Caught in the Maelstrom: The Indian Nations in the Civil War, 1861-1865

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The American Civil War was a complicated and multifaceted conflict. While ultimately it was about slavery, individual actors and even larger groups had their own reasons for fighting on one side or the other. For example, the five Native American tribes of the Cherokee, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek (Muscogee), and Seminole fought on both Union and Confederate sides of the war; for them, slavery was not always the essential issue.

This book is a fascinating account of a neglected aspect of the war. It is incredibly detailed and well-documented; this also means it is factually dense. In fact, the book is made directly from the author’s doctoral thesis, and it is quite academic. New names and players are difficult to sort out and keep straight, made even more challenging as the actors’ loyalties sometimes shift. This is definitely a scholarly work, not written for a general audience; however, it is not unaccessible for those who are willing to make the effort. It is worth the effort for those who want to better understand the Civil War in general, as well as better understand the history of these tribes during this time.

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Star Count 4/5
Format Hard
Page Count 288 pages
Publisher Savas Beatie
Publish Date 12/29/2019
ISBN 9781611213362 Buy this Book
Issue September 2020
Category History


  1. Sarah with Savas Beatie

    Gretchen, thank you from publisher Savas Beatie for this thorough review. We appreciate it, and are glad to see that you enjoyed the book. An original bookplate signed by the author is included with copies ordered on our website: Thanks again.

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