Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West by William Hogeland

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Read Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West Online Free - The forgotten story of how the U.S. Army was created to fight a crucial Indian war

In 1783, with the signing of the Peace of Paris, the American Revolution was complete. And yet even as the newly independent United States secured peace with Great Britain, it found itself losing an escalating military conflict on its borderlands. The enemy was the indigenous people of the Ohio Valley, who rightly saw the new nation as a threat to their existence. In 1791, years of skirmishes, raids, and quagmires climaxed in the grisly defeat of a motley collection of irregular American militiamen by a brilliantly organized confederation of Shawnee, Miami, and Delaware Indians—with nearly one thousand U.S. casualties, the worst defeat the nation would ever suffer at native hands. Americans were shocked, perhaps none more so than their commander in chief, George Washington, who came to a fateful conclusion: the United States needed an army.

Autumn of the Black Snake tells how the early republic battled the coalition of Indians that came closer than any adversary, before or since, to halting the nation’s expansion. In evocative and absorbing prose, William Hogeland conjures up the woodland battles and the hardball politics that formed the Legion of the United States, the country’s first true standing army. His memorable portraits of soldiers and leaders on both sides—from the daring war chiefs Blue Jacket and Little Turtle to the doomed Richard Butler and a steely, even ruthless Washington—drive a tale of horrific violence, brilliant strategizing, stupendous blunders, and valorous deeds. This sweeping account, at once exciting and dark, builds to a crescendo as Washington and Alexander Hamilton, at enormous risk, outmaneuver Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, and other skeptics of standing armies—and Washington appoints General “Mad” Anthony Wayne to lead the Legion. Wayne marches into the forests of the Old Northwest, where the very Indians he is charged with defeating will bestow on him, with grudging admiration, a new name: Black Snake.

Autumn of the Black Snake is a dramatic work of military and political history, told in a colorful, sometimes startling blow-by-blow narrative. It is also an original interpretation of how greed, honor, political beliefs, and vivid personalities converged on the killing fields of the Ohio Valley, where the U.S. Army’s first victory opened the way to western settlement and established the precedent that the new nation would possess a military to reckon with.

Title : Autumn of the Black Snake: The Creation of the U.S. Army and the Invasion That Opened the West
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 0374107343
Edition Language : English
Format Type : Hardcover
Number of Pages : 448 pages


Amy rated it ★★★★☆

September 25, 2017

My review appeared in Reason Magazine and is now available online here.

Sandra rated it ★★★★★

June 20, 2017

With a loud thump, William Hogeland removes Washington, Jefferson, and even Patrick Henry from the pedestals we were taught to admire in grade school and introduces us to the Six Nations, Little Turtle, Blue Jacket, and Mad Anthony Wayne, among other fascinating characters in the tale of early Am...

Avery rated it ★★★★☆

May 24, 2017

This is actually an excellent book and my favorite book by Hogeland so far. He tells a complex story with a commitment to neutrality, cheerleading for neither side but simply trying to paint them as human. Many of the characters on both sides are multi-layered, unusual people who are far more fas...

Tim rated it ★★★☆☆

August 22, 2017

"Vast right-wing conspiracy" remember those words as you read the opening chapters of this work. While not generally factually incorrect, Hogeland takes license to imagine secret motives within persons 250 years dead and conversations no one else heard, as he weaves a modernist, dog-whistle polit...

Christopher rated it ★★★★★

December 13, 2017

Another provocative history by Hogeland, examining George Washington's Indian Wars and their role in creating the first United States Army. This book is a bit meandering, especially in its early chapters when it wafts between examining colonial land disputes with Britain and the Native tribes in...

Todd rated it ★★★★★

July 07, 2017

I've checked out a lot of bookstores in my day, and I have a list of areas that I will look through, especially if it's a used bookstore and it doesn't seem too picked over. One of the areas I will be sure to check for is books about the Midwestern Indian Wars, especially the Battle of Fallen Tim...

Naum rated it ★★★★★

June 27, 2017

I believe I have read every title by Mr. Hogeland, even the short title *Inventing American History*, which introduced me to the author. So I guess I'm a fan so some might view these words with chagrin, but this title, like all his others, does not disappoint. While many historians (even the ones...

Paul rated it ★★★★☆

July 12, 2017

Although this time in history is not of particular interest to me, the "New Republic" era, Lewis and Clark and a recent trip to Fort Snelling outside Minneapolis, plus being an Army veteran, I was glad I picked up this story. President Washington was still the " Commander in Chief" and his idea of...

Jim rated it ★★★★☆

November 24, 2017

This book covers a lot more ground than just Anthony Wayne's campaign in the Northwest Territory (now Ohio) in the 1790's. The author covers the roles of land speculators in the region west of the Appalachians, including George Washington and several of the founding fathers. You read about the st...

William rated it ★★★★☆

July 09, 2017

This is a Good Read! William Hogeland has written a very thorough history of the early expansion of America and the struggle against Native Americans in accomplishing that expansion. He presents a very different picture of some of our Founding Fathers, including President Washington, as land spec...

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