Scouts were active throughout the Wild West of the 19th and 20th century, Including those who accompanied General John J Pershing in 1916 in the punitive expedition against Pancho Villa in Mexico. Indian Scouts were officially disbanded in 1947 when these members took their retirement from the Army at Fort Huachuca, Arizona.

For many Indians, be a scout was an important starting point to enter the world of white and well understood.


Recruitment as Indian scout was authorized by an Act of Congress July 28, 1866 : '' The Chair allows for the recruitment and employment in the territories and wild land a force of 1,000 Indian men to serve as scout . These men receive pay and benefits for men and cavalry will be returned to civilian life when their usefulness will no longer feel and at the discretion of command in place. ''

There were different types of scout, some used for short periods while others enlist in the army for many years of service . Some scouts served at various times as a scout has the opportunity and enroll officially eventually become Scouts '' on call '' .

Before the act of 1866, the Scouts were regarded as mere employees , a lower status than men , the act of 1866 finally gives them an important status in the army.



Scouts officially enrolled after 1866 received a standard uniform from surplus stock . The uniforms were often worn with mixed Amerindian objects. Captain Bourke of the 3rd Cavalry noted in 1870 that the Apache scouts in Arizona '' wear moccasins , feathers , clothing made ​​from animal skin but no sign of official military clothing. '' In 1902, a new official uniform was introduced in the Scouts .

All scouts were not faithful to their command. Apaches Cibicue formed a mutiny and turned against the white soldiers after the order was given to destroy a camp of their tribes . Three of his scouts went in court martial and was executed.

The end of the Indian Wars led to a reduction in the number of scout necessary. The general of the army No. 28 of 9 March 1891 réduisa number Scout 150 : 50 in Arizona, 25 Dakota , 25 Missouri, 25 of the Platte River , 15 in Texas, 10 in the District of Columbia .

Indian Scouts and their families were eligible to a pension from the army with the Decree of 4 March 1917 .

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