Jump to content
SASS Wire Forum

Indian Wars Cavalry scouts


Recommended Posts

Was wondering if anyone could educate me or at least lead me in the right direction. I am trying to get info on Cavalry scouts during the Indian Wars. The non native scouts. Were they civilians or army personnel? Did they have specific uniform and equipment regulations?

 

Thanks

Link to post
Share on other sites

The Apache Wars is also a good read and details the life of the Apache Kid who was not an Apache but was a white man raised by the Apache after he was kidnapped as a young man. He was probably also one of the most famous Indian scouts.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Kit Carson was one of the early ones, more for early civilian expeditions in the West rather than for the cavalry specifically. The Navajo were rather feisty early in the 1800s, the Sioux and Apache campaigns were post-Civil War. Mr. Carson was involved with the Navajo mostly as I recall.

 

Blood and Thunder by Hampton Sides is a good Carson biography.

 

Edit:

 

It's been a while since I read that book, so I refreshed myself on Carson. He was both civilian and military, and was involved with Utes and Apaches as well. More interesting in real life than what we see in movies.

Edited by J-BAR #18287
Link to post
Share on other sites

Was wondering if anyone could educate me or at least lead me in the right direction. I am trying to get info on Cavalry scouts during the Indian Wars. The non native scouts. Were they civilians or army personnel? Did they have specific uniform and equipment regulations?

 

Thanks

 

You're a tad late. That party ended over a 100 years ago! :P:lol:

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

Watch the movie "Geronimo". Robert Duvall plays Al Seiber, chief of scouts and movie is terrific

While "Geronimo An American Legend" IS a great movie, the character, Al Sieber, portrayed by Robert Duval, is NOT accurately depicted.

Edited by Cat Brules, SASS #14086
Link to post
Share on other sites

During the post-CW Indian Wars period, the Army hired a whole bunch of civilian employee specialists. They were employed by the Quartermaster Dept., usually by the Acting Assistant Quartermaster (AAQM) at each post. These specialists included scouts, teamsters (to drive supply wagons in the field with the troops, and/or to carry supplies from railheads to various remote posts), packers (who managed pack animals with troops in the field, such as with BGen Crook's column on the Big Horn & Yellowstone Expedition of 1876). Civilian carpenters and others were also hired at various posts. A list of Persons and Articles Hired By the Quartermaster at (name of post) can be obtained from the National Archives.

 

Civilian scouts included W.F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Frank and Luther North (commander and second-in-command of the Pawnee Scouts), and the Indian Scouts themselves. Frank Grouard and "Big" and "Little Bat" Baptiste, et al, were also hired. Scouts and employees likely to be in the field with the troops might be issued firearms (if they didn't have their own), horses and rations. If they supplied their own horses, they might be reimbursed by the Army, such as happened with some of the civilians employed for Forsythe's Scouts in 1868. The arms issued might be current issue or obsolescent ones as available. For example: Frank Grouard was issued one Colt's Single Action Army revolver, for whom an officer was responsible, but was also "given" another by Gen. Crook himself! A young teamster, Henry Pell, was apparently issued a M1869 Sharps Carbine, cal. .50-70, by the QM at Sidney Barracks, Nebraska, in 1875, from among the five still in the possession of Co. G., 3rd Cav, even though they had been issued their Springfield Carbines, cal. .45-70 a year and a half earlier. There were over 50,000 rounds of .50-70 ammo at Sidney at the time, and the .50 cal arms were used for target practice and foraging for food to supplement the troops' diets. Pell apparently acquired his Sharps, either reporting it lost and having the cost (around $15) deducted from his pay, or by outright purchase. Unfortunately, there are no records of either, but he carved his name in the stock, probably to distinguish that from the other four Sharps. (He wouldn't have autographed a stolen weapon, and if he didn't own it, he wouldn't have carved up government property.)

 

As far as clothing, gun accoutrements (holsters, belts, cartridge boxes, etc.) are concerned, if they weren't issued, it was catch as catch can! Leaves a lot of latitude for SASS members!

  • Like 1
Link to post
Share on other sites

During the post-CW Indian Wars period, the Army hired a whole bunch of civilian employee specialists. They were employed by the Quartermaster Dept., usually by the Acting Assistant Quartermaster (AAQM) at each post. These specialists included scouts, teamsters (to drive supply wagons in the field with the troops, and/or to carry supplies from railheads to various remote posts), packers (who managed pack animals with troops in the field, such as with BGen Crook's column on the Big Horn & Yellowstone Expedition of 1876). Civilian carpenters and others were also hired at various posts. A list of Persons and Articles Hired By the Quartermaster at (name of post) can be obtained from the National Archives.

 

Civilian scouts included W.F. "Buffalo Bill" Cody, Frank and Luther North (commander and second-in-command of the Pawnee Scouts), and the Indian Scouts themselves. Frank Grouard and "Big" and "Little Bat" Baptiste, et al, were also hired. Scouts and employees likely to be in the field with the troops might be issued firearms (if they didn't have their own), horses and rations. If they supplied their own horses, they might be reimbursed by the Army, such as happened with some of the civilians employed for Forsythe's Scouts in 1868. The arms issued might be current issue or obsolescent ones as available. For example: Frank Grouard was issued one Colt's Single Action Army revolver, for whom an officer was responsible, but was also "given" another by Gen. Crook himself! A young teamster, Henry Pell, was apparently issued a M1869 Sharps Carbine, cal. .50-70, by the QM at Sidney Barracks, Nebraska, in 1875, from among the five still in the possession of Co. G., 3rd Cav, even though they had been issued their Springfield Carbines, cal. .45-70 a year and a half earlier. There were over 50,000 rounds of .50-70 ammo at Sidney at the time, and the .50 cal arms were used for target practice and foraging for food to supplement the troops' diets. Pell apparently acquired his Sharps, either reporting it lost and having the cost (around $15) deducted from his pay, or by outright purchase. Unfortunately, there are no records of either, but he carved his name in the stock, probably to distinguish that from the other four Sharps. (He wouldn't have autographed a stolen weapon, and if he didn't own it, he wouldn't have carved up government property.)

 

As far as clothing, gun accoutrements (holsters, belts, cartridge boxes, etc.) are concerned, if they weren't issued, it was catch as catch can! Leaves a lot of latitude for SASS members!

Now that is a lot of info! Gives me a bunch of creative licensing! Thank you.

Edited by Dark Horse Charlie
Link to post
Share on other sites

Don't forget battlefield plunder why leave good firearms and ammo on the battlefield for your enemy to use so the winners usually plundered the losers

Link to post
Share on other sites

Theres also a series of books on the us military for the different periods up thru the civil war Indian war era and up Thur WWII iirc I have the one thru the turn of the century back to the post cw era one

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.