Cheyenne, WY (PRWEB) July 3, 2008
"The West's Civil War Indian Campaigns," a special three-part series on how the American Civil War helped set off fighting, bloodshed and death between pioneer settlers and the West's Indian tribes, is featured in the July issue of OldWestNewWest.Com (http://www.oldwestnewwest.com), the Internet eZine that focuses on America's Wild West heritage.
The latest installment of the eZine's "The American Civil War in the West" series, "The West's Civil War Indian Campaigns" report looks at how the wars against the tribes reached almost into every state and territory.While the nation watched brother fight brother in America's Civil War, another war was going on in the West: The struggle between Indian tribes and the armies of the North and the South.
"The Indian Wars of 1861-1865 are a little-recognized facet of America's Civil War, but it was a struggle that both Union and Confederate troops faced west of the Mississippi River," said Mike Harris, OldWestNewWest.Com's editor. "Caught in the middle were the pioneers, emigrants and frontier settlers, the men, women and children who lost homes, animals and in many cases, their lives to Indian attacks. Also caught in the middle were the Indian women and children, many of whom died in the fighting, some at what we now call massacres."
As federal troops were withdrawn from the West to fight Confederate forces in the East, a power vacuum was created, Harris said. The Indians watched forts being abandoned and troops withdrawing, and became encouraged.
"The tribes, such as the Apache and the Navajo, thought they had won, so some warriors became even more aggressive against pioneers and small settlements," Harris said. "Left to protect those small settlements were local volunteer troops, and the volunteers could be even more eager to kill Indians than regular army troops."
Part one in the series focuses on the fighting in Nevada and California, and the struggle over gold, silver and cattle. Part two looks at the fighting in the Southwest against the Apache and the Navajo. Part three focuses on the battles in Minnesota, Dakota Territory, Idaho and Colorado, some of the bloodiest in the West between 1861-1865.
"The worst may have been the Dakota Uprising of 1862, where Dakota warriors, frustrated over the broken promises of payments of money and supplies, went to war," Harris said. "The attack on the town of New Ulm, Minnesota, was one of the worst in our history. Many settlers were killed, and the town was nearly overrun. The fighting was just the start of bloody conflict that would continue into the 1870s."
OldWestNewWest.Com, the Internet eZine that showcases how the New West celebrates America's Old West, is published by Cheyenne, Wyoming-based La Frontera Publishing, publisher of historic fiction and non-fiction books about the American West. Its Web site can be found at http://www.lafronterapublishing.com and reached at (307) 778-4752. LFP's eZine, OldWestNewWest.Com, can be found at http://www.oldwestnewwest.com.