Rebellion 1870     
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Detail of detachment of Seminole Negro Indian Scouts
Detachment of Seminole Negro Indian Scouts in the early 1890s.

See enlarged view at the Fort Clark and the Rio Grande Frontier section of the Texas Beyond History Web site. 

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In 1870, the Seminole Negroes were about to enter one of their most storied phases. Serving as advance scouts for the army, armed with Sharps rifles and Spencer carbines that replaced their traditional muzzle loaders, the maroons became a feared fighting force. They were one of the pivotal units—possibly the pivotal unit—in the U.S. counter-raids that effectively ended Indian hostilities on the Texas frontier. U.S. regular troops could rout the Indians, but only when they could find them. The dangerous work of locating hostiles fell to the Seminole Negroes.

For the U.S. Army, circumstances could not have created a more suitable set of scouts at a time when they were desperately needed. Many of the scouts had more than 20 years of experience as Indian fighters in the badlands of Texas and Mexico. They spoke Spanish, English, and Indian languages. They had survived in the region’s barren wilderness through extraordinary skills as trappers, hunters, and warriors. In time, their service won the admiration of every officer they served with.

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Sources: Foster 47-48, Wallace 98-104, 109, 125, 177-79, Mulroy 115-117, Carter “A Raid Into Mexico” 1-9. ©
Part 4, Freedom: Outline  l Images
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 Trail Narrative
 + Prologue
 + Background: 1693-1812
 + Early Years: 1812-1832
 + War: 1832-1838
 + Exile: 1838-1850
 - Freedom: 1850-1882
+ Cost of Freedom
+ Liberty Foretold
+ Liberty Found
Los Mascogos
Fort Clark
 + Legacy & Conclusion


See other online resources on the history of the scouts