White Hat: The Military Career of Captain William Philo Clark
Best known for his role in the arrest and killing of Crazy Horse and for the book he wrote, The Indian Sign Language, Captain William Philo Clark (1845–1884) was one of the Old Army’s renaissance men, by turns administrator, fighter, diplomat, explorer, and ethnologist. As such, Clark found himself at center stage during some of the most momentous events of the post–Civil War West: from Brigadier General George Crook’s infamous “Starvation March” to the Battle of Slim Buttes and the Dull Knife Fight, then to the attack against the Bannocks at Index Peak and Sitting Bull’s final fight against the U.S. Army.
Captain Clark’s life story, here chronicled in full for the first time, is at once an introduction to a remarkable figure in the annals of nineteenth-century U.S. history, and a window on the exploits of the U.S. Army on the contested western frontier. White Hat follows Clark from his upbringing in New York State to his life as a West Point cadet, through his varied army posts on the northern plains, and finally to his stint in Lieutenant General Philip Sheridan’s headquarters first in Chicago and later in Washington, D.C. Along the way, Mark J. Nelson sets the record straight on Clark’s controversial relationship with Crazy Horse during the Lakota leader’s time at Camp Robinson, Nebraska. His book also draws a detailed picture of Clark’s service at Fort Keogh, Montana Territory, including what is arguably his greatest success—the securing of Northern Cheyenne leader Little Wolf’s peaceful surrender.
In telling Clark’s story, White Hat illuminates the history of the nineteenth-century American military and the Great Plains, including the Grand Duke Alexis’s buffalo hunt, the Great Sioux War, and the careers of Crook and Sheridan. Nelson's examination of Clark’s early years in the army offers a rare look at the experiences of a staff officer stationed on the frontier and expands our view of the army, as well as the United States’ westward march.
What people are saying - Write a review
We haven't found any reviews in the usual places.
Little Wolfs Surrender
Fighting Sitting Bulls Band
Fort Keogh and the Big Horn Mountains
Fieldwork for The Indian Sign Language
Yellowstone National Park Explorations
Final Months in Washington D C
Other editions - View all
addition adjutant agency Army arrived August band became Bourke camp Camp Robinson Captain Chicago Clark Colonel column command Company concerning continued council Crazy Horse Creek Crook Custer death delegation Department detachment Diaries duty early Entry expedition fight File final Gregory headmen headquarters Horse’s hunt included Indian Sign Language interpreter issued John joined journey July June Keogh killed Lakota late later leader leave letter lieutenant Little located March matter meeting Miles military Missouri Montana morning move NAMP night Northern Cheyennes northern Indians November October officers Oglala once park party passed placed Powder River Powers President reached received Records Red Cloud regimental remained returned River Roll scouts Second Cavalry sent September served Sheridan soldiers Spotted Tail surrender Territory took traveled village warriors Washington West Yellowstone York