Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wednesday Western -The Cavalry and Infantry of the Plains

After the Civil War, President Andrew Johnson signed an “Act to increase and fix the Military Peace Establishment of the United States” to strengthen western security. The constituents living in the west were being preyed upon by Indians and  civil war soldiers unable to settle into regular life and they asked for more military force.

The U.S. Army had five regiment of artillery and they added infantry from nineteen to forty-five regiments. The six regiments of U.S. Cavalry were expanded to ten. Negro enlisted men made up two of the new mounted regiments and four of the infantry. They were led by white officers. The Army permitted 1000 Indian scouts to work as cavalrymen on the frontier.

The legislation allotted a similar system to the cavalry as was used during the Civil War.

Regimental staff consisted of:
one colonel
one lieutenant colonel
three majors
one adjutant
one quartermaster
one regimental commissar
 one veterinary surgeon
one sergeant major
one quartermaster sergeant
 one commissary sergeant
one saddler sergeant
one chief trumpeter
one regimental hospital steward
There could also be one veterinary surgeon who functioned without a commission.

A Company consisted of:
One captain
One first lieutenant
One second lieutenant
One first sergeant
One quartermaster sergeant
Five sergeants
Eight corporals
Two trumpeters
Two farriers and blacksmiths
One saddler
One bagoner
And seventy-eight privates.

In 1867 President Johnson allowed all companies to have 100 privates.

The reason I looked up this information was to get a feel for the officers and numbers of the Army and Cavalry who chased after the Non-Treaty Nez Perce when they fled to freedom in 1877.

My current release Spirit of the Sky is set during the grueling chase and the aftermath and consequences forced upon the Nez Perce. Spirit of the Sky is a romance, but the backdrop for the romance is the injustice the U.S. government and Army forced upon the Non-Treaty Nez Perce.

Blurb for Spirit of the Sky
To save her from oppression, he must save her whole tribe. To give her his heart, he must desert his career…
When the US Army forces the Nimiipuu from their land, Sa-qan, the eagle spirit entrusted with watching over her tribe, steps in to save her mortal niece. Challenging the restrictions of the spirit world, Sa-qan assumes human form and finds an unexpected ally in a handsome cavalry officer.
Certain she is a captive, Lt. Wade Watts, a Civil War veteran, tries to help the blonde woman he finds sheltering a Nez Perce child. While her intelligent eyes reveal she understands his language, she refuses his help. But when Wade is wounded, it is the beautiful Sa-qan who tends him. Wade wishes to stop the killing—Sa-qan will do anything to save her people.
Can their differences save her tribe? Or will their love spell the end of the Nimiipuu?


Stephanie said...

Very interesting information, and I love the blurb from Spirit of the Sky.

Paty Jager said...

Stephanie, Thanks for stopping in and commenting.