Wild West

AN OFFICER AND A NEWSPAPERMAN

The growth of this West of ours has been the miracle of the 19th century, and its improvement has as yet only fairly begun

James S. Brisbin penned this confident assessment of the West as the expansion of the railroad and other forces transformed the northern Plains, progress that expedited the decline of the Lakotas and other nomadic tribes after the Great Sioux War of 1876 and the near extinction of the buffalo in the 1880s. No stranger to Indian warfare, Brisbin is perhaps best known as author of an 1892 letter to Captain Edward S. Godfrey accusing the late Lieutenant Colonel George A. Custer of having disobeyed orders at the Battle of the Little Bighorn on June 25,

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