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book Fort Meade and the Black Hills
an essential library item for anybody interested
in the history of the Army in the Black Hills during
the frontier era. This book does not go greatly
into the events of the 1876 Sioux War since Fort
Meade wasn't actually established until after the
Little Bighorn. What it does do is tell the story
of the establishment of the fort and it does devote
some attention to the role the 7th Cavalry had in
the post's history.
is one chapter dedicated to the sad saga of the
fall of Major Marcus Reno in an incident involving
Ella Sturgis. From reading this book you can conclude
that Reno had bad judgement in becoming overly fond
of Ella. When you consider that Ella's father, Colonel
Samuel D. Sturgis, held Reno personally responsible
for the death of his son James G. Sturgis at the
Little Bighorn then Reno's judgement with his personal
relations seems questionable.
are brief mentions of two other officers of the
7th that were at the Little Bighorn and who also
served at Fort Meade. These two would be Frederick
Benteen and Charles DeRudio. It does not go at length
into their activities at Fort Meade but does mention
that Benteen was one of the few who came to Reno's
defense during the court-martial proceedings.
book does go at some length into the fort's participation
in the events around Wounded Knee and various other
incidents in the Dakotas. Lee does take a fairly
objective position about Wounded Knee pointing out
the confusion and charged atmosphere leading up
to the bloody confrontation. He does not take sides
in his description other than to paint a picture
of both sides stumbling blindly into a tragedy.
book covers the fort's history right up to the final
closure as a regular army post. The post was instrumental
in the transition from mounted cavalry to mechanized
cavalry. I think the real reason why most people
would want to read this book is to see how Fort
Meade fit into the great picture of the closing