The primary role of Soldiers in Indian campaigns was patrol and pursuit. The men of the cavalry were ideal Soldiers for the job, having the capacity to cover large expanses of territory quickly on horseback and keep pace with mounted Indian warriors.
First Sergeant, Troop H, 1st U.S. Cavalry
At White Bird Canyon, Idaho, June 1877
St. Johns, Newfoundland
Was detailed with 6 men to hold a commanding position, and held it with great gallantry until the troops fell back. He then fought his way through the Indians, rejoined a portion of his command, and continued the fight in retreat. He had 2 horses shot from under him, and was captured, but escaped and reported for duty after 3 days' hiding and wandering in the mountains.
Indian Scouts were enlisted Native American trackers, interpreters and guides familiar with the western territory and guerilla style warfare of the native Indians. An Indian Scout’s effectiveness against their own tribe’s traditional enemy was quickly realized and respected by American officers. The 16 Indian Scout medals represent the collective gallantry of more than 750 native warriors against the feuding tribes of the west.
Sergeant, Pawnee Scouts, U.S. Army
At Republican River, Kans., 8 July 1869
Ran out from the command in pursuit of a dismounted Indian; was shot down and badly wounded by a bullet from his own command.
While the origin of the name is debatable, the 10th Infantry adopted the buffalo as part of their regimental coat of arms and the term “Buffalo Soldiers” became synonymous with all-black units throughout the 1800s.
Sergeant, Company D, 9th U.S. Cavalry
At Milk River, Colo., 2-5 October 1879
Voluntarily left fortified shelter and under heavy fire at close range made the rounds of the pits to instruct the guards, fought his way to the creek and back to bring water to the wounded.