Laurence M. Hauptman's Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War

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The American Civil War tore apart many American lives. These people lost loved ones, had to endure the pains of those who lost limbs, and deal with emotional needs. However American lives were not the only ones that suffered and fought the war. American Indians served for both the North and the South during the Civil War. There reasons was to what they could gain from the side the chose, pride for the land they lived in, and to Indians did not have much going for them at the time. From generals to privets they stood there ground and fought with pride. Laurence M. Hauptman tells their story in his book Between Two Fires: American Indians in the Civil War Indians have fought in every war from the Battle of Oriskany in 1777 to the Gulf War. The Civil War over 20,000 Native Americans join in the fight and did so because many thought; it was the last hope the stop the genocide, which had begun so many years earlier against them. The book starts out with an overview what is happening with the Indians up to the start of the Civil War. It tells of their force removal from Kansas and how the "Bleeding Kansas" incident spilled over to the Delaware Tribe helping to foster there removal. The Delaware still join with the North and served as Scouts and Home Guards under the Second Indian Home Guard. As the book moves forward, Hauptman explains how the Cherokee of the west were divided among themselves. Pro-Confederates led by Stand Watie disagreed with Chief John Ross leadership. Watie and his men believed an advocacy of slavery to igniting a "coup d`etat" and taking control of their tribe. Ross a slave holder like Watie felt that most of his tribe did not have slaves and owned loyalty to the North wanted to join with them. But this... ... middle of paper ... of written material. As informative as the book is it is filled with perhaps unnecessary details and genealogy of insignificant figures. However, a reader of this book would have no problem recommending it. From the opening pages it is filled with excitement, stories of war, and drama that will far exceed any work of fiction. After all the truth is many times stranger than fiction one just can make this stuff up. It is hard to believe that Indians would fight for the Confederacy given the white supremacists attitude towards them. Likewise, they were white supremacist attitudes running wild in the North. So one would be mystified as to why they would fight for the north. Other than psychological dependency on the white man there was not much reason to join in a war that many Indians hoped would wipe out the white man and an opportunity to regain their land.

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