Civil War Years
This anti-Native American sentiment is echoed in books of the
era such as Andrew Peabodys The Hawaiian Islands (1865), which claimed that a law
of the divine Providence caused some races to submit to
those of superior physical and intellectual vigor:
Under this law . . . the aborigines of North America will ultimately
disappear, and the humane policy which ought to have been pursued
to them from the first would not have ensured their preservation
in the land, though it would have averted the condemnation of
blood-guiltiness from the European settlers. (Page
Despite the prevalence of beliefs such as Andrew Peabody's, the
Union Army welcomed many Native American volunteers to fight in
the Civil War. James
Blunts December 2, 1862 letter to Kansas Citizens requests
aid to nearby refugee Indians driven from their homes by
the Rebel for no other reason than adhering in their allegiance
to their great Father.
Ironically, a year later, Kit Carson
led the Union Army in an attack on the Navajos in the desert Southwest.
Union Soldiers destroyed crops, orchards, livestock, and homes in
a campaign to relocate the tribes to a federal reservation.
Thousands of Navajos surrendered to U.S. troops
in 1864. These men, women, and children were forced to walk 300
miles to Fort Sumner, New Mexico. This legendary Long Walk
ended at a small, disease-filled camp that served as a Navajo
prison for four years.