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Old November 27th, 2012, 05:02 PM   #1

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Tidbits from the American West


Inspired by TJ's Useless Trivia thread, I thought about starting something a little more focused but along the same lines. A place for those details that always seem to enrich the heritage.

I will get started with a story from Montague Stevens. Famous for his grizzly bear hunts, the one-armed Stevens is pictured below in a picture by Frederick Remington. Remington, Stevens, and Nelson A. Miles are in the picture that commemorates their hunt.



Click the image to open in full size.


Montague traveled frequently with the Cavalry on patrols hunting for Apaches in New Mexico. He was without an official title and simply came along as a guest. Turns out, he served as an interpreter because many of the soldiers spoke only European languages. Stevens spoke German and French fluently. In fact, he was actually English and never became an American because of his lifelong attachment to the Crown. It went like this:

"The commissioned officer would inform me of his orders in English, I would then translate them into German, and some of the German soldiers knew Scandanavian languages and they, in turn, would relate the orders to the boys from Norway and Sweden. Then I would translate the orders into French, and some of the French boys knew Italian, and they would relay the orders to the Italians. After a while, everybody had a rather hazy idea of what they were supposed to do."


This link will take you to Mr. Stevens book on Google:

Meet Mr. Grizzly: A Saga on the Passing of the Grizzly Bear by Montague Stevens - Reviews, Discussion, Bookclubs, Lists

MEET MR. GRIZZLY.: Montague Stevens: Amazon.com: Books
MEET MR. GRIZZLY.: Montague Stevens: Amazon.com: Books

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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:07 PM   #2

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Great, hope to read more as I follow this thread.
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Old November 27th, 2012, 09:36 PM   #3
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Interesting . A Remington painting alright. Horses and men were always sort of wore down to a nubbin. "Ganted " up some .

The translation tthing . Must have been down right confusing . Why the devil did they recruit men who did not understand English ?
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Old November 27th, 2012, 11:13 PM   #4
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Sounds interesting!!!
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Old November 28th, 2012, 02:40 AM   #5

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Quote:
Originally Posted by McGrunt View Post
Interesting . A Remington painting alright. Horses and men were always sort of wore down to a nubbin. "Ganted " up some .

The translation tthing . Must have been down right confusing . Why the devil did they recruit men who did not understand English ?
All about the Benjamins. Always looking to save a dollar or two, the 19th century US government recruited men right off the docks so they could get away with paying them about 50% of the going wage. Checking the rosters for soldiers in that era is quite interesting. Truly an international bunch.

The frontier was manned by several regiments of buffalo soldiers as well. Very strong contingents of Germans and Irish. Not really Am-Irish of which there were many but, fresh Irishmen right from the boat.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 03:31 AM   #6

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The worst posting in the West; Fort Ruby, Nevada

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Fort Ruby, Ruby Valley, Nevada
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Old November 28th, 2012, 06:33 AM   #7

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Baltis View Post

The frontier was manned by several regiments of buffalo soldiers as well. Very strong contingents of Germans and Irish. Not really Am-Irish of which there were many but, fresh Irishmen right from the boat.
Muster Roll for the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, haven't counted them myself but another site gives the number of foreign born soldiers at the LBH as 42%.

http://www.friendslittlebighorn.com/...avalry1876.pdf

Click the image to open in full size.
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Old November 28th, 2012, 07:05 AM   #8

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Originally Posted by Triceratops View Post
Muster Roll for the Seventh Cavalry at the Little Big Horn, haven't counted them myself but another site gives the number of foreign born soldiers at the LBH as 42%.

http://www.friendslittlebighorn.com/...avalry1876.pdf
Must have been really interesting to command 100 men and only have about 75 who understand the commands given. I counted 25 German/Swiss without getting beyond the Bs.

I'm not certain of this (probably get caught speculating) but I believe the percentage likely only gets larger as more of the civil war vets get out. LBH was about 7 or 8 years before the Apache campaigns of Mr. Stevens day really got going.
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Old November 29th, 2012, 05:54 AM   #9

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Apache ambush


On the morning of December 19, 1885 Troop C of the 8th Cavalry broke camp and headed east into the Mogollon Mountains. Led by Lt. Cabell the troop had 28 enlisted men and 10 Navajo scouts. The surgeon, Lt. Thomas Maddox also rode along. The troop rode up a steep hill (now known as 'Soldier's Hill'. Just at its crest, 3 Apache warriors appeared on a ridge directly to their front. The warriors laughed and opened fire on the column killing Dr. Maddox immediately. The troopers dismounted but now Indians appeared on the hillsides above them on either side creating a wicked crossfire. Four more troopers died before Cabell and the others could take cover. Several more troopers were wounded including Lt. Cabell. The Apache captured their horses and ammunition wagon before vanishing into the mountains.

Montague Stevens told the tale, "All they could see was the smoke from their rifles, an Apache, however, as soon as he fired his rifle, would quickly dart to another place of concealment about ten yards away. In shooting at the rifle smoke, the soldiers were only shooting at a spot where an Apache had just been."

Click the image to open in full size.


Story found in:

True Tales of the American Southwest: Pioneer Recollections of Frontier Adventures: Howard Bryan: 9780940666962: Amazon.com: Books
True Tales of the American Southwest: Pioneer Recollections of Frontier Adventures: Howard Bryan: 9780940666962: Amazon.com: Books

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Old November 29th, 2012, 06:16 AM   #10

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Keep finding and posting Balt, I find all this refreshing to read.
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