It's Book Beginnings on Fridays! Time to gather with our fellow book lovers and share the opening sentence (or so) of the books we are reading this week. Or share from a book that is on your mind right now -- whatever catches your fancy.
MY BOOK BEGINNING
My fancy is caught by Cheyenne Summer: The Battle of Beecher Island: A History by Terry Mort (Pegasus Books):
In the summer of 1868 General Phillip Sheridan was commander of the US Army's Department of the Missouri. He was responsible for the vast Plains that were the homelands of some of the most warlike and troublesome of the Native tribes.
-- from the author's Introduction.
The tribe popularly known as Cheyenne called themselves Tsistsistas. The word means, roughly, "people."
-- from Chapter 1, The Cheyenne.
Cheyenne Summer is a new nonfiction history book about a battle in eastern Colorado during the Indian Wars of the late 1800s. In the Battle of Beecher Island in 1868, Cheyenne and Sioux warriors fought US Army scouts, including two battalions of Black "Buffalo Soldiers."
Although Mort describes the battle as not strategically significant, he concludes that it was culturally and historically important. He uses the battle to frame a discussion about one of the most transformative periods in America's history -- including a discussion of what motivated the white settlers, the Cheyenne, and the US soldiers, both white and Black.
Having grown up at both ends of the Oregon Trail -- Nebraska as a child and Oregon from a teenager on -- I've picked up some of the sad history of how our country treated the Native Americans during the settlement of the Western frontier. But there is a lot to learn. This new book is an interesting place to start.
YOUR BOOK BEGINNINGS
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MY FRIDAY 56
Not surprisingly, Texas was a particularly thorny problem -- not only did Texans dislike Reconstruction, but the Comanche and the Kiowa and some Kiowa Apache were continuing their own form of resistance and depredation. . . . On one of his visits General Sheridan once said if he owned both hell and Texas, he'd live in hell and rent out Texas.