By Thomas Goodrich
Seems to be at existence and dying at the American frontier, drawing from diaries, letters, and memoirs of these who skilled it.
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Additional info for Scalp Dance: Indian warfare on the High Plains, 1865-1879
Given the dreary conditions—and with the drudgery of drill, the monotony of garrison duty, and the paltry pay a soldier received—it is not surprising that after gaining his first glimpse of military life, many a new recruit did not wait around for a second. " As a result, many privates frequented "hog ranches"—filthy, dark dens where disease was rampant and a "case of the clap" was often the consequence. "11 At Hays City, Dobytown, Julesburg, Sheridan, and other lawless towns near forts, drunken troops ran amok, rioting, fighting, murdering one another, even assaulting their own officers.
A citizen train was attacked, having one man killed and another wounded. and two men were killed. and eight men were killed, two were wounded, and one of these died of his wounds. Joseph Postlewaite and Stockley Williams were killed within four miles of Fort Reno. with an arrow in his hip. Private Gilchrist was killed. but his remains were not recovered. but crawled a half mile to the blockhouse, and survived twentyfour hours. As a result, he consistently ordered his men to break off hot pursuits, especially Page 26 those that might lead over Lodge Trail Ridge, a long slope several miles northwest of the post.
And for those, like Lieutenant James Steele, who harbored romantic notions of sharing breathtaking sunsets with beautiful Indian princesses, their dreams were blasted to shreds. My courage had largely oozed out while I listened to the bloodcurdling tales the oldtimers recited. Expecting the open and "manly" combat displayed in the Civil War, many novices at first laughed at what they construed as "Lo's" cowardly behavior. " 24 If Barnitz initially found Indian tactics amusing, he and many others soon discovered that they were engaged in deadly serious work.
Scalp Dance: Indian warfare on the High Plains, 1865-1879 by Thomas Goodrich