The Bloody Bozeman-The Perilous Trail to Montana's Gold

71ugmOijEjL.jpg
71ugmOijEjL.jpg

The Bloody Bozeman-The Perilous Trail to Montana's Gold

20.00

Review by M. Fitzgerald

Possibly the finest work in the early "Trail" series, the Bloody Bozeman clearly proves the utter senselessness of the early war with the Sioux Nation. Prior to the early hostilities, the area through which the Bozeman Trail was constructed was formally ceded to the Sioux by treaty by none other than General Harney. After the discovery of gold in Montana the population in the Bozeman area went from a few trappers and residual mountain men in 1862 to over 18,000 by 1864. So no truly new travel routes were needed. Even if one was, none other than Jim Bridger has established an alternate route west of the Big Horn Mountains, making the trail totally unnecessary. Last, an additional alternative route farther east of the Bozeman was concurrently developed which proved materially safer but for some reason known only to the Army was never allowed to fully develop.

So one is left to wonder why, with three different alternative routes into the gold fields, the Army forced the development of this trail by establishing the series of forts which Red Cloud fought so viciously against and ultimately forces the abandonment of. This trail was only open for 6 years and thousands died. Red Cloud's war was the only instance of a true US Army defeat in the West.

This is an amazing story, exceptionally well written and crafted. It doesn't so much seek answers as to why the Fetterman disaster occurred as it just simply describes how the trail developed, why it was used, who utilized it and why the Army ultimately withdrew.

Don't miss this one. It is truly a remarkable history of the settling and development of present day Western Montana. This is historical writing that will introduce you to more unforgettable characters than you can imagine and give you a sense of what it was like to carve a State from true wilderness

Quantity:
Add To Cart