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Reading Book Guide

Indian War Veterans: Memories of Army Life and Campaigns in the West, 1864-1898, compiled and edited by Jerome A. Greene

Indian War Veterans presents the first comprehensive collection of veteran (primarily former enlisted soldiers') reminiscences. The vast majority of these writings have never before seen wide circulation. We hope these thought-provoking questions lead to some lively book discussions.

  1. What were some antecedents of the Indian war veteran groups, and how and why did they evolve?
  2. What were the purposes behind the organization of the various Indian war veteran groups during the early years of the twentieth century?
  3. Why did the Indian war veteran organizations not fare as well as did the Grand Army of the Republic for the Civil War veterans and the United Spanish War Veterans for Spanish-American War veterans?
  4. Name the three principal Indian war veteran associations and discuss their individual reasons for existence.
  5. What inequities regarding benefits existed in the pension system as applied to Civil War versus Indian war veterans?
  6. Which Indian war veterans group survived into the 1960s? When and where was the group initially formed and what circumstances promoted its organization?
  7. To what event does the famous march of the Eighth Cavalry refer? Discuss the several accounts of this event. What was unusual about it and made it stand apart to veterans of that regiment?
  8. The Wounded Knee Massacre of 1890 was regarded by many veteran soldier participants as more of a battle. Why do you think the soldiers viewed the engagement as such?
  9. Discuss some of the major events of the Great Sioux War as recalled by veterans of Powder River, Little Bighorn, Warbonnet Creek, the Red Fork, and Wolf Mountains.
  10. The Geronimo Campaign of 1885-86 is often cited as one of the more grueling army expeditions of the Indian wars. What were the conditions that set it apart from other campaigns? Why is this campaign often considered the last of the Indian wars even though it preceded Wounded Knee?