Death on the Prairie


Death on the Prairie

The Thirty Years' Struggle for the Western Plains

Paul I. Wellman

322 pages


September 1987


$21.95 Add to Cart

About the Book

Death on the Prairie is a sweeping narrative history of the Indian wars on the western plains that never loses sight of the individual actors. Beginning with the Minnesota Sioux Uprising in 1862, Paul I. Wellman shifts to conflicts in present-day Wyoming, Montana, Idaho, Oklahoma, the Texas Panhandle, and South Dakota, involving, most spectacularly, the Sioux, but also the Cheyennes, Arapahos, Comanches, Kiowas, Utes, and Nez Perces—all being ezed out of their hunting grounds by white settlers.
There is never a quiet page as Wellman describes the Sand Creek Massacre (1864), the Fetterman Massacre (1866), the Battle of the Washita (1868), the Battle of Adobe Walls (1874), the Battle of the Little Big Horn (1876), the Nez Perce War (1877), the Meeker Massacre (1879), and the tragedy at wounded Knee (1890) that ended the fighting on the plains. Celebrated chiefs (Red Cloud, Crazy Horse, Black Kettle, Satanta, Joseph, Ouray, Sitting Bull) clash with army officers (notably Custer, Sheridan, Miles, and Crook), and uncounted men, women, and children on both sides are cast in roles of fatal consequence.


"Death on the Prairie is comprehensive, rich enough in derail to be graphic and convincing, and beautifully proportioned. . . . It is a valuable addition to Western history."—Christian Science Monitor

"Wellman has written an authentic, vivid, dramatic account of the Indian wars for the possession of the West."—New York Times

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