The American Indian in the Great War:
Real and Imagined


Diane Camurat


The Road to War:

"Friendlies" before 1917

Put in your history books the Indian's part in the World War. Tell how the Indian fought for a country of which he was not a citizen, for a flag to which he had no claim, and for a people that have treated him unjustly. We ask this, Chief, to keep sacred the memory of our people.

Grand Council Fire of American Indians to the mayor of Chicago, December 1, 1927.(1)


Part I: The Road to WWI


In considering the background of the American Indian presence in WWI, three complementary questions are pursued in this section. First, why did American Indians fight against the U.S. government for their rights on the one hand and, on the other, fight to defend this same government? Secondly, is there an explanation for this to be found in the situation of Native Americans in the decades preceding the Great War? Finally, where does both the identification of the American Indian soldier with a Plains Indian warrior stereotype and the use of Plains Indian insignia to represent the American military engagement in the Great War come from?

Pine Ridge, Summer 1891, 1st Lt. John J. Pershing, far left, 6th Cavalry, given command of a troop of Oglala soldiers.





Alliances between American Indian tribes existed before the arrival of Europeans, even if they were based more on mutual understanding and sympathy than on military design. It was not hard for Indian tribes to extend this principle to the first small colonies of Europeans. Such alliances were at first the expression of the American Indians' will to establish a relationship with people who seemed unable to care for themselves.(2) It was not long, however, before this concept of an alliance became distorted under the influence of Europeans, and European trade in particular. Fur trade between European fishermen and Indians of the Labrador coast began as early as the 16th century and grew with the arrival and increasing numbers of colonists.(3)

The more the fur trade developed, the more the wars between the American Indians increased along with the alliances they made with Europeans in order to obtain firearms or military support. Robert M. Utley gives an overall view of this phenomenon:

First [the Europeans'] presence strengthened stratified political systems and thus the organization to make war. Second, they crowded groups into the traditional ranges of other groups. Third, they gave rise to territorial ambitions in groups hitherto content with their own areas of occupation, for now Indians killed game not only for their own needs but to pile up hides and furs for barter with the whites.(4)

While Europeans showed favor to some tribes by turning them into fur trade "middle men," in human terms they limited their interchange with indigenous peoples to commercial relations. In accepting this new "European" form of relationship, American Indians quickly found themselves in competition with each other. By focusing their activities on hunting for trade purposes, they began to lose their economic autonomy and become increasingly dependent on European goods. Alliances with Europeans against other tribes now became a matter of survival.(5)

Military alliances­formal or less formal­between Indian tribes and Euro-Americans are to be found in nearly all the conflicts that took place on the United States territory, from colonial times to the Civil War. It would take far too long to enumerate all these alliances. I will therefore pick a few representative examples.


1. Friends and Allies

1.1. Friends

In the different American Indian cultures, individuals had a great deal of freedom of action. Making friends with a person within­or outside­of the tribe usually meant the establishment of a strong and binding relationship. In September 1912, Richard Nines, a White man brought up with the Oglalas, reported what an Oglala man said about friendship:

Speaking of friendship in the Indian sense this Indian speaks of his having a friend [kola] once who would continually ask him for favors and he always freely granted them, for whatever belonged to him was virtually the property of his friend, and that he slept with him in the same blanket when they happened to be out together...(6)

Once an American Indian had succeeded in establishing a relationship with a European­which was a hard task­, he did everything he could to maintain it. This could go as far as warning friends of an attack from the people of his own tribe. Such an attitude had nothing to do with treason and it was not considered as such by his people. It was just a high testimony of friendship. In 1819, the Moravian missionary John Heckewelder wrote:

I could fill many pages with examples of Indian friendship and fidelity, not only to each other, but to men of other nations and of a different colour than themselves. How often, when wars were impending between them and the whites, have they not forewarned those among our frontier settlers whom they thought well disposed towards them, that dangerous times were at hand, and advised them to provide for their own safety, regardless of the jealousy which such conduct might excite among their own people?(7)

John Heckewelder then recounted the story of the missionary Zeisberger who, when attacked by a party of "Mingoes" was saved by two Delawares who did so because "he was a friend of their nation and was considered by them as a good man."(8)

Friendship was not the exclusive attribute of men. In May 1856 for example, two Rogue River Indian (Southern Oregon) women warned Captain Andrew Jackson Smith that their tribe intended to ambush him and his troops.(9)

1.2. Allies

1.2.1. Inter-Indian Alliances before the Europeans

The Iroquois Confederacy

The date of creation of the Iroquois Confederacy is not known exactly­between 1400 and 1600 A.D. for Francis Jennings,(10) "probably about A.D. 1500" for William N. Fenton,(11) about A.D. 1450 for Peter Matthiessen, who draws his information from anthropologists, and even earlier according to the Iroquois themselves.(12) The sources on which historians base their research are archaeological data, the accounts of early European visitors, and Iroquois oral tradition.(13)

According to these three different sets of information, the Confederacy, or League of Five Nations, or League of Ho-de-no-sau-nee, was created at the initiative of Deganawidah, the Huron prophet and "Peacemaker," and Hiawatha, a Mohawk.(14) At a time of continual warfare between the tribes of present-day upstate New York, Deganawidah and Hiawatha convinced the different chiefs of the Mohawks, Oneidas, Onondagas, Cayugas, and Senecas to unite.(15) The unclarity concerning the date of creation of the League, and the 16th-century contacts between French explorers and American Indian tribes of the Saint Lawrence­just northeast of the Iroquois country16)­make it quite plausible that the Confederacy was created after the period of general contact between Europeans and Native Americans in North America and therefore could have been a consequence of these early contacts.(17) However, evidence of trade and homogenous material culture in the area date back to the 15th century,(18) proving that even if the Confederacy had not been formally organized by this time, at least an important network of intercultural exchange did exist. The political organization of the Confederacy was complex, its basic units being the Longhouse and the clans. The chiefs of the clans, chosen by the women, gathered once a year to decide of the general policies for the year to come. Yet, the council had no executive nor binding authority and each individual retained great liberty of action.(19)

The Powhatan Confederacy

According to Stephen R. Potter, the Powhatan "chiefdom" was created in the 1570s, around the personality of a paramount chief from the Pamunkey tribe, Wahunsonacock, called Powhatan by the English colonists. By the end of the 16th century, Wahunsonacock controlled fourteen Algonquian chiefdoms between the falls of the James River and York River, and the Chesapeake Bay. It seems that the social rank of the different chiefs­the "werowances"­was maintained through the accumulation of wealth, resulting from a "hierarchical system of tribute."(20) Yet, exactly in the same way as for the Iroquois Confederacy, it is likely that momentum for the creation of the Powhatan chiefdom was given by the early period of contact between American Indians and first explorers of the American Atlantic coast. In 1612, John Smith wrote in his "Map of Virginia with a Description of the Country, the Commodities, People, Government and Religion" that the priests of the Powhatan chiefdom had warned Wahunsonacock that "from the Chesapeack Bay a Nation should arise, which should dissolve and give end to his Empire."(21)

It is interesting to note that both the Iroquois and the Powhatan Confederacies may well have been created after indirect European contact, out of a need to strengthen unity threatened by a coming cultural danger. Apart from these two confederacies and the Creek Confederacy in the Southwest­which might also have resulted from indirect contact with early Spanish explorers( 22)­, most tribes were independent.

1.2.2. From Colonial Times to the War of 1812

The Pequot War, 1636-1637

Most of the tribes of New England, because of their small size and of their losses to epidemics,(23) were already quite weak when the Puritans arrived, so that the latter had an easy time subduing them. Nonetheless, one of these tribes­the Pequots­resisted English cultural and commercial domination.(24) Actually, once again trade was at the root of military warfare because the Pequot were working for the Dutch, thus becoming not only the enemies of the Puritans but also those of the tribes who traded with the Puritans. The latter were not long in asserting their superiority over the Pequots. Captain John Mason, with an army of 80 colonists and a group of Mohegan allies, killed 7 Pequots. Realizing that they needed more men to attack the Pequots, Mason succeeded in rallying the support of several hundred Narragansets under Miantinomo and the Niantics under Ninigret. In May 1637, the combined Indian-colonist forces attacked the two main Pequot villages on the Mystic River slaughtering more than 600 people.(25) The native allies of the colonists, according to John Underhill who recounted the massacre, cried out "It is naught, it is naught, because it is too furious, and slays too many men."(26) Sassacus, the sachem of the Pequots, along with several other survivors, managed to escape to Mohawk territory where they were beheaded by the Mohawks whose wish in so doing was probably to establish good relations with the British.(27)

King Philip's War, 1675-1676

From the beginning of their settlement, Plymouth colonists received land, food, and protection against other tribes from the Wampanoag and their chief Massasoit. Yet, epidemics, land grabbing, missionary zeal, and growing economic dependency rapidly contributed to the deterioration of Indian-White relations. The first armed conflict occurred in 1675, four years after Metacom­or "King Philip"­had replaced his father Massassoit as sachem of the Wampanoag. The Nipmuc and the Narraganset joined Metacom in the fight, along with warriors from other tribes. However, the colonists were more numerous, had more firearms, and benefited from the armed support of their American Indian allies­Mohegans, Niantics, Sakonnets, and Massachusets. The Iroquois also widely contributed to the success of the colonists when they drove the Wampanoag out of their hiding place of Albany.(28)

The Covenant Chain

The term Covenant Chain first appeared in the records in 1677 at Albany, when a "multiparty alliance" was created, gathering the Iroquois and their tributaries on one side and New York and other colonies on the other side. The Covenant Chain was mainly intended to counter the French trading network of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Valley and indeed, from 1677 to 1701, the Five Nations were constantly at war with the French. The American Indian nations did not give up their sovereignty at all through the Covenant Chain. On the contrary: it was a loose alliance where participants and joint efforts varied and were renewed from time to time. This alliance was therefore much in the tradition of the Iroquois Confederacy, where there was no supranational binding authority. Each member of the alliance could freely leave the alliance if he did not agree with the general policy. It is no coincidence then if the end of the Covenant Chain coincided with the growing authority assumed by the Iroquois over the other Indian members of the Chain in the 1720s. Discontent grew among the Indian allies which led many of them, like the Shawnees, to leave the alliance by simply going West.(29)

The French and Indian War, 1754-1763

At the beginning of this undeclared war, the French obtained much American Indian support after a show of force resulting from the construction of several forts in the Ohio and Erie regions. Their allies were members of the Ottawa, Algonkin, Wyandot, Nipissing, Ojibway, Potawatomi, Sauk, Shawnee, Seneca, and Delaware tribes. In July 1754, with the help of their Native American allies, the French force succeeded in forcing the surrender of 22-year-old Major George Washington along with his militiamen and Mingo allies at Fort Necessity.(30)

Until 1758, the French and their numerous Native American allies dominated the conflict. Meanwhile, William Johnson was still making great efforts to enlist Iroquois support, but only Chief Hendrick's Mohawks would come to his aid, helping him to repel the French at Lake George. It was a bitter victory, however, since Hendrick was killed during this battle where his Mohawks had to fight against their Iroquois brethren. From 1758 on, French troops suffered from repeated attacks from Johnson and his Mohawk allies, who eventually caused Montreal to surrender in 1758.(31)

The Treaty of Paris was signed in 1763(32) and the disappearance of France as a major colonial force in North America meant difficult times for American Indian tribes­the former allies of the French, of course, but also of the English, since England no longer had a European enemy to fight and thus no longer needed allies.

The American Revolution, 1775-1783

During the War of Independence, most American Indian tribes sided with the Loyalists. There were several reasons for this. First, most of the Native Americans' grievances came from encroachment of settlers and abuses of the traders who had now become the rebels. Second, England promised the American Indians they would continue to supply them with trade goods and, third, that they would keep their land under the Royal Proclamation of 1763.(33) The colonists immediately understood that they should secure neutrality­if not cooperation­from the American Indians and the Continental Congress drafted a talk to be delivered to the tribes of their districts by the commissioners: "This is a family quarrel between us and Old England. You Indians are not concerned in it. We don't wish you to take up the hatchet against the king's troops. We desire you to remain at home, and not join on either side, but keep the hatchet buried deep."(34)

In July 1777, British and Iroquois delegates met at Oswego, New York. There, under the influence of pro-British Mohawk Joseph Brant, the Mohawks, Onondagas, Cayugas and Senecas decided to side with the English forces. The Oneidas and Tuscaroras, influenced by a Presbyterian missionary, chose the Americans' side. Fighting on opposite camps led to an Iroquoian civil war that devastated their home country during 1778 and 1779.(35)

American Indians of the Old Northwest were also involved in the fight, most of them on the Loyalist side. From 1780 to 1782, predominantly American Indian armies were sent against American settlements from Detroit down to Kentucky­Shawnees, Wyandots, Chickasaws, Delawares. In the Southeast, the Cherokees threw their entire support on the side of the English forces, while the Chickasaws, Choctaws and Creeks helped them, although less wholeheartedly.(36)

When the Treaty of Paris was signed in 1783, the Native Americans did not enter into consideration in the negotiations. The British did not even bother to present them as their allies and as the proprietors of the land. In the end, all the American Indian tribes, whether former English allies­the majority­or American supporters were branded enemies in the young nation's collective mind.(37)

The War of 1812

With the new republic came a new tool in dealing with the American Indian­the treaty, signed between the United States and an American Indian nation, and then ratified by the Senate. The first treaties were signed in 1785-1786 with the Cherokees, Chickasaws and Choctaws, in 1789 with the northwest Indians and in 1790 with the Creeks. Through this operation, the United States and the American Indian nation became "allies." The treaties, as well as the laws regulating the trade that soon accompanied them, were thus intended to eliminate the two main reasons for which most Indians had fought alongside the British in the War of Independence.(38)

Nonetheless, English traders continued to exercise much influence among the American Indians while American traders often tried to cheat them and settlers continued to encroach on Indian lands. When war broke out between the British and the Americans, the British rapidly saw the advantage of an alliance with Tecumseh, the Shawnee chief who had rallied dozens of tribes under the certainty that unity was the only solution for Native Americans against land-hungry settlers.(39) Tecumseh was made a brigadier general in the British army and given a uniform that he wore with a red bonnet and an eagle feather.(40)

Tecumseh, along with his Shawnees, the Creeks, Potawatomis, Chippewas, etc., was responsible for many of the early British victories. British officials had promised them an Indian country in the Great Lakes region.(41) Fighting on the American side were, among others, Choctaws, Cherokees,42) and Senecas­the latter having been encouraged by Red Jacket to clear the British from the Niagara area. But mistakes made by English officers kept Tecumseh from attaining his goal and Britain from taking advantage of its Indian allies. Tecumseh was killed at the Battle of the Thames River in October 1813.(43)

Also very important in the ultimate failure of Tecumseh's dream of unity was the fact that his American Indian troops did not feel definitely bound to him. As we saw earlier with the Iroquois Confederacy and the Covenant Chain, Indian tribes and individuals always kept open the possibility of leaving the alliance if they judged it was the best thing to do. In August 1813, a third of Tecumseh's warriors left when they learned that William Henry Harrison, the United States brigadier general, would soon arrive with his army.(44)

With the end of the War of 1812, the Native American tribes lost their ability to play one power against the other. Apart from the Mexican War in 1846-1848­--when some Pueblos allied with the Mexican forces(45)­--and the Civil War in 1861-1865, it marked the end of the practice of whole tribes allying with or against the United States. Of course, American Indians would continue to ally with the United States on an individual basis, which we will later see when dealing with scouts and police.

1.2.3. The Civil War, 1861-1865

Most members of the Five Civilized Tribes­and of Indian Territory­"chose" the Confederate side during the Civil War. First, these tribes were dominated by mixed-bloods and many of them were slave-owners. Second, their geographic position made it hard for them to stay neutral, especially for the Choctaws and Chickasaws, caught as they were between Texas and Arkansas. The Seminoles, Creeks and Cherokees, on the other hand, were further north, which enabled the Cherokees to chose the North's side, at least for a while. Third, most of the Indian department officials in the Indian Territory were southerners from Texas and Arkansas. Finally, much of the tribes' money was invested in southern stocks and bonds.(46)

The Confederacy rapidly saw the interest of rallying American Indian support. After the Congress of the Confederacy had passed an act annexing the Indian Territory to the Confederacy on May 17, 1861, a special agent, Albert Pike, was named to go and sign treaties with the American Indians by which they transferred their allegiance to the Confederacy, agreeing to offensive and defensive alliances. Pike played on the American Indians' fears of loss of their lands and promised them that slavery would be recognized, that they would own land in fee simple, that no territorial government would be exercised on them without their agreement, and that the Confederacy would honor the annuities derived from treaties signed with the United States.(47)

The Creeks signed on July 10, 1861, the Choctaws on July 12, and the Seminoles on August 1. Pike also signed treaties with the Quapaws, Senecas and Great Osages. John Ross, the leader of the Cherokee tribe, stood firm in his decision to keep the tribe's neutrality until October 7. At this date, under the pressure of the southern faction led by Stand Watie and his nephew Elias C. Boudinot, John Ross chose to sign a treaty with the Confederacy rather than endanger the unity of the Cherokee nation.(48)

The Confederacy recruited military units among the American Indians who thus became regulars in the rebel army­this I will deal with later when I speak of Indian regulars. But the conflicts between southern and northern sympathizers rapidly grew in importance in Indian Territory. Opothleyohola fled north to Kansas with 6 to 8,000 Creeks where they were joined by other refugees refusing to fight for the South.(49) After the defeat inflicted by the Union troops on Missouri rebels in July 1862, 15,000 Cherokees joined the federal forces.(50)

The result of the Civil War for the Indian Territory tribes was disastrous: all the economic and social progress made before the war was crushed by several years of guerrilla warfare and factionalism. And whether they had fought on the Southern side or had stayed neutral, all American Indians were considered as traitors to the Northern cause, and treated as such.(51)

The Five Civilized Tribes were not the only ones to take sides during the Civil War. The Caddos, Wichitas, Osages, Shawnees, Delawares, Senecas, and Quapaws chose to fight with the Union.(52) The Pimas, a tribe who lived from agriculture in Arizona, not only sent some of its men to defeat Confederate troops in Arizona but also provided much of the fresh supplies for the western front of the Civil War.53)


2. Scouts

"To polish a diamond there is nothing like its own dust."
General George Crook, 1886.(54)

American Indian scouts often played a decisive role in the armed conflicts fought by the United States. During the colonial period, they were considered as part of the help given by American Indian allies. Yet from the American Indian viewpoint, there was not much difference between the alliance of the whole tribe and the alliance of individuals since individuals had always been free to act according to what they thought was best.

My analysis will be essentially based on General Crook's Apache scouts since he was the one who systematically relied on scouts in his military expeditions. Many other military men used scouts, but on a smaller scale, and they did not publicize it as much as Crook.

2.1. Enlisting Indian Scouts: Military Efficiency and the "Civilizing" Process

Although the federal army never officially adapted its conventional tactics to the guerrilla tactics of the Indian wars, American Indian scouts were widely used as guides and trailers by officers, and especially by General George Crook during the Apache Wars.(55)

General Crook began enlisting Apache scouts in 1872-1873 because the vast stretches of land of the New Mexican and Arizonan Southwest­where Crook's troops were trying to overcome the Apaches­were their homeland. Writing in 1886 about the Indian wars, J.P. Dunn summed it up: "[the Apache scouts] knew the country as well as the others, and could interpret all their signals, besides being adepts in the ruses of Apache warfare."(56)

In 1886, General George Crook told a reporter that:

"[The Apache] don't fear the white soldiers, whom they easily surpass in the peculiar style of warfare which they force upon us, but put upon their trail an enemy of their own blood, an enemy as tireless, as foxy, and as stealthy and familiar with the country as they themselves, and it breaks them all up. It is not merely a question of catching them better with Indians, but of a broader and more enduring aim­their disintegration."(57)

General Crook later acknowledged the crucial importance of his Chiricahua Apache scouts who allowed him to find­and General Miles to arrest­Geronimo: "Without the use of the scouts, the surrender of the Chiricahua in 1883 would have been impossible. Without them, the surrender of the whole body of hostiles in March, 1886, could not have taken place."(58)

Despite Crook's enthusiastic comments on his American Indian scouts and other successful experiences, American Indian scouts never gained favor among line officers. Some of them were opposed to the idea on racial grounds and others argued that the language problems would demoralize the Native Americans. General Sheridan, for example was strictly opposed to Crook's heavy reliance on Indian scouts.(59)

Nonetheless, in July 1866, Congress authorized the recruitment of 1,000 "friendly" Indians as scouts. The year after, General Halleck, commander of the Pacific division, asked for 1,000 Indian scouts and was followed by Christopher C. Augur, heading the Department of the Platte who wanted 1,200 Indian scouts. William Tecumseh Sherman, commanding the Missouri Division finally called for 2,000 Indian scouts:

"If we can convert the wild Indians into a species of organized cavalry, it accomplishes a double purpose, in taking them out of the temptation of stealing and murdering, and will accustom them to regular habits and discipline, from which they will not likely depart when discharged."(60)

Two years before the beginning of Ulysses Grant's Peace Policy, Sherman's justification of the recruitment of American Indian scouts in the army foreshadowed the winning of humanitarian positions over military ones in Indian policy. It was also a way for Sherman to underscore­if not completely dissimulate­the decisive role of American Indian scouts by saying that the experience was only good for them.

Indeed, General Crook's idea when he enlisted Apache scouts was not only a military one. He also saw scouting as a way to civilize the Apaches. Lieutenant Bourke explained Crook's method:

By the Crook method of dealing with the Savage he was, at the outset, detribalized without knowing it he was individualized and made the better able to enter the civilization of the Caucasian, which is an individual civilization (...) As a result, the Apache was enlisted as an individual he was made responsible for all that he did or did not.(61)

Although the Apache scout was not enlisted "as an individual" since the army rapidly noticed that they were more effective if the companies were organized according to clan membership,(62) the army actually justified its non-too-orthodox reliance on Indian scouts by publicizing the good effect it could have on them. The contradiction of employing American Indian scouts for their "Indian" qualities and pretending that the experience would "civilize" them did not seem to bother the army.

In March 1891, young John J. Pershing, who was first lieutenant of the 6th Cavalry, had been given command of a troop of Oglala soldiers enlisted at Pine Ridge for six months. In his memoirs, Pershing noted that "the enlistment offered an opportunity to discipline the Indians, and win their confidence."63) Having noted that each American Indian held a hierarchic position in his tribe, Pershing also tried to respect these relative positions in the rank he gave to each soldier. The outcome was successful from a White man's perspective: the soldiers learned to speak English, learned "military courtesy," and performed good field work. However, by the end of the six-month experiment, no more money was forthcoming to continue and young Pershing, future commanding general of the American Expeditionary Forces in France during the Great War, left for a new assignment.64)

2.2. Enlisting as an Indian Scout

For Native Americans, enlisting as a scout in the army was often a way to better defeat traditional Indian enemies and to be able to remain on their homeland. Curly, a Crow scout who is known for having served with General Custer and having survived his Last Stand, explained to Joseph K. Dixon why he had been a scout. It was in October 1907 at a council held on the Crow Reservation:

I was a friend of General Custer. I was one of his scouts, and will say a few words. The Great Father in Washington sent you here about this land. The soil you see is not ordinary soil­it is the dust of the blood, the flesh, and bones of our ancestors. We fought and bled and died to keep other Indians from taking it, and we fought and bled and died helping the whites. You will have to dig down through the surface before you can find nature's earth, as the upper portion is Crow. The land, as it is, is my blood and my dead it is consecrated, and I do not want to give up any portion of it.(65)

For Curly, as for so many other Native Americans of whom we have oratories,(66) losing the land on which they lived meant losing their identity­it meant death. The land was the place they were born on, it was made of the animals and plants they had lived from and with the rivers they had drunk from, the trees and stones they had made their pipes from, the earth they were building their houses from, etc. "As long as the sun shines and the waters flow, this land will be here to give life to men and animals. We cannot sell the lives of men and animals therefore we cannot sell this land."(67) They could not sell the land because the land was part of them as well as they were part of the land. And if the ones who were threatening to dislodge them were American Indians more than Whites, they did not hesitate to fight alongside Whites against Native Americans.

For example, the Northern Shoshonis of Wyoming and Montana were traditional enemies of the Sioux and thus some of them enlisted as scouts in the army to fight the Sioux.(68) The Osages were traditional enemies of the Kiowas, Comanches and other Plains tribes. As such, they regularly served as army scouts, especially in Sheridan's Campaign of 1868-1869, during which they led Custer's Seventh Cavalry to Black Kettle's village on the Washita.(69) The Pawnees were the traditional enemies of the Sioux. In 1866-1870 Frank and Luther North organized a battalion of Pawnee scouts.(70) On July 11, 1869, at Summit Springs, the 5th Cavalry of Major Carr attacked a camp of Cheyenne Dog Soldiers. Along with a White scout, William F. (Buffalo Bill) Cody, he had with him a contingent of Pawnee Indian scouts led by Major Frank North.(71)

The Crow, Curly among them, served as scouts in the army. Chief Plenty Coups encouraged his people to help the army because "when the war is over, the soldier-chiefs will not forget that the Crows came to their aid."(72) And it is no doubt that the services rendered by the Crow to the American army were remembered when old Plenty Coups was chosen, in 1921, to represent all Native Americans at the consecration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.(73) Joseph K. Dixon gave his own interpretation of the reasons why the Crow served as scouts: "they had never taken up arms against the whites [and] all the neighboring tribes battled against the Crows for the conquest of their land."(74)

Yet, some scouts who had already lost their lands fought for the American Army. General Crook for example, recruited his Apache scouts in the reservations. In the 1870s, life at the San Carlos Apache reservation was miserable, not only because of the unbearable heat, the insects, and the lack of water, but also because the Apache "could no longer pursue their former means of obtaining nutrition, and the rations were insufficient and unreliable."(75) In this context, it is no wonder that some Apache chose to enlist­or agreed to enlist when asked to­in order to provide themselves with a means of subsistence and also as a way to escape the confinement of reservation life.


3. Indian Police and Regulars

3.1. Indian Police

As soon as reservations were created, military troops were given authority to maintain order. However, in 1877, Commissioner of Indian Affairs Ezra A. Hayt, inspired by the example of Canada, urged the creation of a system of Indian police under the orders of the agents to replace the military on reservations. It would "materially aid in placing the entire Indian population of the country on the road to civilization." On May 27, 1878, Congress voted $30,000 to pay for 430 privates at $5 a month and fifty officers at $8 a month. By the end of 1878, thirty agencies had an Indian police force, 40 of them had one in 1880 and 59 in 1890.(76)

The success of the implantation of these forces can be partly explained by the fact that they often replaced tribal soldier societies that used to have the same kind of law-and-order task.(77) This is especially true for the Lakota, where the Akicita societies played a very important role. According to Thomas Tyon, one of the Lakota men James Riley Walker interviewed when he was the physician at the Pine Ridge Reservation from 1896 to 1914, an akicita was the "highest officer of a camp. Everyone in the camp is subordinate to the akicita. He is like a policeman and a judge and a jailer and an executioner."(78)

Even if similar, the task of policeman at the service of the White man was a deformation of the traditional role of the akicita. The Indian policemen were not chosen by the camp council but by reservation authorities and they thus represented White interests. This led to tragedies like the one that happened on December 15, 1890, when 43 Indian police of the Standing Rock Reservation followed Agent McLaughlin's orders to surround Sitting Bull's cabin. In the confusion that followed his arrest, Sitting Bull was killed by two of the policemen, Bull Head and Red Tomahawk.(79)

In 1878, Captain William G. Dougherty, agent for the Crow Creek and Lower Brûlé agencies in Dakota territory created an Indian police force. Afraid to act against their fellow brothers, this police force stayed around the agency, doing nothing other than collecting their pay, which led Dougherty to dismiss it and create another one in early 1879. When White Thunder, a chief of the Rosebud Upper Brûlés came to visit the Lower Brûlés he told the latter that they should not accept such a White-ruled police force. Not long after, 150 warriors went to the houses of Dougherty's policemen at the agency, breaking doors and windows, and shooting ponies and hogs. The next day, the whole police force "resigned in a body."(80)

3.2. American Indian Regulars

3.2.1. The Civil War

American Indian Soldiers in the Confederate Troops

All the tribes in the Indian Territory contributed troops to the Confederacy.(81) Three Choctaw-Chickasaw regiments, one Creek regiment, one Creek-Seminole regiment, two Cherokee regiments­including Stand Watie's­fought at the Battle of Pea Ridge, Arkansas, in March 1862. Winning the battle, the Union troops drove into Indian Territory, prompting the Cherokees to defect from Confederate troops by the hundreds.(82) In autumn 1862, 2,200 men led by Colonel Downing, second chief of the Cherokee nation, deserted the rebel cause and decided to fight on the Union side.(83) It was only after John Ross had been taken prisoner that he surrendered to Unionists. He continued to serve his nation from Philadelphia, as an emissary to the U.S. government.(84)

In July 1863, the Battle of Honey Spring was a decisive defeat for the Confederate Cherokees, Creeks and Seminoles who fled southward to the Choctaw-Chickasaw country, and even to Texas. There, they formed camps resembling those of their loyalist brothers who had fled to Kansas.(85)

Meanwhile, Stand Watie, who formerly was one of the Cherokees who had advocated removal and who were opposed to the Principal Chief John Ross, had set up a rival government with himself as chief. He continued to fight with the Confederates and was soon accused of guerrilla atrocities. In 1864, he was made a brigadier general and was the last Confederate general to surrender, two months after Appomattox, on June 23, 1865.(86)

American Indian Soldiers Fighting with the Union

While the American Indian part in the Confederate Army is quite well known, nothing much exists on American Indian soldiers fighting with the Union Army. Fortunately, Laurence M. Hauptman has just written a book on the Iroquois in the Civil War, which at least makes it possible to consider the Iroquois.(87)

The most famous Native American soldier of the Union army was Colonel Ely S. Parker, a chief of the Senecas­Do-ne-ho-ga-wa, or Keeper of the Western Door­who had actively fought in the 1850s to defend the Senecas against the loss of land consequent to the 1838 Treaty of Buffalo Creek. He served in the Union Army as assistant adjutant general, division engineer, and military secretary to General Ulysses S. Grant. By the end of the war, he had been promoted to the rank of brigadier general. He wrote the terms of Lee's army's surrender at Appomatox under Grant's dictation. Grant appointed him Commissioner of Indian Affairs in 1869.(88)

"Grant's Indian," as Ely Parker was often called, was not the only Iroquois soldier who served in the Civil War. The most famous Iroquois unit was the so-called Tuscarora Company, or D Company of the 132d New York Volunteer Infantry, which gathered 25 Iroquois farmers of western New York. Twelve Iroquois volunteers, unwilling to wait for New York authorities to decide if the Iroquois could enlist or not, signed up in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, and served in the Company K of the 57th Pennsylvania Volunteer Infantry. Motivations for these New York Iroquois volunteers were diverse: military service offered an escape from the climate of political factionalism on the reservations. At the same time, most Iroquois felt that, through the treaties they had signed with the United States as an independent nation, they were morally obligated to help their ally in case of military aggression.(89) Lieutenant Cornelius C. Cusick, a Peace Chief of the Turtle Clan, born on the Tuscarora Reservation in 1835, served in the Tuscarora Company. After the war, he received a commission as second lieutenant and served for the next twenty-five years on the trans-Mississippi West: in 1868, he was wounded by a war club while fighting against the Sioux, in 1876-77, he served under General Nelson A. Miles in the Sioux War, and in the late 1870s, he fought in the Ute War.(90)

The story of the Iroquois soldiers from the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin who served in the 14th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry was quite different. Having been removed from their homeland in New York, being under the pressures of land-hungry settlers in Wisconsin, and politically divided, the Oneidas were at best reluctant to serve in the Union troops. Yet, as the Civil War dragged on and with the demand for soldiers increasing, Wisconsinites began to see the Oneida as potential replacement soldiers. When the bounty system became widespread after October 1863, between 111 and 142 Oneida enlisted, motivated both by the $300 they were offered and by the fact that military service was "a way out of their desperate economic condition." At least 46 Oneida soldiers died during the war, either killed in action, missing in action, or victims of disease.(91)

3.2.2. The 1891-1897 Experience

On April 1, 1891, the Indian Office received notice from the Army that Indian soldiers were to be enlisted in the Regular Army and that local Indian Office agents should provide help to the Army in the process of raising Indian companies. The Office rapidly specified that those Indians who would enlist in the Regular Army would not lose their "right to lands, annuities, and other assistance furnished by this bureau in fulfillment of treaties."(92)

In 1918 Secretary of War Newton D. Baker, while American Indians were being enlisted as soldiers for the Great War, referred to this preceding experience:

The plan of using Indian organizations in the Army is not a new one and was given thorough, practical trial in 1891, when the recruitment of one company in each of nineteen regiments of infantry and one troop in each of eight regiments of cavalry from various Indian tribes, recruited in the immediate vicinity of their organization was ordered.(93)

As underlined by Newton Baker, the Indian units, though segregated at the company level, were integrated in White regiments, unlike the Afro-Americans who were at this time part of the separate Ninth and Tenth Cavalry and Twenty-Fourth and Twenty-Fifth Infantry.(94)

Although promising as a process to assimilate American Indians, the operation was discontinued six years after its inception. The main reason was that some officers never accepted the fact that American Indians might happen to give orders to White soldiers. Hugh L. Scott, Captain in the 1890s and Chief of Staff of the Army in 1917, participated in this experience at Fort Sill, Indian Territory, where he commanded the last American Indian unit, Troop L of the Seventh Cavalry. In 1917, while the question over integrating American Indians in the military was being debated, Major General Hugh L. Scott recalled how much the American Indians of his L Troop had suffered from prejudice in the War Department. Added to racism was also the severe discipline and the long stays in camps away from homeland and families.(95)

3.2.3. American Indian Soldiers Abroad, 1898-1916

With the end of the Indian Wars and the official closing of the frontier in 1890,(96) the United States turned abroad to pursue its manifest destiny. Many of the officers and soldiers who served in the army between 1898 and 1916 were former "Indian fighters" and applied abroad the same warfare techniques they had used during the Indian wars.97) In 1900, a soldier from Kansas serving in the Philippines said that the Filipinos would not "be pacified until the niggers are killed off like the Indians."(98) Ironically enough, American Indian soldiers enlisted in the army during this period and fought alongside their former enemy.

Although I was not able to ascertain how many American Indians enlisted in the army between 1898 and 1916, I did find some examples of their service in the four major military involvements of the United States during this period­the Spanish-American War of 1898, the Filipino Insurrection of 1899-1901, the Boxer Rebellion of 1900, and the Expedition against Pancho Villa of 1916.(99)

Chief William Red Fox, a Sioux Indian and former Carlisle student,(100) explained in his autobiography how the imperialist atmosphere of the time was shared by some American Indians employed in Buffalo Bill's Wild West Show:

When the [Spanish-American] war started, patriotism was at fever pitch in America and thousands of men flocked into recruiting offices the next morning. The spirit influenced the Indians in the show, and many left to enter the service. Buffalo Bill did not raise any objections when I told him I was enlisting.(101)

He volunteered at a recruiting office and was advised to enlist in the Navy since he had some sailing experience. Aboard a battleship, he sailed from Boston to Cuba but by the time the ship had arrived, the war was over. They were then sent to China, Japan and the Philippines. He was discharged on May 10, 1902. William Red Fox gives no details on his service.(102)

Arthur Bonnicastle, an Osage, former Carlisle student and sergeant in the 9th U.S. Infantry, served in China during the Boxer Rebellion and in the Philippines.(103) As in the case of Red Fox, I do not have any other information on Bonnicastle's service.

Finally General John J. Pershing, commanding general of the U.S. Army during the Great War, publicized his use of 75 Apache scouts during the 1916 expedition against Pancho Villa.(104)

Although it is difficult to draw any conclusions from so little information, it can be remarked that both William Red Fox and Arthur Bonnicastle had had an education in the East at the Carlisle boarding school of Pennsylvania. They had been in contact with the White world and had undergone a period of acculturation and patriotic training.(105) It is thus hardly surprising that they felt the same upsurge of patriotism as the general population.


The policy of alliances as practiced by Native Americans has often been regarded as inconsistent, Native Americans at one time allying with this European nation, at another with that, or one day with the Confederacy and the day after with the Union.(106) To hold that Indian nations were inconsistent in their engagements implies that they were authoritarian states with the means to enforce long-term policies. Of course, this was not the case at all. In American Indian societies, each individual opinion was as important as any other, and was duly listened to. If a group of people did not agree with a policy, then the policy was discussed again and again in order to find a common ground.(107) If people still did not agree, then they always had the option to leave the tribe until, once again, they could agree on another decision.(108) This may be interpreted as collective inconsistency. It may also be seen as the result of priority given to individual responsibility and freedom within the group in Native American cultures.(109)


The Road to War: Chapter II: American Indian Affairs

Table of Contents



1. Quoted in I have Spoken: American History Through the Voices of the Indians. Ed. Virginia Irving Armstrong. Chicago: The Swallow Press Inc., 1971, pp.146-47. The Grand Council Fire of the American Indians was a fraternal Pan-Indian organization founded in Chicago in 1923 to both "restore all customs, usages and traditions" and to defend the rights of American Indians. Hazel W. Hertzberg. The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1971, pp.231-33.

2 . The Powhatan for example insured the success of the settlement of the English colony in Virginia in the early 17th century by providing them the food they needed. Elise Marienstras. La résistance indienne aux Etats-Unis, du XVIe au XXe siècle. Paris: Gallimard/Julliard, 1980, pp.52-55.

3 . Thomas Wien. "Indiens et Français, fourrures et marchandises au Canada aux XVIIe et XVIIIe siècles." In La traite de la fourrure: Les Français et la découverte de l'Amérique du Nord. Ed. Thierry Lefrançois. Thonon-les-Bains: Editions de l'Albaron/Musée du Nouveau Monde, La Rochelle, 1992, pp.28-53.

4 . Robert M. Utley. The Indian Frontier of the American West, 1846-1890. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984, p.13.

5 . Roger Renaud. "On n'a jamais découvert l'Amérique, on l'a niée." Introduction to De l'Ethnocide. Series of texts. Paris: 10/18, 1972, pp.29-31.

6 . James R. Walker. Lakota Society. Edited by Raymond J. DeMallie. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1992 (1982), pp.ix, 40-41.

7 . John Heckewelder quoted in The Indian and the White Man. Ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn. Garden City, New York: Doubleday &Company, Inc., 1964, pp 72-73.

8 . Ibid., p.74.

9 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun. Atlas of the North American Indian. New York, NY &Oxford, England: Facts on File Publications, 1985, pp.137-38.

10 . Francis Jennings. The Ambiguous Iroquois Empire: The Covenant Chain Confederation of Indian Tribes with English Colonies from Its Beginnings to the Lancaster Treaty of 1744. New York, London: W.W. Norton &Company, 1984, p.39.

11 . William N. Fenton. "Structure, Continuity, and Change in the Process of Iroquois Treaty Making." In The History and Culture of Iroquois Diplomacy: An Interdisciplinary Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and Their League. Ed. Francis Jennings. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1985, p.16.

12 . Peter Matthiessen. Indian Country. New York: Penguin Books, 1984 (1979), p.133.

13 . Daniel K. Richter. The Ordeal of the Longhouse: The Peoples of the Iroquois League in the Era of European Colonization. Chapel Hill &London: University of North Carolina Press, 1992, p.31.

14 . Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. The Indian Heritage of America. New York: Bantam Books, 1968, p.93. Nelcya Delanoë. L'Entaille rouge: Terres indiennes et démocratie américaine, 1776-1980. Paris: François Maspero, 1982, p.211. Daniel K. Richter, op. cit., p.32.

15 . William N. Fenton, op. cit., pp.14-15. Daniel K. Richter., op. cit., pp.31-41. In 1715, when the Tuscaroras came north after having been defeated by the Carolinians, they were adopted by the Confederacy which thus became the League of Six Nations. Edward H. Spicer. A Short History of the Indians of the United States. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Company, 1969, p.30.

16 . Jacques Cartier's first trip to the gulf of the Saint Lawrence was in 1534. He came back in 1535 and went up the Saint Lawrence River all the way to present-day Quebec and Montreal (Quebec was founded in 1608 and Montreal in 1642). Philippe Jacquin. "Les 'gens du fer' en terre indienne." ("'Iron Men' in Indian Territory"). In Sur le Sentier de la Découverte: Rencontres franco-indiennes du XVIe au XXe siècle. (Crossing Paths: French-Indian Encounters, XVIth to XXth century). Bilingual (French/English) edition. Ed. Véronique Wiesinger, Musée National de la Coopération franco-américaine, Château de Blérancourt. Paris: Réunion des Musées nationaux, 1992, pp.135-37 (English version).

17 . Francis Jennings, op. cit., p.39.

18 . Daniel K. Richter, op. cit., pp.31.

19 . Philippe Jacquin, op. cit., pp.38-39.

20 . Stephen R. Potter. "Early English Effects on Virginia Algonquian Exchange and Tribute in the Tidewater Potomac." In Powhatan's Mantle: Indians in the Colonial Southeast. Eds. Peter H. Wood, Gregory A. Waselkov, &M. Thomas Hatley. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1989, pp.152-54. Martha W. McCartney. "Cockacoeske, Queen of Pamunkey: Diplomat and Suzeraine," ibid., p.173.

21 . Quoted by Stephen R. Potter, op. cit., p.154.

22 . Edward H. Spicer, op. cit., pp.16-17.

23 . Russell Thornton. American Indian Holocaust and Survival: A Population History Since 1492. Norman &London: University of Oklahoma Press, 1990 (1987), pp.70-71.

24 . Elise Marienstras, op. cit., pp.63-64.

25 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., pp.90-91. Robert M. Utley &Wilcomb E. Washburn. Indian Wars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987 (1977), p.42. William Brandon. Indians. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987 (1961), pp.171-73.

26 . Quoted by Wilcomb E. Washburn. The Indian in America. New York: Harper &Row Publishers, 1975, p.130.

27 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.91.

28 . Ibid., pp.91-92.

29 . Francis Jennings, ed. The History and Culture of Iroquois Diplomacy: An Interdisciplinary Guide to the Treaties of the Six Nations and their League. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1985, pp.38-45, p.116.

30 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.102. Mary Beth Norton, et al. A People &A Nation: A History of the United States. Third edition. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1990, pp.107-08.

31 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., pp.102-04.

32 . Mary Beth Norton, et al., op. cit., p.109.

33 . Francis Paul Prucha. The Great Father: The United States Government and the American Indians. Abridged edition. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1986, p.15.

34 . James J. O'Donnell, III. Southern Indians in the American Revolution. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1973, p.23.

35 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., pp.110-12.

36 . Ibid., pp.112-14.

37 . Ibid., p.114.

38 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., pp.19-31.

39 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., pp.115-17.

40 . Nelcya Delanoë &Joëlle Rostkowski. Les Indiens dans l'Histoire américaine. Nancy: Presses universitaires de Nancy, 1991, p.59.

41 . Mary Beth Norton, et al., op. cit., p.231.

42 . Dale Van Every. Disinherited: The Lost Birthright of the American Indian. New York: Avon Books, 1970 (1966), p.31.

43 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.117.

44 . Allan W. Eckert. A Sorrow in our Heart: The Life of Tecumseh. New York: Bantam Books, 1993 (1992), pp.732, 783.

45 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., p.125.

46 . Ibid., pp.137-38.

47 . Wilcomb E. Washburn. The Indian in America. New York: Harper &Row Publishers, 1975, pp.198-99.

48 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., pp.138-40.

49 . Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs William P. Dole. November 26, 1862. In The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History. Vol. I. Ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn. New York: Random House, 1973, p.96.

50 . Wilcomb E. Washburn, op. cit., pp.199.

51 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., pp.140-143.

52 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.128.

53 . Colin F. Taylor &William C. Sturtevant, eds. Les Indiens d'Amérique du Nord. French translation by Jean-Michel Frémont &Philippe Sabathé from English original. Paris: Solar, 1992, p.47.

54 . Robert M. Utley. "The Frontier Army: John Ford or Arthur Penn?" In Indian White Relations: A Persistent Paradox. Eds. Jane F. Smith &Robert M. Kvasnicka. Washington, DC: Howard University Press, 1981, p.137.

55 . Ibid., p.137.

56 . J.P. Dunn, Jr. Massacres of the Mountains. A History of the Indian Wars of the Far West. New York: Capricorn Books, 1969 (1886), p.619.

57 . Robert M. Utley, op. cit., p.137.

58 . Quoted by Thomas E. Mails. The People Called Apache. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc., 1974, p.34.

59 . Robert Wooster. The Military and United States Indian Policy, 1865-1903. New Haven &London: Yale University Press, 1988, p.35, 64.

60 . Report of William T. Sherman, Oct. 1, 1867, ibid., pp.127-28.

61 . Quoted by Richard J. Perry. Apache Reservation: Indigenous Peoples &the American State. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1993, p.107.

62 . Ibid., p.107.

63 . Frank E. Vandiver. Black Jack: The Life and Times of John J. Pershing. Vol. I. College State &London: Texas A &M University Press, 1977, p.99.

64 . Richard E. Jensen, R. Eli Paul, &John Carter. Eyewitness at Wounded Knee. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1991, p.181. Frank E. Vandiver, op. cit., pp.99-101.

65 . Dr. Joseph K. Dixon. The Vanishing Race. The Last Great Indian Council. A Record in Picture and Story of the Last Great Indian Council, Participated in by Eminent Indian Chiefs from Nearly Every Indian Reservation in the US, Together with the Story of their Lives as Told by Themselves­Their Speeches and Folklore Tales­Their Solemn Farewell and the Indian's Story of the Custer Fight. Glorieta, New Mexico: The Rio Grande Press, Inc. 1976 (1913), p.141.

66 . Excerpts of Indian oratories can be found in Touch the Earth: A Self-Portrait of Indian Existence. Ed. Terry C. McLuhan. New York: Simon &Schuster, Inc., 1971 and I Have Spoken: American History Through Voices of the Indians. Ed. Virginia Irving Armstrong. Chicago: The Swallow Press, Inc., 1971.

67 . A chief of one of the principal bands of the northern Blackfeet, in his answer to U.S. delegates who wanted his signature for one of the first treaties in his region. Terry C. McLuhan, ed., op. cit., p.53.

68 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.137.

69 . Ibid., p.154.

70 . Ibid., p.154.

71 . Robert M. Utley &Wilcomb E. Washburn, Indian Wars. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company, 1987 (1977), p.226.

72 . Carl Waldman &Molly Braun, op. cit., p.153.

73 . Michael L. Tate. "From Scout to Doughboy: The National Debate Over Integrating American Indians into the Military, 1891-1918." Western Historical Quarterly. 17, n°4, (October 1986), p.417.

74 . Dr. Joseph K. Dixon, op. cit., pp.129-30.

75 . Richard J. Perry, op. cit., pp.119-20, 129.

76 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., pp.196-97. George Hyde, A Sioux Chronicle. Norman: University of Oklahoma Press, 1956, p.29.

77 . Francis Paul Prucha, op. cit., p.197.

78 . "Akicita." Thomas Tyon. July 4, 1897. James Riley Walker. Lakota Society. Edited by Raymond J. DeMallie. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1992 (1982), p.ix, 29.

79 . Dee Brown. Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee: An Indian History of the American West. New York: Henry Holt &Company, 1991 (1970), pp.437-38.

80 . George Hyde, op. cit., pp.31, 40-41.

81 . The classic study on American Indians in the Civil War was written in 1919 by Annie Heloise Abel. It was reedited recently but I did not have the opportunity to read her study. Annie Heloise Abel. The American Indian in the Civil War, 1862-1865. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1992 (1919).

82 . Robert M. Utley. The Indian Frontier of the American West, 1846-1890. Albuquerque: University of New Mexico Press, 1984, p.75.

83 . Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs D.N. Cooley. October 31, 1865. In The American Indian and the United States: A Documentary History. Vol.I. Ed. Wilcomb E. Washburn. New York: Random House, 1973, p.128.

84 . Robert M. Utley, op. cit., p.75.

85 . Ibid., p.75.

86 . Bureau of Indian Affairs. Indians of Oklahoma. Washington, DC: US Government Printing Office, 1965, p.4. Robert M. Utley, op. cit., pp.73-75.

87 . Laurence M. Hauptman. The Iroquois in the Civil War: From Battlefield to Reservation. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1993.

88 . Ibid., pp.12, 18, 47.

89 . Ibid., pp.11-12, 15-21.

90 . Ibid., pp.39-45.

91 . Ibid., pp.67-83.

92 . Report of Commissioner of Indian Affairs Thomas J. Morgan. October 1, 1891. In Wilcomb E. Washburn, ed., op. cit., p.536.

93 . Quoted by Commissioner of Indian Affairs Cato Sells in a letter to Mr. Henry M. Tidwell, Superintendent of the Pine Ridge Reservation, SD, February 4, 1918. Y.M.C.A. Historical Archives.

94 . Michael L. Tate. "From Scout to Doughboy: The National Debate Over Integrating American Indians into the Military, 1891-1918." Western Historical Quarterly. 17, n°4, (October 1986), p.419.

95 . Ibid., pp.418-19.

96 . Elise Marienstras. Wounded Knee ou l'Amérique fin de siècle. Bruxelles: Editions Complexe, 1992.

97 . Robert Wooster. The Military and United States Indian Policy, 1865-1903. New Haven &London: Yale University Press, 1988, p.198.

98 . Mary Beth Norton, et al., op. cit., p.653.

99 . Ibid., pp.648-50, 653, 671.

100 Professor Christian F. Feest of the Institut für Historische Ethnologie in Frankfurt am Main kindly let me know that I had been too hasty in accepting Chief William Red Fox. The Memoirs of Chief Red Fox. Greenwich, Conn.: Fawcett Publications, Inc., 1971 as reliable source and that the book was a fraud, much to the dismay of the publisher. I thank him for this information and ask the reader to disregard any material relative to this author. [quote here refers to pp.15, 91].

101 . See preceding note[ Ibid., p.113.]

102 . See note 103 above. [Ibid., p.113-14.]

103 . Jennings C. Wise. The Red Man in the New World Drama. A Politico-Legal Study with a Pageantry of American Indian History. Edited and revised from the 1931 edition by Vine Deloria, Jr. New York: MacMillan Publishing Co., Inc., 1974 (1971), p.323. Hazel W. Hertzberg. The Search for an American Indian Identity: Modern Pan-Indian Movements. Syracuse, NY: Syracuse University Press, 1971, p.268.

104 . Russel L. Barsh. "American Indians in the Great War." Ethnohistory. 38:3 (Summer 1991), p.285. Michael L. Tate, op. cit., p.421-22.

105 . Thomas Jefferson Morgan. "Instructions to Indian Agents in Regard to Inculcation of Patriotism in Indian Schools." December 10, 1889, quoted in Americanizing the American Indians: Writings by the "Friends of the Indian," 1880-1900. Ed. Francis Paul Prucha. Lincoln &London: University of Nebraska Press, 1973, pp.257-59.

106 . As only one example, here is what James H. O'Donnell, III, says about the southern Indians' inconsistency before the War of Independence: "Of the four major tribes [Cherokee, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek], only the Chickasaw were consistent and largely unanimous in supporting one power." Southern Indians in the American Revolution. Knoxville: The University of Tennessee Press, 1973, p.12.

107 . Wrote John Collier in 1947 about the Iroquois: "decisions not unanimous were discussed by the Firekeeper to the end of discovering common ground or some new solution, and then were remanded to the four voting units. This procedure made of legislative process a path to discovery, not to deadlock." John Collier. Indians of the Americas: The Long Hope. Abridged edition. New York: New American Library, n.d. (1947).

108 . Here is what James R. Walker recorded from two Oglala men, Thomas Tyon and John Blunt Horn, about Lakota government, and especially the process of choosing a chief: "... sometimes some chief and his followers would be dissatisfied with the choice and he and his followers would secede from the camp and start a camp of their own." James R. Walker, op. cit., pp.xii, 30.

109 . Roger Renaud. "On n'a jamais découvert l'Amérique, on l'a niée." Introduction to De l'Ethnocide. Series of texts. Paris: 10/18, 1972, pp.14-19.

(Diane Camurat )