Traveler’s Guide to the Great Sioux War: The Battlefields, Forts and Related Sites of America’s Greatest Indian War, by Paul L. Hedren, Montana Historical Society Press, Helena, 1996, $10.95 paperback.
Most anyone interested in Western history can find his way to the Little Bighorn battlefield in Montana (each year more than 325,000 people do), but that was just the most famous fight in the Great Sioux War of 1876-77. This handy 128-page book helps get you to the nearby Rosebud battlefield, now a Montana state monument; to Fort Abraham Lincoln, now the top state park in North Dakota; to Fort Fetterman, a state historic site in Wyoming; and to all the other battle sites, forts and landmarks associated with what author Paul Hedren calls “America’s most prolonged and costly Indian war.” In all, you receive directions to 54 different locations. No. 54 is Sitting Bull’s grave, featuring a granite bust carved by Korczak Ziolkowski, at a solitary site in South Dakota. The book also tells the story of the Great Sioux War chronologically; actually it goes back to deal with such earlier engagements as the Grattan fight of August 19, 1854, and the slaughter of Captain William J. Fetterman’s command on December 21, 1866. There are five maps and plenty of black-and-white pictures. Almost every place mentioned is accessible by car, so this book should appeal to general historic travelers as well as to serious students of the Great Sioux War.