Indian wars

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by kutaho, Jun 9, 2009.

  1. kutaho

    kutaho New Member

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    How about a discussion on the Indian wars?
    Anything from south american/Spanish on up to French/Indian and the surrender of Geronimo in 1872, and the massacre of the Miniconjou in1891.
  2. jacksonco

    jacksonco New Member

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    I read a book about 25 years ago titled I Am Cochise. At least I think that was the title. It was written by Nina Cochise, great grandson of the Great Apache Chief of the same name. If you find it it is a very interesting read.

    He made comments that Geromino's brother made most of the war plans and that Geromino was mostly just a mean drunk. I think that they were his uncles. He talked a lot about the fighting with the Mexican and American goverments. You should check it out.

    I hope that this thread grows as I would like to learn more on the conflicts between the Indians and the goverments that tried to control them.
  3. kutaho

    kutaho New Member

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    He became a drunk after the conflict, he died in a cabin on a reservation, shot by fed. appointed red cops.
    Alcohol and injuns don't mix well.
    In his day he was a great man.
    Just a note, sadly some very good friends of mine who were great warriors in there day from more then one war and one conflict who have a problem with alcohol. Sometimes it comes with the territory when you carry many ghosts.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  4. BillP

    BillP New Member

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    The University of North Dakota in Grand Forks is about to loose the nickname "The Fighting Sioux", primarily because of objections from native Americans. No cartoon Indian logos or anything like that in this case, just a problem with those who think it promotes a stereotype of violent Indians.

    To me this is a sad case of people who can't come to terms with what is really an honorable heritage.
  5. Ira Hayes certainly comes to mind, kutaho.
  6. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Indian wars? Are they over? I am serious, how do the native Americans feel about America today?

    I used to go to the States a fair amount, and when near Indians would ask the white Americans I was with about them. The replies were very varied, some kind, many un kind. I did visit several museums dedicated to the native Americans. They were clearly a very civilised and cultured people. To my great disappointment I never had opportunity to sit down with any and talk. I would have liked that a great deal and think I would have learned a lot from them. Perhaps one day I will be able to correct that.
  7. Charlie the sniper

    Charlie the sniper New Member

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    My Great Grandmother (maternal) was Cherokee, I don't know much about her, but I do have a photograph taken around the turn of the 20th century (now with my cousin, I will try to get it back and post a copy), she married my Great Grandfather a Scottish settler, who later returned back to Britain (Newcastle then later, Manchester). My Grandfather was a Reverend Minister and Dentist :rolleyes:??? I believe that there was a close relationship between the Scots and Cherokee, could anyone confirm this for me....Sorry to go off the post theme:eek:

    I have just received a copy of her photo, and her maiden name appears on the Cherokee register.

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Jun 15, 2009
  8. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    Tranter, my wife is half American Indian, and although she was mainly raised by her white grandparents, she is still fairly close to some of her native relatives. The few that I have gotten to know are mostly tribal elders and are very fine people. Unfortunately for their tribe, the early half of the 20th century saw a great deal of missionary activity and much of their language and culture was lost.

    The last major conflict in the area was the Modoc War of 1872-73. There is still some lingering resentment on the part of many tribal members. There were serious missteps on both sides leading up to the war, mostly on the part of the very distant Federal Government, and the aftermath was handled brutally by the Army and ultimately President Grant.
  9. Over the years I have had students from various Native American tribes in my classroom. That's not terribly surprising since there are many here in Colorado. I must agree with your assessment, Tranter. I found them to be extremely cultured individuals and passionate about their heritage. Always I noted an element of bitterness within that passion, which too is unsurprising considering all that occurred during the westward expansion of this nation. Needless to say, we had some most interesting discussions concerning the many instances of tragic conflict. I've always believed that the conflicts were due to a multitude of factors. They cannot be explained simplistically, white against red man. Instead, it was, I believe, a clash of two very dissimilar cultures, both caught up in a demographic dynamic neither was capable of controlling: Expansion of European settlement and acculturation westward, vs. a Native American way of life that could not be preserved within that context. In such cases conflict is inevitable, and one side or the other was doomed to fail. As Napoleon once said, "God fights on the side with the heaviest artillery." In this case that was the more technologically advanced white settlers. Please understand, that by no means excuses the unfair and indeed brutal methods that were so often used, but it does, I think, objectively address the overall historical dynamic that was taking place. Just my twopence worth. :D
  10. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    I couldn't have said it any better Pistol. The Indians would kill some settlers and run off the rest and think the war over. A month later more white men would move into the same area. Killing the buffalo and the constant migration of civilization conquered the Native Americans.

    It was a shame that their culture and heritage was almost completely destroyed, as I have always been fascinated with Indian history and heritage. At least after the ARM affair they began to rebuild their heritage and culture.


    Back to topic. Speaking of Indian Wars, can someone other than Pistol :D tell what were the main Army units were responsible for defeating the Apache?
  11. Artemus

    Artemus New Member

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    When I was a kid growing up in the 50's,I always rooted for the cowboys at the movies,however after learning the truth about the way the Indians were treated ,I root for them.
  12. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    You are exactly correct Pistol. In this conflict it was not the armies fielded that carried ultimate victory, it was the more efficient way of life. By that I mean where a European-American style agrarian based family could live on say 40+ acres, the same sized Native hunter/gatherer based family would require hundreds, if not thousands on acres to live. It was not the rifle that was the ultimate demise of the American Indian way of life, but the plow.
  13. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Ah the Modoc wars, tales of Captain Jack, Scareface Charlie and Hooker Jim. Surprised? Dont be, I took an interest once while in the area (c.1990) and decided to learn a bit. The murder of Gen. Canby (West Point 1838, killed I think 1873) while on a peace mission sticks in the mind. Bad move.
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 10, 2009
  14. Snakedriver

    Snakedriver New Member

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    My mother’s people were of Choctaw decent. My maternal great grandfather came to America from Ireland in the late 1850’s after the great famine there and worked building the nation’s new railroad system. Many of those workers took Native American brides while working in the Wild West. The 1900 census has my mom’s parents still living on the Choctaw Reservation in Oklahoma although they eventually moved just across the border into far western Arkansas in the early 1920’s.

    The Choctaw were one of the five “Civilized Tribes”, so called because they attempted to assimilate and adopt the white mans ways rather than fight them. Along with the Choctaw the other “civilized” tribes were the Cherokee, Muscogee, Chickasaw and Seminole. Most were peaceful farmers wanting nothing more than to be left alone. Their complacency was rewarded by forceful removal from their lands by U.S. authorities in the early 1800’s to Reservations in Oklahoma in a death march known as the “Trail of Tears” where many of them died from disease and starvation before arriving at their destination.

    The only ones of the “civilized tribes” that ever fought the U.S. was a small band if 500-900 Seminoles in Florida led by war Chief Oscela that succeeded in killing approx. 1,500 U.S. soldiers in their various battles. They never surrendered to the U.S. and their descendants in Florida still call themselves “The Unconquered People”. Their biggest victories over the white man were when oil was discovered in Oklahoma on Reservation land and then later when gambling casinos were allowed on the Reservations. The Seminoles of Florida now own the entire Hard Rock Hotel and Casinos chain. Tribe members share in the profits.
    Last edited: Jun 10, 2009
  15. Yup, southern Oregon and northern California, sometimes referred to as the Lava Beds War. The incident to which you refer is an excellent example of the retributive nature of the Native American vs. white settlers conflicts that took place all over the American West, Tranter. Here in Colorado we had the Hungate Massacre--most likely perpetrated by an Arapaho raiding party--in June 1864, which led inevitably to the Sand Creek Massacre of the Cheyenne by John Chivington's troops in November of that same year. Atrocity bread atrocity until neither side could remember who started it all. A sad commentary indeed on the human animal.
  16. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Most of my knowledge of the war comes from a book I picked up at an Indian museum in the area, 'Death in the Desert' by Paul Wellman. I still have it and re read it once in a while. The Indian wars (like many other) have been so distorted and mis represented over the last 50 odd years by Hollywood so as to bear little or no relationship with what really happened. I am about to start a new one on the Indian wars 'bury my heart at wounded knee'.
  17. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    You're exactly right Tranter, I'm impressed. Captain Jack, hanged along with five other Modoc leaders after the war, is something of a local folk hero in the Southern Oregon region. Gen. Edward Canby was the only general officer killed during the Indian Wars; while he was unarmed during the peace parlay in which he was killed, others from both parties were carrying concealed firearms. There are conflicting accounts of who was the first to start shooting but most say that it was Captain Jack. Regardless, both Captain Jack and General Canby were something of victims of circumstance and the incident was used as an excuse for much brutality and mistreatment of native peoples in that region for many years after.
  18. An excellent book to read, Tranter, though I would caution you to read it with an element of healthy skepticism firmly in mind. While it is interesting, and provides some excellent insight, it is also highly biased. Brown makes no effort to present any sort of balanced picture. In many ways, it is intended as an indictment of all government interactions with the Native American peoples, more a polemic than scholarly history. I read it back in my college days.
  19. kutaho

    kutaho New Member

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    The Outsider, Tony Curtis portrays Mr. Hayes. RIP
  20. TranterUK

    TranterUK Guest

    Shall do Pistol, Non the less I am sure it will contribute to my understanding of the Indian Wars.

    I ask myself why I am interested. After all, I have no relationship with the native Americans, not even Americans, apart from my Uncle Al (My late mothers side). A gangster gunman during prohibition, shipped to the UK for 'a spell', and stayed. Seriously, while dying we went to visit, I was a kid, and he told me he name of a hotel in NY, he said to find little Al and say I was Big Al's nephew, and I would be looked after. Obviously a few years too late by then.

    I think I just drifted myself! Thing is those museums I went too on the Indians. Home, faimily, hunting to eat and make clothes, respect for nature. I really liked the idea. Oddly my wife has Brasilian Indian blood, so my kids do now aswel. Go figure.
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