The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975 Page: 347

Book Reviews

The design and layout of the book is a compliment to the taste of the
authors, the designer, and the LSU Press. The book is illustrated profusely
with black and white reproductions and photographs as well as twenty-
eight color plates of Walker's paintings.
North Texas State University RICHARD B. SALE
Frontier Regulars: The United States Army and the Indian, 1866-1891.
By Robert M. Utley (New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc.,
1973. Pp. xv+462. Maps, illustrations, bibliography, index. $12.95.)
President Ulysses S. Grant inaugurated a policy whereby the Indians of
the Trans-Mississippi West would be pacified. Essentially, the plan required
the concentration of Indians, both friendly and hostile, into prearranged
reservation sites. Further, it specified that the United States army would
wage an unrelenting war on those Indians who refused to submit to this
reservation scheme. The army, likewise, would war against reservation
Indians who chose, for some reason or another, to disrupt the calm of their
new state.
While hardly perfect and intermittently objectionable to soldiers, hu-
manitarians, and some Indian agents, the policy was adhered to in one
form or another from the Grant administration onward. Ostensibly dropped
after the army's disaster at the Little Bighorn, the program never really
disappeared. Its basic plan remained in the overriding administrative and
strategic considerations of the following years.
One of the major weaknesses of the policy was that reservation Indians
proved at least as warlike as the independent Indians. As Utley points out,
"Most of the large-scale military operations of the 187os had, in fact, been
mounted against reservation Indians forcefully resisting or fleeing the reser-
vation process" (p. 397). Under the circumstances, many in the army,
including some leading figures, were embarrassed and frustrated by the
program; hence, they felt justified in calling for the extermination of cer-
tain Indians along tribal or even racial lines. Certainly, the killing of Indian
women and children was not an uncommon means of waging war. Never-
theless, Utley maintains that the army itself was less to blame for this type
of atrocity than was the militia. Yet, both the commanding generals of
the United States army, William T. Sherman and Philip H. Sheridan re-
spectively, favored such annihilation on occasion. The latter went so far
as to condone a massacre of friendly Kickapoos during the Apache wars
with the blunt and all encompassing verdict that "there is none of them
guiltless" (p. 349)-


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Texas State Historical Association. The Southwestern Historical Quarterly, Volume 78, July 1974 - April, 1975, periodical, 1974/1975; Austin, Texas. ( accessed June 17, 2018), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History,; crediting Texas State Historical Association.

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