The description below is in English, but the book is in German. Page 106 has a list of German and Swiss Medal of Honor Recipients During the Indian Wars. This is a free download.
The Battle of the Little Big Horn is one of the most controversial events in American history. The downfall of five companies from the 7th Cavalry was a shock to the US, which still has an effect today. Investigations of the 7th US cavalry founded in 1866, found over half of the soldiers came from foreign countries. In 1876, the year of the fatal battle, 43% of the soldiers were still foreigners, among them not less than 131 Germans. These foreigners came from Bavaria, Hanover, Prussia, Württemberg, Baden, Berlin and Frankfurt am Main. Seven soldiers came from the German-speaking Switzerland. For the first time, a scholar has meticulously examined the files of the German and Swiss soldiers in the most famous cavalier regiment of the USA and thereby filled a gap of the historiography.
Diane, thanks and howdy by the way! I first met Albert Winkler when I published his article "The Germans in the Seventh U.S. Cavalry at the Battle of the Little Big Horn" in the 2013 issue of Greasy Grass. He's also helped with some research about White Swan material in the BYU Library...
Diane, a big thank you for this recommendation. A very interesting book with many details. That many Germans and Swiss fought in the seventh cavalry is well known. But who these men were and where they came from is new. At least for me. Greetings from Germany, Gregor
Post by Californian on Nov 12, 2018 19:57:46 GMT -5
Although it is well known that many soldiers serving in the U.S. military during the Indian wars were native-born Europeans little has been done in terms of a systematic analysis. Of course after the Civil War quite a few of the men enlisting in the army were as it had been stated elsewhere adventure seekers, runaways, ruffians from the large eastern cities or simply guys wanting to escape domesticity and in view of that many stated false names and ages - perhaps not unlike the French Foreign Legion in the 1950's and 1960's. About 30 years ago in Lomita, California I knew a ninety-year-old man who stated that his father had served with General Crook in the Apache Campaign in Arizona and New Mexico in the mid 1880's. His father had run away as a teenager from his native Leipzig, Germany and somehow made it to America. He showed me pieces of his father's cavalry uniform. Before long, his German family had managed to track him down and get him returned back to his homeland. Some forty years later, in the mid 1920's his son, the man I would later know in the mid 1980's in California, emigrated to the United States. If I remember right, his surname was Kretschmar or a variation thereof. I remember that he died around 1988 or 1989.
Actually, quite a lot has been done. Besides three very well researched compendiums of participants for the Little Big Horn fight, the continuing research by Albert Winkler (German), Peter Russell (Great Britain and Ireland), there are several other folks researching specific nationalities as well. Just read on the LBHA boards of a wonderful biography of the Swedish born NCO in 1876 who returned to Sweden and became a Swedish general. The US Army has done several compendiums of the makeup of the Army in that timeframe. Don Rickey's great book about the enlisted army is a classic. Suggest a visit to the LBHA board to start and use that information to enter into the world of the post civil war army...have fun! By the way, your stories are much appreciated. They add to the collectives. Please have a great day.
Post by Californian on Nov 14, 2018 10:40:49 GMT -5
Thank you Rodthomas, I shall follow your advise and check the LBHA board. What I meant was that a systematic analysis of all (!) foreign-born nationals serving in the army during the Indian wars, a time period when enlistment was voluntary. Thanks again.