By Paul R. Wylie
at the morning of January 23, 1870, troops of the 2d U.S. Cavalry attacked a Piegan Indian village at the Marias River in Montana Territory, killing many greater than the army’s count number of 173, such a lot of them girls, kids, and outdated males. The village was once bothered with smallpox. Worse, it used to be the inaccurate encampment. meant as a retaliation opposed to Mountain Chief’s renegade band, the bloodbath sparked public outrage while information resources printed that the battalion had attacked Heavy Runner’s blameless village—and that publications had instructed its drunk commander, significant Eugene Baker, he used to be at the fallacious path, yet he struck besides. Remembered as essentially the most heinous incidents of the Indian Wars, the Baker bloodbath has usually been overshadowed through the better-known conflict of the Little Bighorn and hasn't ever bought complete therapy until eventually now.
writer Paul R. Wylie plumbs the heritage of Euro-American involvement with the Piegans, who have been contributors of the Blackfeet Confederacy. His examine indicates the tribe was once buying and selling furs for whiskey with the Hudson’s Bay corporation prior to Meriwether Lewis encountered them in 1806. As American fur investors and trappers moved into the area, the U.S. executive quickly undefined, making treaties it didn't honor. whilst the gold rush began within the 1860s and the U.S. military arrived, strain from Montana voters to manage the Piegans and make the territory secure led Generals William Tecumseh Sherman and Philip H. Sheridan to ship Baker and the second Cavalry, with tragic outcomes. even if those generals sought to dictate press assurance thereafter, information of the cruelty of the killings seemed within the New York Times, which referred to as the bloodbath “a extra surprising affair than the sacking of Black Kettle’s camp at the Washita” years earlier.
whereas different students have written in regards to the Baker bloodbath in comparable contexts, Blood at the Marias gives this notorious occasion the definitive therapy it merits. Baker’s inept command lit the spark of violence, yet many years of anxiety among Piegans and whites set the level for a brutal and too-often-forgotten incident.
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Blood on the Marias: The Baker Massacre by Paul R. Wylie