May. 10, 2015

"NITS MAKE LICE-NO SURVIVORS!"

aFTER THE DEFEAT OF THE SOUTH IN THE cIVIL wAR(1865), the U.S. government under U.S. Grant turned its attention and the largest, best trained and equipped professional 'Union' army on the planet to the West and to clearing the frontier for the ever-growing number of settlers enticed by gold rush, or free land of marauding 'savage' Indians who had lived off the land for centuries. President Grant, never known to sympathize with the native population gave his army commanders much freedom in making the Frontier safe for settlement.All the military and political leadership seem to agree that with continuous, sporadic raids on white settlers, the Indian 'menace' needed to be removed. They were to be considered "pests"- and required extermination, so "progress" andcivilization could continue unchecked. Even his former and diminuitive crony, Phillip Sheridan, he appointed General-in Command of the Army of the West(west of the Mississippi River); it was Sheridan who coined the devilish,"The Only Good Indian is a dead Indian!" So, it should not be surprizing to learn the men under hiscommand held as bad or even worse sttitudes toward the Plains-Dwellers.