North American Indians in the Great War

By Joseph K. Dixon | Go to book overview

Notes

Introduction

1. Elm referred here to Foster Decorah (Winnebago), from Mauston WI. He served in Company D, 128th Infantry, 32nd Division, and was killed in action at the battle of Château-Thierry. See the list of American Indian veterans compiled by Mrs. Joseph Bear on Society of American Indians letterhead, n.d., Wanamaker Documentation, William Hammond Mathers Museum, Indiana University (hereafter Wanamaker Documentation); Sam Thundercloud interview, 3 Mar. 1919, Dixon, “The American Indian in the World War” (“American Indian” hereafter), Book 2, 2, Wanamaker Documentation.

2. Elm referred here to John A. Sky Jr. (Chippewa), thirty-one, from Odanah wi. He served in the 32nd Division, was killed at Château-Thierry in the Aisne-Marne Offensive of July-Aug. 1918, and was honored by having the American Legion Post at Odanah named for him. See John A. Sky Jr., questionnaire, n.d., Wanamaker Documentation.

3. Arthur Elm interview, 27 Mar. 1919, Dixon, “American Indian,” Book 3, 13–17, 17A–17E.

4. Estimates vary for the number of American Indians who served in World War I. The Office of Indian Affairs apparently had many inquiries about the number of Indian soldiers, as it created a form letter that began, “Responsive to your inquiry concerning the number of Indians in the World War, the 1918 Report of the Provost Marshal General to the Secretary of War gives 17,313 as the number who offered their services, while 6,509 were inducted.” See Records Relating to Indians in World War I and World War II, ca. 1920–21 and 1945, Entry 998E, Indian Office Circulars, Record Group 75, Civil Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington DC (hereafter E998E, RG 75, NA). The Office of Indian Affairs Bulletin 15 (1922) estimated that “12,000 Indian boys … were engaged in the World War”; see Card File Relating to Indians in World War I, 1916–20, Entry 977B, Indian Office Circulars, Record Group 75, Civil Reference Branch, National Archives, Washington DC (hereafter E977B, RG75,NA).

5. See Wise, Red Man in the New World Drama; White, “American Indian as Soldier”; Finger, “Conscription, Citizenship, and 'Civilization'”;

-199-

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North American Indians in the Great War
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Studies in War, Society, and the Military ii
  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Illustrations ix
  • Acknowledgments xi
  • Introduction 1
  • 1: Serving for Duty and Justice 17
  • 2: Battlefield Experiences Around the World 35
  • 3: On the Front Lines as Scouts and Runners 66
  • 4: Killed in Action and Other Casualties of War 80
  • 5: Noncombat Service 97
  • 6: Proud to Be α Warrior 118
  • 7: The Discouraging Return Home 133
  • 8: Soldiers but Not Citizens 154
  • Afterword 165
  • Appendix 179
  • Notes 199
  • Bibliography 235
  • Index 241
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