In baseball parlance, there is a term for a player who is proficient
with the glove but not with the bat: "Good field, no hit." The reverse is
also true: "Good hit, no field."
Following this example, Red Fox is best described as "Good story, hard
read." Part of the reading difficulty is caused by the writer's style: he
obviously comes from the Faulknerian school rather than the Heming-
way school, being given to long, involved (sometimes incorrectly con-
structed) sentences and occasional malapropisms. Then too, the book is
incredibly detailed containing perhaps rather more than you really
wanted to know about the subject.
Having said that, let me say that it is a good book, offering an almost
day-by-day look at the activities of Watie and his Indian forces during
the Civil War years. In the obligatory prefacing material, describing the
"civil war" (p. 15), Knight does a fine job of analyzing the various lead-
ers as well as the unresolvable causes for the original rift and the la-
This is a book about Stand Watie but it is not overly pro-Stand Watie.
Rather it is a fair and accurate account of the goings on in the Indian
Territory (with some forays outside the territory, such as the trip to Pea
Given the handicaps Knight obviously worked under-the usual lack
of Civil War records, all the worse under Indian Territory conditions,
and the scarcity of primary source materials from actual participants-
he has done a masterful job of following the rag-tag Indian bands
through a version of war that would have been unrecognizable, and
certainly disapproved of, in Virginia, or even Tennessee.
The Indian troops fought valiantly, in their own fashion, without
pay, without equipment, without quarters, spending most of their time
in the saddle or sleeping on the ground, with hardly any support from
the Confederate government with which they had cast their lot.
Stand Watie is one of those heroes-in-defeat, like Lee or Forrest or
Jackson or Stuart, who became the only Native American to attain the
rank of general in the Civil War armies and the last Confederate gen-
eral to lay down his arms.
Red Fox is a well-deserved chronicle of the military adventures of the
Confederate Indians. It belongs on every Civil War Trans-Mississippi
shelf and would make a welcome addition to any Civil War collection.
Confederate Historical Instztute JERRY RUSSELL
A Creek Warrior for the Confederacy: The Autobiography of Chief
G. W. Grayson. Edited and with an Introduction by W. David Baird.
Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 93, July 1989 - April, 1990. Austin, Texas. The Portal to Texas History. http://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth101213/. Accessed July 12, 2014.