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Last Days of Red Cloud Agency

Last Days of Red Cloud Agency


The years 1876-77 were a period of traumatic change for the Native peoples of the northern Plains. The Great Sioux War marked the end of their traditional lifestyle and the beginning of their restriction to reservations. This volume presents a collection of stereo card photographs of the Oglala Lakota and Arapaho Indians at northwestern Nebraska's Red Cloud Agency, of the agency itself, and of other sites and landmarks in the vicinity. The collection-the work of multiple photographers-was assembled by Peter T. Buckley, who worked at Camp (later Fort) Robinson, Nebraska, during those crucial years. Some of these views are already familiar to historians, but many others are published here for the first time. Together they tell a story of a land and culture in transition. Even the most important photos, however, only tell a story if you know what you're looking at. Fortunately the reader has an ideal guide in Thomas R. Buecker (1948-2015). A longtime curator at Fort Robinson Museum and author of the fort's definitive two-volume history, Buecker was equally comfortable talking with other historians and with the general public. Here he unravels the events and personalities behind the photographs, and shows how they illustrate the historical moment Buckley lived and wanted to preserve.