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What's New • April 2008
Greetings, Regulars and Other Friends


Cheyenne Outbreak: The Desperate Escape

CheyenneCheyenne Outbreak: The Desperate Escape, September 7-14, 2008, shows us one of the most tragic episodes of the American West. In the aftermath of the Great Sioux War of 1876–1877, the Northern Cheyennes surrendered and were moved far from their homeland to the Darlington Agency in Oklahoma.

Languishing in the sultry southern environment, starvation, disease, and death soon decimated their numbers. Tribal leaders Little Wolf and Dull Knife rebelled. Homesick for Montana, more than 300 warriors, women, and children bolted, setting out for their homeland.

The exodus brought a rapid pursuit from government troops dispatched to crush the rebellion. After eluding their captors for several weeks, the leaders separated; and Dull Knife and his 150 followers surrendered. Imprisoned at Fort Robinson and denied food and heat, Dull Knife lead an outbreak on January 9, 1879. Military patrols acted quickly, killing and capturing more than half the Indians. In 1883, after a sympathetic outpouring from the public, the government relented and established a Northern Cheyenne reservation in southwest Montana.

Join us on Cheyenne Outbreak and hear this poignant tale.



Neil Mangum: Historian Guide on Cheyenne Outbreak

MangumIf you google Neil Mangum's name, the first site is the following: www.friendslittlebighorn.com/neilmangum.htm. This article shows exactly why Neil is a favorite of HistoryAmerica TOURS travelers. The writing sparkles and the telling is spellbinding. The author is obviously brilliant, exceptionally well informed, and shows a charming and subtle sense of humor.

From this noted expert on the Indian Wars you will learn the story of the Cheyennes in all its detail and pathos, woven into a totally balanced picture of both the Indian and Army viewpoints. Don't miss this opportunity. Call 1-800- 628-8542 to reserve a spot on this one-of-a-kind learning vacation.




Vicksburg: Fighting For "The Gibraltar of the Confederacy"

Season Opener: The 2008 tour season got under way last week with Vicksburg: Fighting for the Gibraltar of the Confederacy. Georgia O'Connor reported from the front that although spring storms had felled trees and the Mississippi was rising, morale remained high among the troops and Ed Bearss was in his usual fine form.

HistoryAmerica is thrilled that Ed has suggested that we do an expanded version of the same tour next year, and since the announcement we have been putting HAT travelers on a "hold space" list for Vicksburg 2009. That tour is now scheduled for October.




HistoryAmerica News Bits

GriffithsSerendipitous things happen on our tours. Bill Griffiths, General U.S. Grant's great-great grandson, was one of the HistoryAmerica TOURS travelers on Vicksburg. That's Bill standing under Grant's statue. Also, Sid Champion V had dinner with our group one evening. He read a letter from the book Letters of Sid and Matilda Champion edited by Rebecca Drake and our historian guide's wife, Margie Bearss, who passed away in 2006. This amazing Champion family has preserved the history of the Battle of Champion Hill for nearly 150 years.

In Memoriam: Ron Dick, historian guide for the 2005 tour "Fight of the Few: The Battle of Britain," died of pancreatic cancer this past March 25 at his home in Fredericksburg, Va. Tall and distinguished, Ron spoke from a position of authority because during his 38 years with the Royal Air Force he had flown everything: fighters, bombers, 60 types of air craft in all. Retiring as Vice Air Marshall from the RAF in 1988, he launched a second career as a lecturer and writer on military and aviation history. HistoryAmerica TOURS members will remember Ron as incredibly knowledgeable and quick to have a laugh.

HistoryAmerica TOURS is grateful to Ron Dick because we have wanted to revive "The Fight of the Few: The Battle of Britain"; and it was he who recommended Philip Wilkinson to us. Philip is also a retired RAF pilot who contributes to military aviation history books and journals. He gave his first tour a couple of years ago when he replaced Ron Dick on a Smithsonian tour and comes with excellent recommendations. He said, yes, he would gladly lead us in another Battle of Britain tour in 2009.

This week Georgia O'Connor will attend the Civil War Preservation Trust Spring Conference in Springfield, Mo. We take great pride the the fact that HistoryAmerica TOURS is the exclusive tour provider for the Civil War Preservation Trust. Each member of the CWPT who travels with HistoryAmerica TOURS not only takes a splendid learning vacation, but also makes a contribution toward battlefield preservation. Join this wonderful organization and become our partner, helping to save more hallowed ground.

At the end of April Sharon McDermott will leave the office for a week and join Historian Guide Neil Mangum and Tour Director Bruce Airheart on "Bad Hand Mackenzie: Legend of the Texas Indian Wars." She is looking forward to the change of scene and the opportunity to meet many HistoryAmerica travelers in their natural habitat, a historical tour. We still have room for a few additional travelers if you get a last minute urge to warm up in the Texas sun and learn about this fascinating man.



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Updated 21-Apr-2008