National attention was riveted to isolated Northern Colorado in the fall of 1879, when U. S. Troops of the White River Expedition fought a pitched battle with Ute Indians. The troops had marched over 150 miles in nine days before meeting armed resistance just inside the norther border of the reservation, and a quiet mountain valley unexpectedly erupted in a prolonged and blood conflict.
Fought by former allies, the battle became one of the longest sustained engagements between the U. S. Cavalry and Native Americans. No one really won the battle of Milk Creek. While the Utes controlled the battlefield for most of the conflict, they were soon forced from their land and sent to a new reservation. The soldiers failed miserably in their effort to protect agency personnel. Perhaps the only measure of benefit was garnered by immigrants when Colorado opened the former Ute land to non-Indian settlement.
Hollow Victory is a fresh and in-depth examination of this tragic conflict and its consequences that will be of vital interest to readers who follow the Indians Wars and western history.