The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War eBook

This eBook from the Gutenberg Project consists of approximately 394 pages of information about The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War.
The general commanding has decided to march with his army against the enemy now invading the northeastern part of the State.  Upon you, therefore, will devolve the necessity of impeding his advance into this region.  It is not expected that you will give battle to a large force, but by felling trees, burning bridges, removing supplies of forage and subsistence, attacking his trains, stampeding his animals, cutting off his detachments, and other similar means, you will be able materially to harass his army and protect this region of country.  You must endeavor by every means to maintain yourself in the Territory independent of this army.  In case only of absolute necessity you may move southward.  If the enemy threatens to march through the Indian Territory or descend the Arkansas River you may call on troops from Southwestern Arkansas and Texas to rally to your aid.  You may reward your Indian troops by giving them such stores as you may think proper when they make captures from the enemy, but you will please endeavor to restrain them from committing any barbarities upon the wounded, prisoners, or dead who may fall into their hands.  You may purchase your supplies of subsistence from wherever you can most advantageously do so.  You will draw your ammunition from Little Rock or from New Orleans via Red River.  Please communicate with the general commanding when practicable.[82]

It was an elaborate programme but scarcely a noble one.  Its note of selfishness sounded high.  The Indians were simply to be made to serve the ends of the white men.  Their methods of warfare were regarded as distinctly inferior.  Pea Ridge was, in fact, the first and last time that they were allowed to participate in the war on a big scale.  Henceforth, they were rarely ever anything more than scouts and skirmishers and that was all they were really fitted to be.

[Footnote 81:  Official Records, vol. viii, 282, 790; vol. liii, supplement, 796.]

[Footnote 82:—­Ibid., vol. viii, 795-796.]

II.  LANE’S BRIGADE AND THE INCEPTION OF THE INDIAN

The Indian Expedition had its beginnings, fatefully or otherwise, in “Lane’s Kansas Brigade.”  On January 29, 1861, President Buchanan signed the bill for the admission of Kansas into the Union and the matter about which there had been so much of bitter controversy was at last professedly settled; but, alas, for the peace of the border, the radicals, the extremists, the fanatics, call them what one may, who had been responsible for the controversy and for its bitterness, were still unsettled.  James Lane was chief among them.  His was a turbulent spirit and it permitted its owner no cessation from strife.  With President Lincoln’s first call for volunteers, April 15, 1861, Lane’s martial activities began.  Within three days, he had gathered together a company of warriors,[83] the nucleus, psychologically speaking, of what was to be his notorious, jayhawking, marauding brigade.  His enthusiasm was infectious.  It communicated itself to reflective men like Carl Schurz[84] and was probably the secret of Lane’s

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The American Indian as Participant in the Civil War from Project Gutenberg. Public domain.
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