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Thread: Antebellum and post Civil War Native American troops and scouts ...

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    Senior Member West Texican's Avatar
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    Default Antebellum and post Civil War Native American troops and scouts ...

    I have always been interested in the history of the American West. Cowboys, Indians, cavalry, settlers, frontiersmen, mountainmen, etc. I find their stories so very interesting. I ran across this in the National Archives while looking for information on Native American army scouts. I haven't had time to read all of it yet or explore the resources but if you are interested in the subject these links give tips on how to find and research information on the subject. ... and a few good stories also.

    Researching U.S. Army Indian Scouts, 1866–1914

    A year after the fighting ended in the Civil War, Native Americans began serving as enlisted Indian Scouts in the U.S. Army. There were several types of scouts: those who enlisted as Indian Scouts for brief terms and those hired as scouts by the U.S. Army. Sometimes an individual may have served at different times as a hired scout and an enlisted scout, but never at the same time. In addition to enlisted and hired scouts, some Native Americans served in Regular Army infantry and cavalry regiments in short–lived Indian companies in the 1890s.
    http://www.archives.gov/publications...er/indian.html

    and...

    Native Americans in the Antebellum US Military

    Mentioning the U.S. military and American Indians together often brings to mind fierce and heart-wrenching battles between white soldiers and native warriors. But is this the whole picture? A review of selected records for soldiers who served during the Indian wars and disturbances from 1815 to 1858 shows that hundreds of Indians served in the military against their fellow Native Americans. In addition to serving in these wars, Native Americans served during the Revolutionary War and throughout the 19th century, almost exclusively in all-Indian units.

    http://www.archives.gov/publications...-military.html


    http://www.archives.gov/research/
    Last edited by West Texican; 03-12-2013 at 08:35 PM. Reason: forgot the last link

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    Mixed race soldiers who learned "native skills" like tracking were also used as scouts frequently. Some tribes had large amounts of soldiers and some of course had very little. (or none) From Cortez on, smaller tribes often joined up with the whities to get some on the larger tribes that had been in many cases kicking their asses for years. This was especially true in the Plains Wars against the Lakota.

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    Senior Member West Texican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by kevlar308 View Post
    Mixed race soldiers who learned "native skills" like tracking were also used as scouts frequently. ....
    One I know of was Billy Cross. Dustin Hoffman's character, Jack Crabb, in Little Big Man may have been based on him, not sure but he fits. There was a real Little Big man but he had no relation to the movie.

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    That sure was a fun movie. I haven't seen it for a long time, but I remember a really satisfying "what goes around, comes around" vibe.

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    West Texican,
    I am fuzzy on this because it has been a long time since I read anything on the scouts...but weren't some of the Indian scouts for the Army (in Texas) of the Seminole tribe? Seems to me the Seminoles were scouts and served in Texas, NM and Arizona with the army and the "Negro-Seminole" folks lived down around Del Rio and perhaps some across the border in Mexico? Seems I have seen some headstones of them, and some military citations for the scouts of that tribe in Texas literature.

    In the early days in TX, I am fairly sure the Army used "one tribe against another" as scouts, i.e. the Tonkawa as scouts against the Comanche and Kiowa etc. That may have been in the Republic days, or the CSA days, can't remember now.

    Like you I am a history nut and thrive on early day accounts of Indian battles, buffalo hunter stories and such. Have you read Goodbye to a River by John Graves? If not please try to grab a copy. Not 100% pure history but enough in there to make it well worth the read if you love the outdoors and history both.

    oh...just found some of the seminole-negro stuff on your first link:
    The files relating to Seminole Negro Indian Scouts who received the Medal of Honor can be found on roll 2 of Microfilm Publication M929, Documents Relating to the Military and Naval Service of Blacks Awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor From the Civil War to the Spanish–American War.

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    Senior Member West Texican's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by commanding View Post
    West Texican,
    I am fuzzy on this because it has been a long time since I read anything on the scouts...but weren't some of the Indian scouts for the Army (in Texas) of the Seminole tribe? Seems to me the Seminoles were scouts and served in Texas, NM and Arizona with the army and the "Negro-Seminole" folks lived down around Del Rio and perhaps some across the border in Mexico? Seems I have seen some headstones of them, and some military citations for the scouts of that tribe in Texas literature.

    In the early days in TX, I am fairly sure the Army used "one tribe against another" as scouts, i.e. the Tonkawa as scouts against the Comanche and Kiowa etc. That may have been in the Republic days, or the CSA days, can't remember now.

    Like you I am a history nut and thrive on early day accounts of Indian battles, buffalo hunter stories and such. Have you read Goodbye to a River by John Graves? If not please try to grab a copy. Not 100% pure history but enough in there to make it well worth the read if you love the outdoors and history both.

    oh...just found some of the seminole-negro stuff on your first link:
    I found this.

    [*******#514F26][FONT=Verdana]With an uncertain legal status and the prospects of re-enslavement, life for the Seminole blacks proved very precarious. Many of them fled to Mexico to live as free people. While in Mexico, they served the Mexican government who needed their service in countering Indian incursions and attacks. The Black Seminoles remained in Mexico until 1870 when the United States military officials in Texas invited them to return to the United States and serve as U.S. Army scouts. The Black Seminole Scouts, about fifty in number, served as skilled trackers and distinguished themselves in numerous military engagements. Their bravery was recognized and four Black Seminole Indian Scouts received the Congressional Medal of Honor. While the Black Seminole served the nation with honor, the government’s promise to provide the community food and land was never fulfilled. The unit was disbanded in 1881.[/FONT][/COLOR]
    http://www.blackpast.org/?q=aaw/texas-seminole-scouts

    These may have the Black Indians referred to in a tattered history book I remember reading years ago but I can't recall the title. It contained a passage about "Black Indians" that accompanied some Texas Rangers on a hunt for four Apaches who killed a Mexican mule driver. The driver was delivering whiskey which was as good as money in those days. At the time I read it I thought they were referring to Blackfoot Indians which no made sense because that would have been to far south for that tribe I would think. I never made the connection till your post.

    Amazon has [*******#3E3E3E]Goodbye to a River in Kindle format with glowing 5 star reviews so I ordered it. [/COLOR]

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