Indian War Programming
Clashes between settlers and explorers on one side and Native Americans on the other occurred from the very first time peoples of different colors faced each other on what would become American soil. Indeed, the resettlement of Native Americans was a central issue throughout the first 200 years of American history.
The role of the United States Army was to keep settlers and Indians from tangling. At the start of the Civil War and throughout it, Indian affairs were a significant consideration for both governments, and entanglements punctuated the headlines just as they did before and after the war. America even experienced at the Dakota Sioux Indian War of 1862—Union General John Pope was sent from Manassas to put down that uprising, and Abraham Lincoln hanged 39 Indians on one day in Mankato, Minnesota.
With very few exceptions, Indian conflicts were small in scale over long distances and of minor consequence, except to those settlers protected by the U.S. Army presence. Before the war, men like Robert E. Lee, Albert Sydney Johnston, and John Bell Hood all had Indian experiences, and after the war George Crook, Phil Sheridan, William Terry, and George A. Custer all populated the ranks. The Indian Wars are America in the 19th century. The BGES programming respects that legacy and provides a robust series of well-planned thematic events that expand the participant’s knowledge of the interaction of that national policy toward the native population.