Rockwell offers a detailed and carefully researched exploration of the state s military history, from the arrival of Lewis and Clark in 1805 through the “conclusion of major army campaigns against Native Americans in Montana Territory by the year 1883.
Rockwell uses personal accounts, published reports, letters, telegrams, and military records filed at the National Archives in Washington, D.C., to tell tales of war from both sides of the struggle.
In this thoroughly documented, well-sourced history, Rockwell offers insights on numerous military subjects not frequently discussed in present-day publications, such as evaluations of the weaponry employed and the logistical and communication problems experienced by soldiers.
This unique and valuable history of the U.S. Army in early Montana includes early explorations and surveys; efforts to secure the Bozeman Trail; the establishment of Fort Shaw, Fort Ellis, and the stationing of troops at Fort Benton (1867); and the subsequent establishment of Camp Baker (1870) and Fort Missoula (1877). The book also details life at the posts.
A thorough description (including the rationale and consequences) of the Piegan (1870), Sioux Northern Cheyenne (1876 1881), and Nez Perce (1877) campaigns is also featured.
In addition, the book includes a description of the fur trade era in early Montana, a time when such men as Jim Bridger, Mitch Boyer, Frank Grouard, and others came to know the Native American and develop their skills as future U.S. Army scouts.