Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Journal of the Indian Wars

I recently revisited the one issue I own of Savas Publishing's Journal of the Indian Wars. Volume One-Number 3 [see Table of Contents from Savas-Beatie website] deals with the Civil War years. In addition to the fine articles, there is a recommended reading section. The essay is attached to a lengthy article by Michael Hughes that comprehensively covers the Civil War-era conflicts with various Indian groups. I've been searching for a good book that details Kit Carson's Navajo campaign.

Of course, Carson is a highly divisive figure and a book that one person would judge simply as fair, others might find extremely negative or fawningly positive. Perhaps an example of this phenomenon would be Hughes' essay comment on Kit Carson: Indian Fighter or Indian Killer?, deeming it "a hard-nosed examination" of Carson. This is in sharp contrast to this professor's review of the same work, that found it to be a rather useless pro-Carson polemic. I think I'll start with Trafzer's The Kit Carson Campaign: The Last Great Navajo War. It's been characterized as a very harsh attack on Carson's historical reputation (and thus drawing fire from later books), so I am surprised Hughes' essay gives the opposite impression. In light of the contradictions above and the fact that Hughes has the author of Clifford E. Trafzer's book as E.O. Clifford, I am thinking that the essay was written hastily from memory. On the other hand, the other recommendations seem to be in line with current opinion and I found the list to be useful overall. I guess I'll find out for myself. That's the best way anyway.

The Journal of the Indian Wars was sadly short-lived as a quarterly publication, and I would greatly recommend getting a copy of this issue while it is still available new. While not directly Civil War related, I found Volume 1-Number 2 Battles and Leaders East of the Mississippi to be very interesting as well.


  1. Hi Drew

    Being the shameless promoter that I am (my kids need shoes), let me say this about that . . . JIW received rave reviews from beginning to end, and the sale of Savas Publishing in 2000 was to have included the continuation ofo the journal. Alas, it did not work out and I withheld rights. We have a limited supply of them, and one (I believe 1.2) is nearly gone.

    Meanwhile, we just released "Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898," by Jerry Greene. Scores of previously unpublished accounts, including many about Custer and others who served in the Civil War. If any of your readers want a SIGNED copy, tell them to mention your blog, and I will include a free copy of Journal of the Indian Wars (retail value is about $16.00 including shipping).



  2. Hello Drew

    You may want to take a look at BLOOD AND THUNDER - Sides. I think this covers Kit Carson's campaign.


  3. Jerome Greene is definitely my favorite Indian Wars historian. I especially liked his Nez Perce campaign history.

  4. Don, Thanks for the suggestion. I thumbed through that one a couple night ago at the local Borders store. It covers a very wide range of conflicts, but does indeed cover Carson, as you mention.



When commenting, PLEASE SIGN YOUR NAME. In order to maintain civil discourse and ease moderating duties anonymous comments will be deleted. Comments containing outside promotions and/or product links will also be deleted. Thank you.