Four hundred sixteen!? CONFIRMED!

This is a figure I absolutely must check out.

I’m reading Max Boot’s Invisible Armies about guerrilla warfare. I noted somewhere how I went to see the movie Hostiles and noticed how the fort in the movie, Ft. Winslow, CO., had no stockade. Very strange since all the cowboy and Indian movies I had ever seen had forts with stockades and the Indians would ride around and around the fort’s stockade shooting arrows and bullets at the defenders. I was just starting Boot’s chapter on Plains warfare and read that frontier forts had no stockade b/c they were bases, not defense points. Ha!

Then I read that the casualties in the Indian Wars west of the Mississippi amounted to the following from 1848 to 1890: Native Americans c. 5500, soldiers c. 1100, civilians 416. 416

July 24, 2018

I wrote that Feb. 24. Last Saturday I got to the ASU library and found the source of Boot’s quote. It gave that figure, calling it “U.S. civilian casualties”. I was still unsure so I looked up the author, an instructor at VMI and editor of the Journal of Military History. I e-mailed him and he got right back to me that according to his sources, that figure of 416 is correct and he labels it as part of the hyperbole constructing the move West.

Aug. 4 James Loewen writes in Lies My Teacher Told Me, p. 116, that in the move across the Plains, involving 250,000 Whites and Blacks, between 1840 and 1860, only 362 pioneers and 426 Native Americans perished in “all the recorded battles between the two groups.” Given the broader time-frame of Bruce Vandervort’s figures, 1848 to 1890, the extra number is understandable. And I apologize to that author for not giving his name earlier, nor the title of his book, Indian Wars of Mexico, Canada, and the United States: 1812-1900.

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