Indian Wars


Atlas of the Sioux Wars, 2nd ed.

Atlas of the Sioux Wars, 2nd ed.

By Charles D. Collins, Jr.

97 Pages

Published: October 2006

The relevance of the Sioux Wars for today’s Army is even more evident in 2006 than it was in 1992. As with the campaigns against the Sioux from the 1860s to the 1890s, early 21st century operations array the conventional forces of the US Army against the unconventional forces in Afghanistan and Iraq. The Sioux campaigns are replete with valuable lessons for the professional soldier. The operations were operationally and tactically complex, unfamiliar terrain and logistics dramatically affected the multiphase engagements, and every operation took place in a complex political and cultural environment of shifting priorities. A serious study of the campaigns offers today’s officers the opportunity to compare, contrast, and, most importantly, to discover the threads of continuity linking the unconventional warfare of the 21st century with that of their 19th century forebears.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

The Cheyenne Wars Atlas

The Cheyenne Wars Atlas

By Charles D. Collins, Jr.

144 Pages

Published: 2010

In 2007, a staff ride was developed that examined General Winfield Scott Hancock's 1867 expedition against the Cheyenne in Kansas (Part II of this atlas). The end result was an excellent staff ride concentrating on cultural awareness issues which frustrated the Army's attempt to compel peace through negotiation. However, the staff ride lacked the breadth and scope needed for a full college course. Thus, our interest turned toward Major General Philip H. Sheridan's 1868 winter campaign against the Cheyenne. In this campaign, Sheridan launched three converging columns into what is now western Oklahoma with orders to put into practice a technique of total war in which he targeted entire Indian villages for destruction.

His strategy was that even if an advancing column did not find the hostile Indians, their advancing movement would help to drive the Indians into the other columns. His field commanders managed to surprise and overrun Indian villages in the war's two most significant engagements: the battles of Washita (November 1868) and Soldier Spring (December 1868). The destruction of these two villages was a major loss for the Southern Plains tribes; they could no longer count on the vastness of the territory or harsh winter conditions to protect them from the soldiers. The Southern Plains tribes acknowledged the futility of the struggle and eventually resigned themselves to life on the reservation, and a temporary (transient) peace settled upon the land for the space of four years.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

Battle of Tippecanoe

To Compel with Armed Force

A Staff Ride Handbook for the Battle of Tippecanoe

By Major Harry D. Tunnell IV

197 Pages

Published: 2000

In this latest addition to the staff ride guide series, Major Harry D. Tunnell IV examines the Battle of Tippecanoe, an engagement that occurred in 1811 in the Indiana Territory. The battle pitted the Regular and militia forces of William Henry Harrison, the governor of the territory, against the warriors of Tecumseh, a Shawnee chief who was attempting to create an Indian tribal confederacy with British support.

In keeping with other CSI staff ride guides, Tunnell offers a narrative and analytical account of the battle, the events and issues leading up to it, and its ramifications for U.S. history. He follows this with a detailed plan that officers today can adopt for conducting a staff ride at the site of the battle. The result is an excellent blend of written history and field instruction that enables participating officers to grapple with historical events and critical decisions while standing on the very sites where those events unfolded and decisions were made.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

Occasional Paper 5 In Search of an Elusive Enemy

Occasional Paper 5 In Search of an Elusive Enemy

The Victorio Campaign

By Kendall D. Gott

64 Pages

Published: 2004

In Search of an Elusive Enemy: The Victorio Campaign, 1879-1880 represents another in a series of military case studies published by the Combat Studies Institute (CSI) at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. This work examines the US Army’s efforts in tracking down Victorio, the infamous Apache chief who raided large tracts of New Mexico and Texas at will, terrorizing the entire region. The key point made in this work is that it demonstrates the challenges of tracking and capturing or killing a small, irregular group of warriors in inhospitable terrain and among an alien culture.

Although set in the late 19th century, this case study is still extremely relevant for today’s Army. The commanders of the 9th and 10th US Cavalry Regiments faced a skilled adversary who used unconventional tactics and methods as well as an international border to seek sanctuary. However, it could just as easily have featured the stories of Osceola, Aguinaldo, Pancho Villa, or Osama bin Laden. The similarities to challenges that US and coalition forces face in Afghanistan and Iraq are striking. The commanders of the 19th century faced enormous challenges in the rugged terrain of the American Southwest as well as a skeptical and often hostile press. Again, officers and soldiers who have recently served in Afghanistan and Iraq will certainly see parallels here.

As the US Army continues its efforts in combating terrorists where they live, the lessons found in this narrative are well worth revisiting.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

Battle of White Bird Canyon

Battle of White Bird Canyon

17 June 1877

By Charles D. Collins, Jr.

114 Pages

Published: October 2014

White Bird Canyon is the first of CSI’s 12 staff ride handbooks to combine the traditional handbook format with the format of CSI’s Atlas of the Sioux Wars (2006) and The Cheyenne Wars Atlas (2010). This new volume details the tragic road to war between the US Army and the Nez Perce Indians, and analyzes the Army’s disastrous first engagement in the war. This staff ride focuses primarily on the tactical level of war. However, it also provides significant room for discussion of Army values, cultural awareness concerns, operational issues, and training requirements, making this staff ride a superb tool for developing Army leaders from platoon to division level.

White Bird Canyon is also CSI’s fifth work pertaining to the US Army’s post-Civil War Indian campaign experience. Together with CSI’s previous atlases, The Ute Campaign of 1879 (1993), and In Search of an Elusive Enemy: The Victorio Campaign (2004), CSI continues to offer historically-based analyses of discrete events during the latter part of the 19th Century that offer relevant insights to current and future Army leaders.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

Dade’s Battle, Florida, 28 December 1835

Dade’s Battle, Florida, 28 December 1835

A Study of Leadership in Irregular Conflict

By Captain Michael G. Anderson

114 Pages

Published: 1996

The Staff Ride Handbook for Dade’s Battle, Florida, 28 December 1835 is the eleventh volume in the Combat Studies Institute’s Staff Ride Handbook series. Michael G. Anderson’s well-researched handbook uses the opening conflict of the Second Seminole War as a vehicle to allow organizations at any echelon to study leadership at the tactical level. Although the battle was part of what is now called “irregular warfare,” today’s leaders—uniformed and civilian—will find ample opportunity to highlight the role of all warfighting functions with a particular emphasis on intelligence, fires and protection.

In addition, the backdrop of two ethno-cultural groups, each antagonistic to the other, provides a strong continuity of experience to the many current and potential future operations of the United States’ Armed Forces. Continuing the tradition of CSI Publications and the Staff Ride Handbook series in particular, readers will not be surprised that the insights gleaned from conducting the Dade’s Battle staff ride are as relevant today as they were over 175 years ago.

Download the PDF Download the PDF

The Ute Campaign of 1879: A Study in the Use of the Military Instrument

The Ute Campaign of 1879

A Study in the Use of the Military Instrument

By Major Russel D. Santala

106 Pages

Published: 2004

The Ute Campaign of 1879 is a study of linkages. Major Russel D. Santala’s work not only explores the threads of continuity between engagements and campaigns but also examines the relationship of government policy to one of the instruments of that policy-the Army. Ten years before the events of this study occurred, General William T. Sherman made note of this connection. In a commencement address to the West Point class of 1869, he compared the Army to the steam engine and warned that it is “held together by an organization and discipline demanding great knowledge and labor, moved into action by causes more powerful than steam, and so intimately connected with the whole fabric of government that ignorance and mismanagement would result in a catastrophe more fatal than could result from the explosion of any steam engine.”

This study chronicles the Army’s role in the struggle between two cultures. At the same time, it serves to illuminate the problems of utilizing the military instrument in an environment of transitory national policy and competing national and local interests.

Download the PDF Download the PDF