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Native American Veteran and Canadian aboriginal veteran List.




Uscw title drawing

5,817 Engaged

115 dead

To this must be added 10 Cherokee Scouts in the early 1800s.


In the face of the realities of a shrinking army and an immense territory to patrol and pacify, the Western military forces, both professional and voluntary, are using more and more Indians (friends) in their conflicts with the Indians (hostile). Some of the arrangements with these Indian allies were informal: captured horses, weapons and other loot being the only payment required for their services. In other situations, however, the Indians were enlisted in militia units, formally organized as had been the case with Confederate forces and the Union during the Civil War. As a result, the concept of the enemy Indian slowly gave way to the reality that in the war in the Wild West the Indian could be a valuable ally. against other Indians.

Recognizing this, Congress in 1866 authorized the army to enlist up to 1,000 Indians to act as Scouts and receive the salary and allowances of cavalry soldiers. Although rarely more than a third of that number was in the ranks for the next three decades, the door was opened to allow American Indians to serve as personnel in the US military. The scout served six months of service with the option of re-enrollment if he wished. Many did so, forming a core group of enlisted men who played important roles in the campaigns against hostile Indians across the west until the Indian Wars era drew to a close in 1890.

Before the act of 1866, the Scouts were considered as mere employees, a lower status than the soldiers, the act of 1866 finally gives them an important status within the army. 

The Scouts officially enlisted after 1866 received a standard uniform from surplus stock. Uniforms were often worn mixed with Native American objects. Captain Bourke of the 3rd Cavalry will note in 1870 that these Apache Scouts in Arizona '' wear moccasins, feathers, clothes made of animal skin but no sign of official military clothing. In 1902, a new official uniform was introduced to the Scouts.

Not all scouts were 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 on a court martial and were executed.

The end of the Indian wars led to a reduction in the number of scouts needed. General Army Order No. 28 of March 9, 1891 reduced the number of scouts to 150: 50 in Arizona, 25 in Dakota, 25 in Missouri, 25 on the Platte River, 15 in Texas, 10 in the District of Columbia.

The Scout Indians and their families were eligible for a military retirement pension thanks to the decree of 4 March 1917.

The Scouts were active throughout the Western Conquest and the Indian Wars of the 19th and 20th centuries, including those who accompanied General John J Pershing in 1916 on the punitive expedition to Mexico against Pancho Villa. The Indian scouts were officially dissolved in 1947 when the latter retired from the army at Fort Huachuca, Arizona. In all 5,817 of them served during these 81 years. In all, 115 of them died in service, 29 succumbed to illnesses or accidents, 5 were murdered or committed suicide, 81 fell into battle.




Apache scout san carlos arizona 1890



1876 ??-1887


War against the Sioux, Battle of Little Big Horn


George Armstrong Custer

The Crows Scouts were the first used by the army in 1876 in the war against the Sioux. The Crows were generally peaceful with the whites but also proved to be the eternal enemies of the Sioux, hence their ease of enlistment. A small group of Scout Crow were part of the Battle of Little Big Horn, the biggest defeat of the US Army. Crows survivors of this battle later served against other Crows groups in 1887.

In April 1876, the small Crow tribe lived under the control of the army on the Crow Agency Reserve in Montana. The Sioux and Cheyenne were the traditional enemies of the Crows, in fact when the war against the Sioux began, many Crows enlisted in the Custer unit.

6 crows and 39 Arikara participated in the Battle of Little Big Horn on June 25, 1876.

Custer with his 500 men attacked the Indian camp of 900 Sioux and Cheyenne. The Americans lost that battle and had more than 250 losses in their ranks.

Crows Scouts, Curly, Goes Ahead, Hairy Moccasin and White Man Runs Him followed Custer's column during the battle; while Half Yellow Face and White Swan left with Major Marcus Reno.

Scouts present with custer were relieved of their duties just before the battle because they had changed their military clothes by Indian clothes. The Scouts wanted to die as a warrior and not as a soldier.

The Curly Scout initially refused to leave with the other Scouts but was finally convinced by a young soldier to leave. During the two days after the battle, Curly traveled the entire region and described the battle using sign language to other tribes in the area. This is the first official report of the death of Custer and the 7th of Cavalry.

All Crows Scouts survived the battle and returned to civilian life. In 1887, they were re-enlisted to fight hostile Crows groups.





Powder river War, Battle of Tongue River, War against the Comanches, Battle of Summit Springs, War against the Sioux.


Frank North, George Crook


The pawnee were native to Nebraska, around the rivers Republican, Platte and Wolf. By December 1864, the Pawnee were already at war with their neighbors, so it was easy for General Samuel Curtis to recruit Scouts for his military expedition. 70 Pawnees engaged on these sides. Shortly thereafter, 1st Lieutenant Frank North was allowed to recruit an additional 100 Pawnees.

On August 22, 1865, North hunted down a group of hostile Indians with 45 of his Scouts when he discovered an enemy encampment. During the engagement against the camp, 27 enemies were killed without any Scout Pawnee being wounded or killed. A second engagement a few days later nearly turned to disaster when the enemy made a surprise counterattack. Once again, no Scout Pawnee was killed or wounded. These two episodes created a myth of Pawnee to the super powers and invulnerable.


In the spring of 1866, the Pawnee Scouts were returned to civilian life until March 1867. North was allowed to create four companies of 50 Scouts to protect the construction of the railway.

The biggest engagement took place on August 22, 1867 against 150 Oglala and Cheyenne warriors. The Pawnee scouts managed to capture the family of the enemy leader and traded them for 3 girls and 2 white boys captured by the Oglala. In the fall of 1867 the Scouts were again retired but resumed service in the spring of 1868. In July 1869 they participated in the Battle of Summit Springs against 900 warriors Arapaho, Sioux and Cheyenne.


Retired in 1870, the Pawnee Scouts returned to service in 1876 to fight the Red Cloud and Sitting Bull leaders. Passed under the command of General Crook, they helped capture Sitting Bull in 1877. The Pawnee Scouts were officially dissolved on May 1, 1877 and returned to their Oklahoma reserve.




1860 -1947


War against the Chiricahua, War against the Navajos, War against the Yavapai, War against Victorio, War against Geronimo, Border War.


George Crook, Albert Sieber, Tom Horn


The Apache scouts are the best known in the history of the wild west, present in each western film and for good reason: they served from 1860 to 1947, were present in every engagement of the US Army and many of them were decorated for bravery in combat.

It is important to note that the Apaches were made up of several distinct bands, having the same culture but could prove to be an enemy. An apache from the west could fight an apache from the east. That's why the army use apache scouts by separate band.


The Tontos Apaches were led by General Crook while the Chiricahuas were under the command of Lieutenant Gatewood. The Apaches of Warm springs under the command of Lieutenant Britton Davis and Mescalero under the command of Major Vanm Horn. We used an apache strip to track another. The Apache chiefs Geronimo and Nana were captured with the help of Apaches.


The Mescalero Apaches served the army during the war against the Navajos in 1863 - 1864. One of the last battles that took place on January 4, 1864 along the Pecos River in New Mexico. When a band of 100 Navajos fled from the Bosque Redondo reserve, the Indian agent hired 60 mescaleros scouts to pursue them. When the fight began, the Navajo realized that they could not flee without their supply, so they took a defensive stance and repelled the Mescaleros scouts. The arrival of the American cavalry pushed the navajos to flee without their supply, leaving behind 40 dead and 25 wounded. No soldier or scout mescaleros was killed or wounded. Two weeks later, Colonel Kit Carson, assisted by the Mescaleros Scouts, managed to capture the fugitives and end the war against the Navajos.

In 1870, General George Crook introduced the idea of ??enlisting whole companies of Scouts. The majority of these Scouts were Apaches divided into two companies but he also recruited navajos, pimas, yaquis, opatas, papagos, walapais, yavapais and paiutes.

These units fought the Apaches of the West and the Yavapai in Arizona.

During the Tonto Basin Campaign in 1872, Crook deployed these Scouts at the Salt River Battle on December 28th. More than 100 Yavapai and Tonto had taken refuge in caves around the Salt River. With 130 cavalrymen and 30 scouts, Crook attacked the caves, killed 76 enemies and captured 34. He did the same feat at Turret Peak on 27 March 1873 when 57 Yavapais and Tonto were killed. Of these two engagements, only one American soldier was killed by Scouts.

Following the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, the Apache scouts became less useful and their number was reduced to 50 men in 1891. In 1915, there remained only 24.

After the Pancho Villa attack in Columbus, New Mexico in March 1916, General John J Pershing was instructed to conduct a punitive expedition to Mexico to capture or kill Villa. Pershing authorized the enlistment of 17 new Apache Scouts. Pancho Villa and his rebels take refuge in the Chihuhua region of Mexico when General Pershing crosses the border. The desert and canyon-strewn area was a major obstacle to the advance of Pershing's army, but not to its Scouts. The Scouts were divided into two groups and met on several occasions with skirmishes. They used their ability to hunt down Villa and his rebels at full speed. The use of scouts allowed Pershing to reach the heart of Chihuahua, occupy part of the territory and fight against Mexican troops.

Scouts hired an enemy force of 150 men on May 5, 1916. During the half-hour battle, 61 Mexicans were killed and 70 others were captured.

After the end of the punitive expedition in 1917, half of the Apache scouts were sent back to civilian life. The remaining 22 Scouts served the armed forces and continued to fight the Mexicans in the 1920s. The last Scout, an Apache, was officially demobilized in 1947.





Texas Indian War, Comanche War, Red River War, Apache War, Garza Revolution.


John L Bullis


The Black Seminole Scout or Seminole Negro Indian Scout included Black Seminoles and Seminole Indians. The black seminoles are former freed slaves who have become an entire band independent of the Seminole nation.

In 1870, the Seminole Nation lived on a reserve in Indian Territory (present-day Oklahoma) but was originally from Florida. Before the United States abolished slavery in December 1865, hundreds of slaves fled to seek refuge at the Seminoles. When the Seminoles were deported to Oklahoma, the former slaves, who became the Black Seminole Nation, moved to Mexico. They were joined by the Black Creeks and Black Cherokees.

In 1870, their leader John Horse received an invitation from the President of the United States to return to the United States and enlist as a scout to fight the hostile Indians. The Black Seminole, about 200 people, accepted the invitation in exchange for land and food. Future Scouts crossed the border on July 4, 1870 and were officially enlisted on August 18 at Fort Duncan, Texas.

Between May 1872 and 1881, Scouts Seminole will fight in many battles against Comanches, Kiowas, Apaches and Kickapoos.

During their long service, out of the 50 men in the Scout unit, none was killed or seriously injured.

4 Black Seminole Scouts were awarded the Medal of Honor, the highest military honor in the United States.

The Seminole Scout Blacks were demobilized in 1914, most were forced to stay on the Fort Clark Reserve. The Black Seminole Scout are buried with their family at the Seminole Indian Scouts Cemetery in Kinney County, Texas.





War against the Chiricahua, War against the Navajos, War against Victorio, War against Geronimo


George Crook, Nelson A Miles


Between 300 and 400 Navajos served as Scouts. More than 125 Navajo Scouts and their wives received pensions from 1920 to 1940.

Army records note Navajos' first engagement in April 1871 under the command of Major William Redwood Price, but they are not recognized as Scout. In January 1873 permission was given to enlist 50 Navajos as Scouts.

The Scouts were engaged in the war against the chief Apache Victorio from 1876 to 1880, then against the chiefs Geronimo and Nana from 1881 to 1886. 150 Navajo scouts were part of the expedition of the 5,000 men engaged against Geronimo in 1886.

At the end of the 1920s, Navajo Scouts were eligible for a retirement pension. Most Scouts had served under an assumed name and lost their enrollment paper. From 1920 to 1940, Indian Agent SF Stacker and Administrator CR Frank took all possible records to provide a pension to all former Scouts.








Will Shorey

Between the War of Independence and the War of 1812, a Native American unit served with the federal forces. Captain Will Shorey commanded the Cherokee Indian Corps, which was in service from May 12 to September 12, 1800. On March 7, 1800, the Secretary of War ordered the formation of the unit. His mission was to punish the offenders of the Cherokee Nation. The records of events records of the unit do not specify offenses.