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"Winning The West - The Army in the Indian Wars..." Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Jul 2024 4:57 p.m. PST

… 1865-1890

"Perhaps because of a tendency to view the record of a military establishment in terms of conflict, the U.S. Army's operational experience in the quarter century following the Civil War has come to be known as the Indian wars. Previous struggles with the Indian, dating back to colonial times, had been limited as to scope and opponent and took place in a period when the Indian could withdraw or be pushed into vast reaches of uninhabited and as yet unwanted territory to westward. By 1865 this safety valve was fast disappearing; routes of travel and pockets of settlement had multiplied across the western two-thirds of the nation, and as the Civil War closed, white Americans in greater numbers and with greater energy than before resumed the quest for land, gold, commerce, and adventure that had been largely interrupted by the war. The showdown between the older Americans and the new—between two ways of life that were basically incompatible—was at hand. The besieged red man, with white civilization pressing in and a main source of livelihood—the buffalo—threatened with extinction, was faced with a fundamental choice: surrender or fight. Many chose to fight, and over the course of some twenty-five years the struggle ranged over the plains, mountains, and deserts of the American West, a guerrilla war characterized by skirmishes, pursuits, massacres, raids, expeditions, battles, and campaigns, of varying size and intensity. Given its central role in dealing with the Indian, the Army made a major contribution to continental consolidation…"

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TimePortal07 Jul 2024 6:24 p.m. PST

Ok, first of all, the "Buffalo" reason only applies to some, not even all, of the Great Plains. The Buffalo loss never affected the Apache, Navaho and of the southwest or Pacific nations. Natural Resources was a major factor in many conflicts.
The army recruitment incudes several interesting facts.
The army was able to attract a large number CSA veterans who had no land to return to after the war. So the rapid release of Northern troops, did not reduce unit efficiency.
The African Colored troops were well known for reenlisting. Photos of Colored Infantry in the 1880s shows soldiers with over twenty years reenlistment stripes. So performance was stellar among Colored infantry and cavalry regiments.

One aside to counter Hollywood movie narratives. The Army used mainly infantry and red leg artillery men more often than cavalry to escort wagon trains.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jul 2024 3:51 p.m. PST



P Carl Ruidl15 Jul 2024 5:34 a.m. PST

The 7th Cavalry only had one man of the 597 that went in at Little Bighorn from the former Confederacy.

Corporal Daniel Kanipe from North Carolina.

Apparently after 11 years young men from the defeated Confederacy still did not wish to wear "Yankee" blue.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP15 Jul 2024 4:13 p.m. PST



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