INDIAN YELL - The Heart of an American Insurgency
A profound and timely statement for the twenty-first century, Indian Yell brings to the fore America's past challenges as a caveat to current policy.
One hundred fifty years ago, a young American fought a determined insurgent force of Indian warriors struggling to protect their life way and homeland. Commonly and callously referred to at the time as the "Indian Problem," this issue, and how it was handled, became the defining factor in shaping how American Indians live in America today.
Then, the military faced circumstances that are not all-too familiar: supply lines stretched to their limits, too few soldiers to do the job, highly-motivated opponents, insurmountable cultural barriers, corruption by defense contractors, and a confused and conflicted populace at home.
Michael Blake skillfully weaves the factors involving twelve significant conflicts into a gripping narrative, illuminating the undercurrents of conflict between nations during America's westward expansion. Blake's portrayal shatters the stereotypes of the Indian Wars, eloquently revealing the true characters of the people involved, as well as the passions and agendas on both sides that accelerated seemingly benign issues into horrendous conflicts.
Grounded in meticulous research and written with an uncanny understanding of the military and of American Indian culture, Blake offers soulful profiles of the participants, both Indian and cavalry. Indian Yell is filled with accounts of harrowing sacrifice and tragic misdeeds of real people - Blake tells of their lives and loves, their bravery, and their shortcomings in a way that leads a new perspective on America's greatest insurgency.
Beginning in 1854 with a decrepit cow that wondered only a Sioux encampment that sparked a slaughter, and ending with the last freezing gasp of breath from the victims of the Wounded Knee massacre in 1890, the horrors and shame of war within our borders is recounted. Some of the stories are well documented in the annals of history, while others are more obscure. Large or small, Blake weaves them together to show that bitter memories of this war still haunt the American West. These are the struggles that initiated the end of one way of life and the beginning of another; this struggle must not be forgotten.