The Gray Fox
George Crook and the Indian Wars
University of Oklahoma Press 2015
New Books in American StudiesNew Books in BiographyNew Books in HistoryNew Books in Military HistoryNew Books in Native American StudiesNew Books in Peoples & PlacesNew Books in Politics & SocietyNew Books Network December 7, 2017 Mark Klobas
With the end of the Civil War, George Crook’s decision to continue serving in the United States Army meant reverting to a lower rank and assuming a command in the Pacific Northwest. Yet, as Paul Magid details in the second volume of his biography of Crook, The Gray Fox: George Crook and the Indian Wars (University of Oklahoma Press, 2015), he would soon emerge as one of the most prominent figures in the army’s ongoing operations against Native Americans in the territories. In describing Crook’s campaign against the Paiutes in the Great Basin, Magid details the relentless attritional warfare that was a hallmark of his strategy against the tribes he fought. Results in the Northwest led to his transfer to Arizona, where his success against the Apache and Yavapai earned him a promotion to the rank of brigadier general. With his selection as the head of the Department of the Platte in 1875, Crook found himself coping with the deteriorating situation in the Dakota Territory created by the surge of prospectors and settlers, and with the outbreak of the war against the Sioux, the general took to the field in a series of grueling campaigns. Though suffering a setback at the battle of Rosebud, Crook’s subsequent victory at Slim Buttes led to the subjugation of the Sioux and the surrender of Crazy Horse, which cemented Crook’s reputation as the army’s leading expert in Indian warfare.