Cover image for Indian war sites : a guidebook to battlefields, monuments, and memorials, state by state with Canada and Mexico
Indian war sites : a guidebook to battlefields, monuments, and memorials, state by state with Canada and Mexico
Rajtar, Steve, 1951-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Jefferson, N.C. : McFarland, [1999]

Physical Description:
v, 330 pages ; 27 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Central Library E81 .R35 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks-Non circulating

On Order



From the Seminole Wars to the Little Big Horn, the history of America's native peoples and their contacts with those seeking to settle or claim a new land has often been marked by violence. The sites of these conflicts, unlike many sites related to the American revolution and the War Between the States, are often difficult to locate, and information on these battles is frequently sketchy or unclear.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Author Rajtar consulted hundreds of written documents, historical markers, monuments, and tombstones to compile this guide to Native American battle sites. Incidents range from small skirmishes to full-out campaigns; entries also document Indian participation in such events as the Civil War and the War of 1812. The accompanying chronology begins with the landing of Ponce de Leon in 1513 and continues through the Yaqui War of 1915. Events are arranged in chronological order state-by-state with separate sections for Canada and Mexico. Each incident is assigned a code number (Alabama begins with AL1, and continues with AL2, etc.), which is then used as the access mode when the reader is consulting the indexes or chronology. Each entry begins with the title of the event, either official or assigned; the location; an associated larger war or conflict, if applicable; a summation that can range from one or two sentences to several paragraphs; and information regarding any monuments, memorials, or museums. Each entry ends with a list of numbers that refer to pertinent sources in the 425-item bibliography. The bibliography includes offerings from trade publishers as well as academic and local historical association publications. For some states, such as Maryland and Delaware, there are only two events, while the section on Florida, the author's home state, covers 122 separate incidents. The title indicates that Canada and Mexico are also considered, but this is somewhat misleading because only 32 incidents pertain to Mexico and 24 are listed for all of Canada. Seemingly cumbersome, the code-access system is actually quite easy to use, and the "Index of Battle and Place Names" and "Index of Persons" aid information retrieval. Rajtar acknowledges the difficulties inherent in creating a reference like this: terminology (his preface indicates that most people of Native American heritage seem to prefer the term Indian, and that is the designation endorsed by the American Indian movement), the lack of "official" documentation for many oral histories or legends, widely varying discrepancies between Indian and U.S. Army accounts, and so on. Despite these obstacles, he has produced a unique, accessible, and meticulously researched guide that will be of interest to public libraries for their local history collections, as well as to large public and academic libraries with extensive American history collections.

Library Journal Review

Rajtar, a volunteer for the YMCA Indian Guides and Princesses program, offers this reference to hundreds of conflicts, both major and minor, between American Indians and Europeans. Divided alphabetically by state and then chronologically within each, entries include name and date, a nonspecific location (e.g., Spring River), a brief description, and bibliographic sources. If the battle was a part of a larger war, Rajtar also gives the name of the war; and if there is a monument, he tells its location and briefly describes what's there. A "Chronology of Battles and Events" lists the battles in order with a reference to the book entry number, the name of the larger conflict, and the name of the battle or event. The battles covered range from the Spanish exploration in 1513 to the Yaqui War in Mexico in 1915. Also included are Civil War battles in which Indians participated and two indexes, one to battles and place names, the other to people. Recommended for academic libraries with large Native American history collections.ÄJulia Stump, Voorheesville P.L., NY (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Choice Review

Rajtar (attorney and author of two books on hiking trails) offers another guidebook: a state-by-state guide, including Canada and Mexico, to battlefields, 1513-1915, where whites fought Native Americans or other whites with Native Americans as allies. Battles between tribes are not included. The book is arranged by state and by date of battle. Each entry gives the state identifier, battle name, date, location, name of war, brief description of the battle, memorial, and source materials. The annotations are adequate. The book includes a chronology of battles and events and indexes of persons and of battles and place-names. A bibliography of 425 books consists overwhelmingly of secondary printed materials with a few printed primary sources. A great number of the secondary sources are state bicentennial publications. As a guidebook, this bridges a gap in the coverage of Native American historic sites, but it is a military guide with no consideration of reservations or of social life and customs of Native Americans. Recommended for collections that support travel and Native American studies. D. D. Siles; Elmhurst College

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