Découvrez votre prochain livre préféré

Devenez membre aujourd'hui et lisez gratuitement pendant 30 jours
Lire l'aperçu

Longueur:
413 pages
4 heures
Sortie:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781787203952
Format:
Livre

Description

From 1832 to 1891 the states from the Great Lakes west to Oregon and south to Mexico saw scenes of massacre, bloody rout, ambush, fire, and pillage as the great Indian tribes-Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Sioux, Arapaho, Modoc, and Apache-fought desperately to turn back the invading white men.

Recreated in this volume, original published in 1960, are twenty-odd battles crucial in the opening of the American West to white settlement. Among the battles included here are the Pierre’s Hole fight, the battle of Bandera Pass, the battle of Pyramid Lake, the battle of Wood Lake, the Canyon de Chelly rout, the battles of Adobe Walls, the Fetterman, Hayfield, and Wagon Box fights, the fight at Beecher Island, the battle of the Washita, the battles of Massacre Canyon and Palo Duro Canyon, the battle of the Rosebud, the battle of the Little Bighorn, the Dull Knife massacre, and the final, tragic battle at Wounded Knee.

“A fine guide to the conflict that transpired across the wide Missouri.”—San Francisco Sunday Chronicle

“An excellent account of most of the major fights between the white man and the Indian in…the western part of the United States.”—Library Journal

“Two dozen of the most celebrated and hair-raising Indian fights on record. Good, solid reading, and a whole peck of it.”—New York Times Book Review
Sortie:
Feb 7, 2017
ISBN:
9781787203952
Format:
Livre

À propos de l'auteur

B. W. (BILL) ALLRED (January 17, 1904 - December 14, 1976) was a native of Utah. He held B.S. and M.S. degrees from Utah Agricultural College and took additional graduate work at the University of Nebraska. He was a cowboy in Utah, a sheepherder in Wyoming, and a county agent in Colorado before joining the Soil Conservation Service in 1935. He then became the Ranch Planning Specialist in the Washington office of the Soil Conservation Service, collecting Western Americana, specializing in books on range life. He was the author of Range Conservation Practices for the Great Plains; Practical Grassland Management; (with J. C. Dykes) Flat Top Ranch; and over four hundred articles and book reviews. J. C. (JEFF) DYKES (June 20, 1900 - December 31, 1989) was a native of Texas. He was a graduate of the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College and a former faculty member of his alma mater. He then became Assistant Administrator of the Soil Conservation Service. He was an ardent collector of Western books and an outstanding authority on Western Americana. He was the author of Billy the Kid: The Bibliography of a Legend and numerous articles and papers on Western books and conservation. In 1950 he became an associate editor of The Brand Book, the official monthly publication of the Chicago Corral, The Westerners. FRANK GOODWYN (1911-2001) was born in South Texas and grew up on the King Ranch. He held degrees in English and Spanish from Texas A&I University in Kingsville and earned a Ph.D. in Spanish and Folklore from the University of Texas at Austin. He twice held the J. Frank Dobie Fellowship in Southwestern Literature. He was the author of two novels, The Magic of Limping John (named Best Texas Book of the Year by the Texas Institute of Letters in 1944) and The Black Bull, as well as poems, folk tales, and articles on the craft of writing. He was a professor emeritus of the University of Maryland and lived in Silver Spring, Maryland.

Lié à Great Western Indian Fights

Livres associé
Articles associés

Aperçu du livre

Great Western Indian Fights - Members of the Potomac Corral of the Westerners

This edition is published by PICKLE PARTNERS PUBLISHING—www.pp-publishing.com

To join our mailing list for new titles or for issues with our books—picklepublishing@gmail.com

Or on Facebook

Text originally published in 1960 under the same title.

© Pickle Partners Publishing 2016, all rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted by any means, electrical, mechanical or otherwise without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Publisher’s Note

Although in most cases we have retained the Author’s original spelling and grammar to authentically reproduce the work of the Author and the original intent of such material, some additional notes and clarifications have been added for the modern reader’s benefit.

We have also made every effort to include all maps and illustrations of the original edition the limitations of formatting do not allow of including larger maps, we will upload as many of these maps as possible.

GREAT WESTERN INDIAN FIGHTS

BY

MEMBERS OF THE POTOMAC CORRAL OF THE WESTERNERS

WASHINGTON, D. C.

EDITED BY

THE PUBLICATIONS COMMITTEE

B. W. ALLRED

J. C. DYKES, CHAIRMAN

FRANK GOODWYN

D. HARPER SIMMS

TABLE OF CONTENTS

Contents

TABLE OF CONTENTS 4

THE WRITERS 5

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS 10

MAPS 11

1. THE INDIAN WARS OF THE WEST by JOHN C. EWERS 12

PART I—FUR TRADING DAYS, 1832 17

2. THE PIERRE’S HOLE FIGHT by BRADLEY H. PATTERSON, JR. 19

PART II—UNDER THE LONE STAR, 1841 25

3. BATTLE OF BANDERA PASS by O. CLARK FISHER 26

PART III—FIGHTING IN THE FAR WEST, 1858-60 29

4. THE INDIANS HAVE AN INNING: TO-HOTO-NIM-ME by JACK DODD 31

5. THE SOLDIERS HAVE THEIRS: FOUR LAKES AND SPOKANE PLAINS by JACK DODD 39

6. THE BATTLE OF PYRAMID LAKE by ARTHUR W. EMERSON 47

PART IV—THE CIVIL WAR PLUS, 1861-65 53

7. THE BATTLE OF WOOD LAKE by NOEL M. LOOMIS 55

8. CANYON DE CHELLY by CLINTON P. ANDERSON 61

9. THE FIRST BATTLE OF ADOBE WALLS by LAWRENCE V. COMPTON 66

PART V—ACTION ON THE BOZEMAN TRAIL, 1866-67 70

10. THE FETTERMAN FIGHT by ROY E. APPLEMAN 76

11. THE HAYFIELD FIGHT by ROY E. APPLEMAN 102

12. THE WAGON BOX FIGHT by ROY E. APPLEMAN 113

PART VI—POST CIVIL WAR: SOUTHERN PLAINS, 1868 123

13. THE FIGHT AT BEECHER ISLAND by JAMES S. HUTCHINS 125

14. BATTLE OF THE WASHITA by LAWRENCE FROST 131

PART VII—PAWNEE VS. SIOUX, 1873 136

15. THE BATTLE OF MASSACRE CANYON by RAY H. MATTISON 137

PART VIII—THE MODOC WAR, 1872-73 140

16. BLOOD ON THE LAVA by F. G. RENNER 142

PART IX—THE SOUTHERN PLAINS, 1874 147

17. THE SECOND BATTLE OF ADOBE WALLS by J. C. DYKES 149

18. THE BATTLE OF PALO DURO CANYON by J. C. DYKES 156

PART X—THE NORTHERN PLAINS, 1876 177

19. THE BATTLE OF THE ROSEBUD by J. A. LEERMAKERS 179

20. THE BATTLE OF THE LITTLE BIGHORN by ROBERT M. UTLEY 186

PART XI—APACHES VS. APACHES, 1871-86 200

21. THE APACHE SCOUTS WHO WON A WAR by D. HARPER SIMMS 202

PART XII—TROUBLE IN THE MOUNTAINS, 1877-79 209

22. THE BANNACK INDIAN WAR OF 1878 by FREDERICK A. MARK 211

23. BESIEGED ON MILK CREEK by JACK P. RIDDLE 219

PART XIII—THE CHEYENNES GO HOME, 1878 226

24. MASSACRE OF THE DULL KNIFE BAND by B. W. ALLRED 228

PART XIV—THE GHOST DANCE, 1891 233

25. TRAGEDY AT WOUNDED KNEE by GEORGE METCALF 235

BIBLIOGRAPHY 243

APPENDIX—THE POTOMAC CORRAL, THE WESTERNERS 252

REQUEST FROM THE PUBLISHER 255

THE WRITERS

B. W. (BILL) ALLRED, resident member, is a native of Utah. He has B.S. and M.S. degrees from Utah Agricultural College and took additional graduate work at the University of Nebraska. He was a cowboy in Utah, a sheepherder in Wyoming, and a county agent in Colorado before joining the Soil Conservation Service in 1935. He is now the Ranch Planning Specialist in the Washington office of the Soil Conservation Service. He collects Western Americana, specializing in books on range life. He is the author of Range Conservation Practices for the Great Plains (Washington, D.C., 1940); Practical Grassland Management (San Angelo, Texas, 1950); (with J. C. Dykes) Flat Top Ranch (Norman, Oklahoma, 1957); and over four hundred articles and book reviews.

CLINTON P. ANDERSON, resident member, United States Senator from New Mexico, has lived in the West since 1917 and is known as an authority on Western history. He is one of the best-known collectors of Western Americana in the country. He first entered public life in 1933 when he was appointed state treasurer of New Mexico. He served three terms in the House of Representatives beginning in 1940, and was Secretary of Agriculture, 1945-1948. He has served in the Senate since 1948, and is currently chairman of the Joint Congressional Committee on Atomic Energy. He is a member of the Senate Committees on Finance, Interior and Insular Affairs, Aeronautical and Space Sciences, and of the Select Committee on Water Resources. He is also a member of the Joint Committee on Navajo-Hopi Administration, the Outdoor Recreation Resources Review Commission, and the Board of Regents of the Smithsonian Institution.

ROY E. APPLEMAN, resident member and sheriff (president) in 1959, is a professional historian. He has degrees from the University of Ohio and Columbia University and has done additional graduate work at Yale. He was District Historian of the National Park Service in New York in 1935-36; Regional National Park Service Historian at Richmond, Virginia, in 1936-42; and since 1946 has been Staff Historian at the Washington, D.C., office. He has been responsible for the research, administration, and travel connected with many of the National Park Service historical projects. He served with distinction in the Pacific during the war, rising from private to Major. He was Combat Historian for the Philippines, Okinawa, and Japan. He was called back for the Korean conflict and graduated to the rank of colonel. He is a close student of the Indian Wars.

LAWRENCE V. COMPTON, resident member, is a graduate of the University of Kansas and has a master’s degree from the University of California. He spent many years in the South-west as a wildlife conservationist. For the past nine years he has been the Principal Biologist of the Soil Conservation Service with headquarters in Washington, D.C. He is the author of numerous articles and bulletins on wildlife and its conservation.

JOHN B. (JACK) DODD, a resident member until the fall of 1959 and now a corresponding member, was born in Spokane, Washington. His grandparents on both sides homesteaded in the Big Bend country of Washington when it was still a territory. He is a graduate of the University of Idaho and was a forester for the National Park Service for many years. He is now Assistant Superintendent of the Everglades National Park, Homestead, Florida. His hobbies are antique guns, collecting Indian artifacts and handicraft, and Western history, particularly that dealing with Washington Territory. He served in World War II and is now a lieutenant colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve.

J. C. (JEFF) DYKES, resident member, is a native of Texas. He is a graduate of the Texas Agricultural and Mechanical College and a former faculty member of his alma mater. He is now Assistant Administrator of the Soil Conservation Service. He is an ardent collector of Western books and an outstanding authority on Western Americana. He is the author of Billy the Kid: The Bibliography of a Legend (Albuquerque, New Mexico, 1952); the introduction to Pat Garrett’s The Authentic Life of Billy the Kid (Norman, Oklahoma, 1954); (with B. W. Allred) Flat Top Ranch (Norman, Oklahoma, 1957); and numerous articles and papers on Western books and conservation. Since 1950 he has been an associate editor of The Brand Book, the official monthly publication of the Chicago Corral, The Westerners.

ARTHUR W. EMERSON, corresponding member, is a professional writer. He was born in the sand hills of Nebraska of pioneer stock. His grandfather Emerson operated the first store in Dead-wood, South Dakota. He is a graduate of the South Dakota School of Technology and spent several years in sales and promotion work in Chicago, Cleveland, and Minneapolis. He mined gold in Montana and was a freelance writer on many subjects. For three years he was in charge of educational relations with seventeen Indian reservations on the Northern Great Plains. He is now Information Specialist for the Soil Conservation Service in the West, with headquarters at Berkeley, California.

JOHN C. (JACK) EWERS, resident member and sheriff in 1958, is a native of Ohio. He has A. B. and M.A. degrees from Dartmouth College, New Hampshire. He was the first curator of the Museum of the Plains Indians on the Blackfoot Reservation in Montana and won the confidence of the elders of that tribe. He is the author of numerous publications on the Blackfeet and other Indians including The Horse in Blackfoot Culture (Washington, D.C., 1955) and The Blackfeet (Norman, Oklahoma, 1958). He is one of the top Indian historians in the country and a member of the Smithsonian staff. His present job is that of Assistant Director, Museum of History and Technology, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C.

O. CLARK FISHER, resident member, is the Congressman for the Twenty-first Texas District. He was born on a ranch in Kimble County, Texas. His father was a trail driver and the first cousin of King Fisher, the highly publicized Texas gunman and Deputy Sheriff. Clark attended Baylor University and the University of Texas and holds the LL.B. degree. He was County Attorney, District Attorney, and State Representative prior to being elected to the Seventy-eighth Congress. He is now serving his eighteenth year in Congress and, like his father, is a Kimble County rancher. He has been interested in pioneer and frontier history since his youth. He is the author of It Occurred in Kimble (Houston, Texas, 1937), one of the best Texas county histories.

LAWRENCE FROST, corresponding member, is a nationally Known foot surgeon who lives in Monroe, Michigan. Monroe was the birthplace of Mrs. George A. (Elizabeth B.) Custer and the adopted home of the Custers. Dr. Frost is an avid collector of Custeriana and serves as curator of the Custer Room of the Monroe County Historical Museum. He is a corresponding member of the New York Posse of The Westerners.

JAMES S. HUTCHINS, corresponding member, is in the automobile sales and service business in Columbus, Ohio. He is a graduate of U.S. Military Academy, West Point, New York. He is an ardent student of the evolution of the equipment, clothing, and weapons used by the U.S. Army throughout its service in the trans-Mississippi West. He collects all manner of objects worn and used by the soldiers on the Western frontier, particularly saddles and other horse gear. He also collects books, pamphlets, and other written material having to do with these subjects. His articles on the Indian-fighting soldiers and their equipment have appeared in such publications as Military Collector and Historian, Montana, the Magazine of Western History and The Brand Book of the Chicago Corral, The Westerners.

J. A. LEERMAKERS, corresponding member, is assistant director of the Research Laboratories of the Eastman Kodak Company, Rochester, New York. He is a native of Nebraska but attended college in Iowa and California. He earned his Ph.D. in Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology. His interest in Western history has extended over a period of twenty years. He has made a particular study of the transcontinental trails and has spent parts of several summers exploring them. He collects firearms associated with American history and is the proud owner of a Hawken rifle, found near Deadwood, South Dakota. He writes about his hobbies and makes wonderful color photographs to illustrate his articles.

NOEL LOOMIS, corresponding member, was born in Indian Territory (Oklahoma) but now lives at Descanso, California. He is a member of the English faculty at San Diego State College and one of the best known Western novelists. He is a past president of the Western Writers of America and is now serving as the secretary-treasurer of that organization. He has written four hundred short stories and fifty novels, including Short Cut to Red River (New York, 1958) which won the Spur Award of the W. W. A. for the best Western novel of 1958. He is also the author of a distinguished book of history, The Texan-Santa Fe Pioneers (Norman, Oklahoma, 1958). Noel is at work on a 1200-page novel of the days of the Republic of Texas.

FREDERICK A. MARK, corresponding member, is the Assistant State Conservationist, Soil Conservation Service, Spokane, Washington. He was born in Montana but lived on a ranch near the Fort Hall Indian Reservation in Idaho as a boy. He holds the B.S. and M.S. degrees from the University of Idaho. He was an appraiser for the Federal Land Bank before beginning his quarter-of-a-century career in the Soil Conservation Service in the North-west. He is a collector of Western Americana with emphasis on Idaho and the North-west. He is a resident member of the Spokane Corral, The Westerners. He is the author of numerous articles and papers on Western history and conservation.

RAY HAROLD MATTISON, corresponding member, is a professional historian with the National Park Service, Omaha, Nebraska. He has a B.A. degree from the State Teachers College at Wayne, Nebraska, and a M.A. in History from the University of Nebraska. He is a member of the Nebraska State Historical Society, the State Historical Society of North Dakota, the Mississippi Valley Historical Association, and the Nebraska Writers’ Guild. He is a corresponding member of the Chicago Corral, The Westerners. In addition to the official publications he has written, Ray has contributed about twenty-five articles to historical quarterlies in the Northern Plains States. Several of these articles have been reprinted as separates, including Ranching in the Dakota Badlands (Bismarck, North Dakota, 1952); Roosevelt and the Stockmen’s Association (Bismarck, 1950); and Roosevelt’s Dakota Ranches (Bismarck, 1956).

GEORGE METCALF, resident member, is on the staff of the Smithsonian Institution, Washington, D.C. He is a native of Nebraska. He was a member of the party that excavated and studied the sites of the ancient Indian villages on the Missouri River in South Dakota. He is an ardent student of the history of the American Indians. His present position at the Smithsonian is that of museum aide in archeology. He is the author of numerous technical reports.

BRADLEY H. PATTERSON, JR., resident member, is a native of Massachusetts, but anything of historical importance that evolved from the winning of the West is his meat. He is a mountain climber and camper in the far reaches of the West during summer vacations. His special interest is retracing and visiting the transcontinental routes of travel our pioneers followed as they migrated west. It was on such a summer exploration that Brad visited Pierre’s Hole and became interested in its history. He is a member of the White House staff, serving as assistant to the Secretary of the Cabinet.

F. G. (FRED) RENNER, resident member and sheriff in 1957, is a native of Montana, where his father was a rancher on the Missouri River above Great Falls. He holds degrees from the University of Washington and the University of California. His entire professional career has been devoted to range conservation with the Forest Service and, for the last twenty-five years, the Soil Conservation Service. He is the outstanding authority in the country on the art of Charles Marion Russell, the great Montana cowboy artist. He is the technical advisor to the C. M. Russell Memorial Museum at Helena and the Trigg-C. M. Russell Galleries at Great Falls. He owns a number of Russell originals and is the nation’s premier collector of the published works of Russell. Fred is the author of Rangeland Rembrandt (Helena, Montana, 1958); A Selected Bibliography on Management of Western Ranges, Livestock, and Wildlife (Washington, D.C., 1938); and numerous articles and papers on range conservation.

JACK P. RIDDLE, corresponding member, was on duty with the U.S. Army as a captain in Washington, D.C., for several months and a frequent visitor at the Potomac Corral meetings. He is a native of Colorado and was educated in the Denver schools. After fifteen years’ service in the Army, he is back in Denver, where he is a photographer for the Denver Post. He is a close student of Western history and has completed the research for a series of three books on Colorado.

D. HARPER SIMMS, resident member, was born on the Mescalero Apache Indian Reservation in New Mexico. His father and grandfather were Indian Missionaries. He has two degrees, one in Journalism, from the University of Missouri. He is a student of Indian history, with a special interest in the Apaches. He was in information work in Albuquerque for many years and for the last nine years has been Chief of the Information Division, Soil Conservation Service, Washington, D.C. He is the editor of Corral Dust, the official publication of the Potomac Corral.

ROBERT M. UTLEY, corresponding member, was formerly a resident member. He is a professional historian and is now Historian in the Region Three Office, National Park Service, at Santa Fe, New Mexico. He was born in Arkansas but reared in Pennsylvania and Indiana. He graduated from Purdue University and then earned his M.A. in history at the University of Indiana. During his college days he spent his summers at the Custer Battlefield National Monument in Montana, where he served as ranger-historian. He was a historian in the Historical Section, Joint Chiefs of Staff, 1954-1957. He is the vice-president of the Historical Society of New Mexico.

LIST OF ILLUSTRATIONS

Following page 120

Trappers en route to Rendezvous—Paul Rockwood

Gunpowder and Arrows—Charles M. Russell

Lieutenant Grummond’s Even Chance—Charles Schreyvogel

Indian Charge—Charles Schreyvogel

Diorama of the Wagon Box Fight—Photograph

The Death of Roman Nose—Charles M. Russell

Forsyth’s Fight on the Arickaree—Frederic Remington

Cavalry Charge—Frederic Remington

The Battle of the Lava Beds—Charles M. Russell

Mackenzie’s Scout Finds the Winter Camp—William Loechel

Following page 216

Probably the Last Photograph of Lieutenant-Colonel George A. Custer

The Indian Leaders—Red Cloud, Gall, Sitting Bull, Crow King—Photographs

Apache Scouts Stripped for Battle—Photograph

The Renegade Apaches Kill a White Rancher—Frederic Remington

Miles Followed Orders and Tried to Win with the Regulars—Frederic Remington

Kayetah and Martine, the Scouts Who Negotiated the Surrender—Photograph

The Army’s Umatilla Allies—Photograph

Bannacks Captured by General Miles—Photograph

The Milk Creek Battle Monument—Photograph

Dull Knife’s Defiance—Maynard Dixon

Burying the Dead at Wounded Knee—Photograph

MAPS

Great Western Indian Fights (location map)—End Sheets

Military Campaigns against the Spokane, Palouse, and Cœur d’Alene Indians—1858

Bozeman Trail, 1866-1868

Fort Phil Kearny and Vicinity

Fort C. F. Smith and Vicinity

Beecher’s Island

Battle of the Rosebud

The Battle of the Little Bighorn

The Chiricahua Apache Campaign

Bannack Indian War

Wounded Knee Battlefield

Note: The maps, with one exception, were prepared by William Loechel. The map of the Battle of the Little Bighorn was drawn by Walter Vitous.

1. THE INDIAN WARS OF THE WEST by JOHN C. EWERS

Before the west could be settled it had to be won. So wrote vigorous Theodore Roosevelt seventy years ago. Throughout the greater part of the nineteenth century hostile Indians, the descendants of the aboriginal occupants of the region, provided the major obstacle to the winning of the American West beyond the Mississippi River. There many desperate Indian tribes made their heroic last stands to preserve their traditional hunting grounds from the intrusions of American trappers, overland emigrants, miners, cattlemen, and farmers. There many valiant whites, both soldiers and civilians, laid down their lives in the struggle to transform an undeveloped Indian country into a safe abode for civilized men and women and for their children. History has recorded no more dramatic conflicts than the battles which were fought between red men and white on the plains, in the deserts, and in the mountains of the American West during the nineteenth century.

The theater of warfare was a vast one. It extended from Minnesota westward to the Pacific Coast, from the Canadian boundary southward to Mexico. Throughout this region the overrunning of Indian lands by white men proved a fundamental cause of irritation and alarm to the Indians. It did not always lead to open warfare. But so basic and so constant was this cause of friction that a minor incident could and sometimes did trigger a bitter, prolonged, and costly Indian war.

Long before the western Indian country was invaded by American trappers and settlers this area had been a battleground of warring Indian tribes. In these intertribal wars the larger and stronger tribes expelled the smaller, weaker ones from choice hunting territories. Mobile, nomadic tribes preyed upon the farming Indians, who lived in more sedentary villages and grew crops in the river valleys nearby. Bitter animosities engendered by generations of intertribal feuds prevented the many Indian tribes of the West from uniting in defending their homeland against white intruders. These long-standing conflicts between neighboring tribes aided the whites during the period of Indian Wars. For example, in the Sioux Wars members of the Pawnee, Crow, and Shoshone tribes, which had long suffered from the aggression of the mighty Sioux, joined the whites in their efforts to pacify a common enemy. Later, in the South-west, friendly Apache scouts helped the Army to seek out elusive, hostile Apache bands.

Indian warfare had been a major deterrent to the expansion of white settlements in America since colonial times. It has been said that it took a hundred years of forest-felling and Indian fighting for white settlement to move the first hundred miles inland from the Atlantic coast. In the Middle West, under the leadership of such great chiefs as Pontiac, Tecumseh, and Black Hawk, the Indians delayed but could not stop the relentless westward movement of settlers. In the woodlands of the South the Creeks and Seminoles had resisted with equal courage and stubbornness. But they could not stem the rising tide of white home-seekers.

A small skirmish involving a few members of the Lewis and Clark expedition far beyond the frontier of settlement produced the first casualty in the Indian Wars of the West. In the summer of 1806, Meriwether Lewis led a detachment of three enlisted men northward from the Missouri River to search for the sources of the Marias River. He had no desire to encounter any of the dread Blackfeet. But on Badger Creek, on the present Blackfoot Reservation, he met a party of eight Piegan (Blackfoot) warriors, and he couldn’t avoid spending the night with them. Early the next morning the Indians tried to steal the soldiers’ arms and horses. In the ensuing melee He-who-looks-at-the-Calf, one of the Piegans, was stabbed in the heart.

Shortly thereafter American beaver trappers fanned the flames of Blackfoot animosity by trespassing upon their lands and taking beaver from their streams. Throughout the period of the Rocky Mountain fur trade the Blackfeet and their Gros Ventre allies fought many a small-scale battle with the hardy trappers. The most famous of these engagements, the Battle of Pierre’s Hole, is described in this book.

Not until the decline of the fur trade in the early 1840s did American settlers become a major source of irritation to western Indians. On the expanding frontier of Texas the wild Comanches met the six-shooter-toting Texas Rangers. Farther north emigrant wagon trains bound westward for Oregon, California, and Utah killed and frightened game in the plains country through which they passed and roused the hostility of the powerful Sioux. When the government established forts at strategic points along the overland trails through the Indian country, the Army inherited the enmity of these Indians.

During the 1840s and ‘50s the frontier of white settlement expanded rapidly in Minnesota and in the region beyond the Rockies. The invasion of Indian lands by white farmers and miners precipitated numerous local Indian Wars in widely scattered areas of the West—in California, Washington Territory, Utah, Nevada, the South-west, and Minnesota. In some of these areas of conflict the settlers organized volunteer forces to fight the Indians. But the Army continued to bear the major responsibility for pacifying hostile tribes on the far-flung frontier.

The decade of the 1860s witnessed the negotiation of numerous treaties with western Indian tribes under the terms of which the Indians nominally agreed to cede portions of their lands and to limit their own activities to the reservations left to them. But many tribes, both large and small, had difficulty making a living through traditional pursuits upon their reservations and refused to be confined to them. Many of the hardest-fought battles of the West were waged by desperate, restless Reservation Indians during the decade of the 70s. The Army fought the Sioux, Cheyennes, Arapahoes, Kiowas, and Comanches on the Great Plains, the Apaches in the South-west, and the Modocs, Nez Perces, and Bannacks in the North-west. Not until the middle ‘80s did the last die-hard Apache hostiles—as unfriendly Indians were called—finally surrender and lay down their arms.

In the pacification of the Plains Indians the Army had a cruel and effective ally—starvation. From time immemorial the buffalo had been the staff of life of these Indians. But the rapid extermination of the buffalo in the decade of the ‘70s left the warriors of the Plains little choice between surrender and starvation. Nearly a decade after the buffalo were gone the mighty Sioux, led to believe that through participation in the ceremonies of a new religion called the Ghost Dance they could make the buffalo return and the white men disappear, caused white authorities to believe another Indian War might be imminent. The subsequent Battle of Wounded Knee proved to be the swan song of the long and bitter Indian Wars of the West.

Surely no opposing forces ever differed more radically than did the Army of the United States and the hostile Indians of the West in the years 1850-90. The leaders of the blue-coated soldiers were professional military men who had studied the great battles of history at West Point. Many of them had demonstrated their mastery of the arts of civilized warfare on the battlefields of the Mexican War, the Civil War, or both. Yet in the leaders of the warring Indian tribes they encountered stubborn, intelligent men who were not impressed by the white officers’ military reputations, who refused to fight according to the white men’s rules, and who possessed an ability to embarrass their professional opponents by eluding or defeating the soldiers sent against them. When impatient, cocky young officers, eager to earn reputations for themselves, underestimated the leadership and fighting qualities of illiterate Indians, they invited disaster and paid for their mistakes with their lives. Older heads soon learned, as did General William T. Sherman, that in fighting Indians the Army was engaged in an inglorious war, not apt to add much to our fame or personal comfort; and for our soldiers, to whom we owe our first thoughts, it is all danger and extreme labor, without one single compensating advantage.

In the Indian warrior the soldier found a worthy foe. What the Indian lacked in formal schooling he made up in native cunning and courage, in combat experience, and in thorough knowledge of the country in which he fought. He hunted men much as he hunted other big game. He was an expert in luring unsuspecting animals or enemies into an ambush. He was skilled in concealing his own movements. As the wild old frontiersman Jim Bridger said, Where there ain’t no Injuns, you’ll find ‘em thickest. In his prolonged intertribal wars the Indian gained intimate knowledge of tactics in small-scale, hit-and-run raiding, by which he harassed his enemies and kept them off balance. As a horseman the Indian of the Plains and the North-west had few equals. His fleet, tough little ponies gave him the mobility he needed to elude large, slow-moving bodies of troops. He could evade conflict save under conditions which appeared favorable to him. It is no wonder that the successful formula for defeating and pacifying the Plains Indians which was adopted by the Army included both the winter surprise attack on hostile villages (when the Indians’ superior horsemanship was of no advantage to him) and the immobilization of the Indian through the capture or destruction of his horses.

Much has been written about the horrors of Indian warfare—the Indians’ penchant for torturing prisoners and mutilating the dead. But these cruelties did not originate during their wars with the whites. Long before white settlers and soldiers overran the western Indian country, red-skinned warriors disfigured male prisoners and scalped and hacked to pieces their fallen foes in hard-fought intertribal battles. Most commonly these actions followed a revenge raid against enemies who had killed a prominent chief or a goodly number of warriors of the vengeance-motivated tribe.

Nor was savagery in the Indian Wars limited to the practices of the Indians. No war could be more savage than race warfare. And at times the Indian Wars degenerated to that level. Color of skin alone became the distinguishing mark of the hated enemy. Peaceful bands of Indians were attacked and their women and children killed in the indiscriminate slaughter that ensued.

The primitive Indian warrior made a contribution to the art of warfare. His swift, silent, harassing, small-scale operations were the forerunners of the commando raids in World War II. At least one description of western Indian raiding

Vous avez atteint la fin de cet aperçu. Inscrivez-vous pour en savoir plus !
Page 1 sur 1

Avis

Ce que les gens pensent de Great Western Indian Fights

0
0 évaluations / 0 Avis
Qu'avez-vous pensé ?
Évaluation : 0 sur 5 étoiles

Avis des lecteurs