as well as researching every iota of evidence of the fight from white and Indian sources. He was thus able to recreate every step of the battle as authoritatively as anyone could, dispelling myths and falsehoods along the way. Harper himself passed away in 2009, leaving behind nearly two million words of original research and writing.

This book condensed his work for the general public to observe his key findings and the crux of his narrative on the exact course of the battle.

One of his first observations is that the fight took place along the Little Horn River-its junction with the Big Horn was several miles away so that the term for the battle, Little Big Horn, has always been a misnomer. He precisely traces the mysterious activities of Benteen's battalion on that fateful day, and why it could never come to Custer's reinforcement. He describes Reno's desperate fight in unprecedented depth, as well as how that unnerved officer benefited from the unexpected heroism of many of his men. 1 vol, 408 pgs 2014 US, CASEMATE
NEW-dj ......$33.00 with a discount of 15%

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1-214270 Hogeland, William AUTUMN OF THE BLACK SNAKE: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West When the Revolutionary War ended in 1783, the newly independent United States savored its victory and hoped for a great future. And yet the republic soon found itself losing an escalating military conflict on its borderlands. In 1791, years of skirmishes, raids, and quagmire climaxed in the grisly defeat of American militiamen by a brilliantly organized confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians. With nearly 1000 US casualties, this was the worst defeat the nation would ever suffer at native hands. Americans were shocked, perhaps none more so than their commander in chief, George Washington, who saw in the debacle an urgent lesson: the United States needed an army.

This book tells the overlooked story of how Washington achieved his aim. In evocative and absorbing prose, William Hogeland conjures up the woodland battles and the hardball politics that formed the Legion of the United States, our first true standing army. His memorable portraits of leaders on both sides -- from the daring war chiefs Blue Jacket and Little Turtle to the doomed commander Richard Butler and a steely, even ruthless Washington -- drive a tale of horrific violence, brilliant strategies, stupendous blunders, and valorous deeds.

This sweeping account, at once exciting and dark, builds to a crescendo as Washington and Alexander Hamilton, at enormous risk, outmaneuver Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other skeptics of standing armies -- and Washington appoints the seemingly disreputable Anthony Wayne, known as Mad Anthony, to lead the legion. Wayne marches into the forests of the Old Northwest, where the very Indians he is charged with defeating will bestow on him, with grudging admiration, a new name: the Black Snake.

Besides a work of military and political history, it is also an original interpretation of how greed, honor, political beliefs, and vivid personalities converged on the killing fields of the Ohio valley, where the US Army would win its first victory -- destroying the coalition of Indians who came closer than any, before or since, to halting the nation's westward expansion. 1 vol, 464 pgs 2017 US, FARRAR, STRAUS AND GIROUX
NEW-dj, available mid June 2017 ......$28.00 with a discount of 10%

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1-236150 Locke, Steven WAR ALONG THE WABASH: The Ohio Indian Confederacy's Destruction of the US Army, 1791 Describes how a small band of determined Native Americans defended their homeland in 1791, destroyed an invading American army led by Arthur St. Clair, and forced a fundamental shift in the way in which the United States waged war. Also puts the battle into the context of the last quarter of the 18th century, exploring how the central importance of land ownership to Europeans arriving in North America resulted in unrelenting demographic pressure on indigenous tribes, as well as the enormous obstacles standing in the way of the fledgling American Republic in paying off its enormous war debts.

The road to the battle of the Wabash began when Arthur St. Clair was appointed to lead an army into the heart of the Ohio Indian Confederacy while building a string of fortifications along the way. He would face difficulties in recruiting, training, feeding, and arming volunteer soldiers. From the moment St. Clair's shattered force began its retreat from the Wabash the men blamed the officers, and the officers in turn blamed their men. For over two centuries most historians have blamed either the officer corps, enlisted soldiers, an entangled logistical supply line, poor communications, or equipment. The destruction of the army resulted in a stunned Congress authorizing a regular army in 1792. 1 vol, 320 pgs 2023 UK, PEN & SWORD
NEW-dj, available mid March 2023 ......$38.00 with a discount of 15% rct

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1-972019 McLachlan, Adam 019 APACHE WARRIOR VERSUS US CAVALRYMAN 1846-86 From the 1840s onward, United States military forces clashed with the Apache, a group of Native American peoples associated with the southwestern part of North America. US territorial expansion and conflict - first with Mexico and then during the Civil War - led to an escalation of hostilities that culminated in the defeat of the Apache leader Geronimo in 1886, although fighting continued into the 20th century. In this study the clashes at Cieneguilla (1854), First Adobe Walls (1864), and Cibecue Creek (1881) are assessed in detail.

Fully illustrated and featuring contemporary accounts and specially commissioned artwork, this history examines exactly how the Apache were able to pose such a grave threat to US forces and how their initial advantages were gradually negated by the cavalry. Examining the tactics, equipment and training available to each side over four decades of evolving conflict, this is an eye-opening combatant's eye view of one of history's most intriguing campaigns. 1 vol, 80 pgs 2016 UK, OSPREY PUBLISHING
NEW-pb ......$20.00 with a discount of 15%

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1-PWAR082 Newberg, Stephen PAPER WARS: Issue 82 - I Will Fight No More, Forever: The Retreat of the Nez Perce, June-October 1877 Magazine and Game. I Will Fight No More Forever is a game of the retreat of the Nez Perce Indian tribe, the longest contested retreat in history.

It is played on both the strategic and tactical levels so as to as fully as possible place the entire situation in the hands of the players. In the strategic game, played on a map of the Northwest and Northern states, a set of counters are used to represent the major units and bands involved in the campaign. Each is rated for its movement abilities and its Search or evasion potential.

The major objective of the U.S. Army player is to coordinate his forces in such a manner as to be able to locate the Indian forces at will and to bring them to battle in the tactical game. The major objective of the Nez Perce Indian player is to maneuver his forces so as to avoid being trapped by the U.S. Army player, moving into contact only when he wishes to fight tactically and, after crossing to the plains, head into Canada with as few causalities as possible to end the game. Whenever a contact does occur on the strategic map the strategic counters involved are examined to determine their identity and then the surviving tactical counters that compose them are set up in a manner determined by how the contact occurred on one of four tactical maps (which tactical map is determined by the location hex type on the strategic map). After the action is concluded the players go back to the strategic map to continue the play until another contact leads to another action.

This is a large game for a magazine, with a strategic map, 4 tactical maps, 1 and a half counter sheets, and a set of rules for both the strategic and tactical games. 1 vol, 56 pgs 2016 US, COMPASS GAMES
NEW-softcover with game ......$47.00 with a discount of 10% inc

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1-202830 Thompson, Erwin N. MODOC WAR: Its Military History and Topography Far and away the best book on the purely military aspects of the Modoc War, the book is invaluable for its maps (showing all major battles and most engagements) alone. Thompson is thoroughly familiar with the ground the war was fought over, and his archival research is adequate to the task.

On the downside the book is not easy to read, and Thompson makes no attempt to cover the non-military aspects of the war. There are the usual quota of errors -- for example, Thompson attributes the idea of the peace commission to the wrong man, he places the first meeting between Captain Jack and General Canby on the wrong day, and he attributes a comment to Boyle (a participant) that should have been attributed to Boyle's editor (a much later historian).
1 vol, 216 pgs 1971 US, ARGUS BOOKS
V.GOOD-hardcover, (1) copy available -- First Come, First Served ......$70.00

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1-216410 Watt, Robert THE VICTORIO CAMPAIGN 1879: I Will Not Surrender the Hair of a Horse's Tail This volume covers the background to the Victorio Campaign of 1879-1881. In the early 1870s, a mixture of diplomacy and successful military campaigning by General George Crook led to the formation of several reservations for various Apache groups such as the Mescalero, Chiricahua, and Western Apaches. Almost before the ink was dry on these treaties, an effort was made to rationalize this arrangement by placing the Apaches upon one reservation (the concentration policy). Includes 67 photos, 6 diagrams, 11 maps, and 22 tables.

In September 1877, Victorio led a large portion of his people off San Carlos and tried to return to Ojo Caliente. Between 1877 and 1879, Victorio and his followers resisted their removal back to San Carlos - periodically fleeing and raiding mainly in Mexico to survive; they minimized hostile activity in the USA in order to keep alive their hopes of a return to Ojo Caliente.

By August 1879, Victorio gave up hope that a return to Ojo Caliente was possible and declared war on the USA, as well as continuing their conflict with the Mexicans. Between September and December 1879, Victorio and his warriors - no more than 150 strong (and often as little as 50) - inflicted a number of defeats upon the Ninth Cavalry, US citizen volunteers, and Mexican State troops. 1 vol, 328 pgs 2018 UK, HELION AND COMPANY
NEW-softcover, available late February 2018 ......$50.00 with a discount of 15%

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