In the Shadow of Wounded Knee: The Untold Final Story of the Indian Wars

Roger Di Silvestro, Author . Walker $24 (253p) ISBN 978-0-8027-1461-9

On December 29, 1890, the U.S. Seventh Cavalry killed more than 150 Lakota men, women and children at Wounded Knee, S.Dak. Was it a battle or a massacre? That became the key point of dispute when a Brulé Lakota warrior named Plenty Horses was brought to trial for the murder of Lt. Edward Casey, whom he had killed a week after the slaughter. If the U.S. was not at war with the Lakota, reasoning went, then the Lakota were murdered; but if a state of war did exist, then Plenty Horses's "fatal bullet through the back of Casey's skull" was also an act of war, not murder. Complicating the juridical conundrum was a simpler case: shortly after Casey's death, the "infamous" Culbertson brothers attacked a peaceful Indian encampment. Would an Indian hang for killing a white officer? Could two white men be convicted for killing a settlement of Indians? Though scholars may object that the author, an editor at National Wildlife , oversimplifies the complex history of the American West, Di Silvestro's informal tone makes for breezy reading. Readers new to the subject will find his clear explanation helpful, the violent encounters dramatic and the trials absorbing. Agent, Gail Ross. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 10/10/2005
Release date: 11/01/2005
Genre: Nonfiction
Open Ebook - 272 pages - 978-0-8027-1838-9
Paperback - 253 pages - 978-0-8027-1514-2
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