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INDIANS & THE CIVIL WAR
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Site of 1864 massacre of Indians dedicated:
After years of effort, the place where some 160 Southern Cheyenne and Arapaho were massacred 143 years ago by Colorado militia troops was dedicated as a national historic site. Tribal soldiers wore their uniforms as well as headdresses when they carried in the U.S. and other flags. In 1864, 700 state militia volunteers, hungry for blood in revenge for the killings of several settlers, attacked and killed scores of tribal members at the site and then burned their village. Many of those killed were elderly, women and children. At the time the militia members were regarded by many as heroes; today the episode is considered one of the West's most shameful chapters.
The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War
One often forgotten aspect of the Civil War was the war fought in the Indian Territory.
Like Texas’ invasion of New Mexico in 1861, that theater was so far removed from the mainstream of the war that it failed to register on the national consciousness. For participants, the Civil War in the Indian Territory was all-consuming. Neutrality and nonparticipation were not permitted. "The Cherokee Nation in the Civil War" by Clarissa W. Confer examines that conflict through the lens of one of the Indian Nations that participated. The Cherokee Nation was the most powerful of the Indian Nations in the US. It was also the one most bitterly divided by the Civil War.
Cherokees cast out sons of black slaves they once owned
Cherokees voted to expel descendants of black slaves they once owned, a move that has exposed the unsavoury role played by some Native Americans during the American Civil War and renewed accusations of racism against the tribe. Members of the Cherokee Nation voted by 77% to limit citizenship to those listed as "Cherokee by blood". The move stripped tribal membership from freedmen, those descended from slaves, and blacks who were married to Cherokees. They have enjoyed full citizenship rights for 141 years. Freedmen were granted full tribal membership under an 1866 treaty that the tribe was forced to sign with the US Government after the Civil War ended.
Ill-treatment of Dakota after the Dakota war of 1862
In Diane Wilson's new memoir, "Spirit Car", Angela Wilson recalls the emotions she felt when she walked the path 1,700 Dakota people took when they were forced to march after the Dakota war of 1862. White people will not find it easy to read "In the Footsteps of Our Ancestors." The essayists, who range from professors to artists, say that what white did to the Dakota was ethnic cleansing. They say that in the name of Manifest Destiny (the idea that whites are superior), the Dakota were forcibly evicted from the state. Wilson's essay, "Decolonizing the 1862 Death Marches," should be required reading in every school.
Medals Awarded to Indian Civil War Hero Stolen
Thieves have stolen a pair of presidential medals awarded to a Seneca Indian who wrote the final draft of the surrender terms that ended the Civil War. The medals were awarded after the war to Union officer Ely Parker, the son of an Iroquois chief who became General Ulysses S. Grant's right-hand man during the civil war. The head of the historical society says the items are "extremely valuable." As Grant's adjutant, Parker wrote the final draft of the Confederate surrender terms at Appomattox.
Ely S. Parker was a Indian of exceptional intellect. In 1851 he was named Grand Sachem, leader, of the Six Nations. In 1860, he met and became friends with Ulysses S. Grant. When the Civil War erupted in April 1861, Parker tried, in vain, to join the Union forces like his friend Grant, whose West Point and Mexican War experience helped him to the rank of colonel. In 1863, Grant secured Parker as a captain of engineers in the U.S. Army. Parker served as Grant's aide-de-camp during the 1864-65 campaign against Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee's Army. Parker helped draft the surrender papers Lee signed in April 1865 at Appomattox.
Saber found dates back to the Civil War era.
Collectors never know when they may stumble upon something good.
That was the case for Jay Smith, who found a well-preserved sword in an abandoned Michigan barn. His son, Gordon, inherited the sword and brought it into Trash or Treasure for appraisal. On the blade at the brass-braided hilt is the stamping "US AHC 186." It was a ceremonial saber and that the stamping was either "Army Horse Corps" or an officer's initials. David McCarron valued the sword at $400-$600 at auction: "I'd have to do a lot more research into Civil War memorabilia to be able to answer what the initials stand for."
Civil War battles and the Indian Territory
On July 17, 1863 the Battle of Honey Springs gave Union forces control of the Indian Territory for the rest of the Civil War. The battle followed one to the north known as the Battle of Cabin Creek. Confederate General Douglas H. Cooper sent troops to intercept a federal train - with escort of 1,000 troops. The Cherokee leader Stand Watie, the only Indian in the Confederate Army to make general, took about 1,400 men to the place where the train would cross the Grand River. General William Cabell had left Fort Smith with 1,500 Confederate troops. If his forces could cross the Grand River to join Watie the combined forces would be able to capture the train...