troop l

TROOP L

 

For many officers in the U.S. Army , Native enlistment was a springboard to their assimilation. One of the officers believed that the most was John J Pershing , park in Pine Ridge , South Dakota in the 1890s . For him, the Indian soldiers learned very good English , were an example for other indians, very patriotic and especially excellent soldiers . He advised several times to form one or two permanent Indian regiments , as well as those of black , but with Indian officers .

 

He continued his support has fully Amerindian units during the first World War.

Conversely, many religious and humanitarian groups refused such enlistment . For them, the Indians were to become farmers and not stay warriors because of their savagery in battle. Finally, when the proposals fell , many nations agreed to enroll their young men as a scout or auxiliary army . For Indians , the army was a simple way to perpetuate their warrior spirit .

 

 

Of the 1890s , the army wanted to experience the Native American commitment, not as a scout in the short term , but as a soldier fighting for 5 years. A 1891 directive allows the creation of the band L in the cavalry and the infantry company I . Whites of these companies were transferred to other companies to replace them with Indians. Directive provided for the recruitment of at least 1,000 Indians. The known highly successful program these beginnings , Indian recruits excel in all military aspects . A former prisoners Apache unit was even honored in parades his battalion.

 

But the population was against the idea, how people would react if an Indian company ensured their safety in the city? How these units would react if they were to fight other Indians?

 

A reporter went to make a comparison with the barbarians of old, saying that the United States would collapse by engaging Indian , as collapsed Roman and Greek empire with their barbarian mercenaries .

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But the fall of the experience come from soldiers themselves . After 5 years of testing , it was almost impossible to hire or rehire Indian soldiers . 1000 Indian indentured , there remained 67 in the summer of 1895 ! Many Indian units no longer expect their officers, all white. Poorly paid , ill-fed , ill-equipped , the Indian soldiers did not réengagèrent is . On 31 May 1897, the U.S. military said the experience as a failure and dissolved the last Indian unit still in place : the troop L.

 

Why a failure? Discipline and soldiering did not frighten the Indians, but the violation of their culture angry. Forced to cut their hair , speak English, remain trapped in camps , all away from their families dissuaded most soldiers . But a general confessed years later that the Standing racism suffered by the Indian soldiers was probably the major cause of this failure.

 

Ironically, this experience was still a success. Non-US citizen, the Indians had still the right to enlist in the Army from white units ; Enlistment that black Americans could do .
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