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a repetition of the blunders of

The Indian War.

      The Government seems at last to be waking up to the fact that there is an Indian war. Under date of October 9,1868, Gen. Sheridan, under directions received through Gen. Sherman from the Secretary of War, called on Gov. Crawford of Kansas, for one regiment of mounted volunteers, to serve for a period of six months, unless sooner discharged, against the Indians. The regiment is to consist of one Colonel, one Lieutenant Colonel, three Majors, twelve Captains, twelve First Lieutenants, twelve Second Lieutenants, twelve companies of one hundred men each, including the required number of non-commissioned officers specified in the United States Army Regulations, (1863); the pay, allowances, and emoluments of officers and men to be tbe same as that of United States troops; the same to rendezvous and be mustered into the service of the United States at Topeka as soon as possible; to be rationed from the time of their arrival at the rendezvous, and to be furnished with arms, equipments, horses and clothing from the date of their muster into the service. Gov. Crawford has of course issued the necessary proclamation.
      It will be remembered that he called for six companies a few weeks ago, the men to furnish everything but arms and subsistence, themselves, and to depend on the favorable action of the Legislature for their pay. To this, it seems, no volunteers responded. No, patriotism is quite rampant in the country generally, but few men are inclined, if they are able, to give their time, and furnish their horses, for the Indian war-path, unless indeed, they have personally lost some Indians. After waiting a few weeks, and learning meanwhile all this which we could have told him at the time Gen. Schofield has taken a business-like step — authorized the enlisting of a regiment for six months’ service under the Government of the United States.
      We do not want to be captious, but have to suggest that even this seems to us a repetition of the blunders of 1861 and 2 in respect of calling out volunteers to fight down the rebellion. Seventy-five thousand three months’ men were succeeded by five hundred thousand three years’ men, and then we had to have the veterans, the draft, “300,000 more,” and “300,000 more,” until we shuddered and grew sick at heart. Doubtless this is far enough for the Secretary of War to go without the authority of Congress, but upon the meeting of that body, we hope to see the calling of about five regiments into the field, one say from New Mexico, Colorado, and Montana each, and two from Kansas, authorized by Congress, and this for a term of at least two years, unless sooner discharged. We take it for granted everybody but Col. Tappan concedes there must be war before there can be peace — that in fact there is war. It will be cheaper and better got along with every way to do it by the job instead of by the piece. Puttering with it is what is the matter now. It is time it were taken hold of as Grant did of the campaign against Richmond — is time we raise an ample force and go against the Indians with a fight it out till they are crushed and rendered harmless if it takes all summer or all of half a dozen summers.

front page editorial, at The Rocky Mountain News 10:48, (October 20, 1868), via digitization at the Colorado Historic Newspapers Collection : link

30 March 2024