With federal resources concentrated on waging the war farther east, both indigenous tribes and also the Confederacy test to case or reclaim lands west of the Mississippi. The Federal federal government responded with procedures (Homestead Act, transcontinental railroad) and military projects designed to encourage settlement, solidify Union manage of the trans-Mississippi West, and further marginalize the physics and cultural presence of tribes aboriginal to the West.

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Although progressed under the mantle that protection, the nation"s American Indian population in the West boring the price of the westward-looking military and political undertakings.


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Detail indigenous Emmanuel Leutze"s mural study Westward the food of realm Takes its way which celebrate the idea of Manifest Destiny simply when the polite War threatened the republic.

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On February 13, 1861, native of secession and also the specter that civil war troubled a young U.S. Army captain. "I myself come from a Union loving State," Virginia"s George Pickett created his command on February 13 from mountain Juan Island, a far Washington region encampment in the extreme northwestern corner of the unified States, "but matters are taking such phase at current that she and the various other border territory says . . . Have the right to not do their voices heard. . . . On the other hand, I execute not prefer to be bullied no one dragged out of the Union by the precipitory and indecent haste of southern Carolina. Write me what girlfriend think the finest course to seek in instance of a rest up. . . . What will we do with the public property and also funds In some cases there might be a general scramble."Two days later, in remote new Mexico Territory, Manuelito, Armijo, Ganado Mucho, and other Navajo chieftains ended a gathering through U.S. Military officers near fort Fauntleroy.. Recognizing the "reduced and impoverished problem of the Nation", Col. Edward R.S. Canby wrote of break up a treaty that pledged support and protection yet "required the Chiefs to collection their people and also establish lock in designated localities whereby they will be under the observation and control not only of the chiefs however of the troops." Canby eschewed the "most comprehensive conditions" directed by instructions through an eye "to location the affairs of this people in a problem that will lead as speedily as feasible to the irreversible settlement that all inquiries with them."Across the continent, Emanuel Leutze, one artist and German immigrant, labored in his brand-new York City studio top top the final stages the a mural research commissioned through the U.S. Conference Entitled westward the food of empire Takes the Way, his triumphant vision featured rugged, white, rifle-carrying pioneers guiding covered wagon trains that American settlers throughout a perilous hill ridge, away from the dark and death of the eastern toward the advertising light the the West. Consciously, Leutze to be crafting his work-related to embody the well-known perception of what he termed the "grand peaceful conquest of the great West."Viewed independently, this concurrent, geographically disparate episodes administer a glimpse right into the regional zeitgeist - the heart of the time - top top the night of the outbreak that war. Viewed collectively, lock speak to a broader, core issue of the era: the desire because that protection and also security. Exacerbated by the country"s crumbling harmony, issue for safety and stability flooded every corners the the fledgling country in beforehand 1861. As war erupted, oft-conflicting interpretations of defense presented distinctive challenges to those living, working, or with interests in what was then recognized as the much West. Spurred by a desire to maintain the western states and territories within the Union, the federal government"s responses to this perceptions assisted redefine the west Movement and shaped the area"s future for years to come.Until the night of the polite War, the Westward activity was Manifest Destiny incarnate; together such, that was consistently popularized as an East-to-West phenomenon. As unabashedly romanticized in Leutze"s 1861 mural study, created routes -including the Oregon, California and Santa Fe Trails -siphoned settlers and miners westward . In solution to calls because that their defense from the American Indians, the federal government responded by establishing frontier and coastal forts garrisoned by Regular army soldiers. By 1861, nearly 75% of the Army"s soldiers offered at dozens of posts west the the Mississippi River, ranging from Pickett"s write-up in Washington are to Fort point in California"s san Francisco Bay to forts scattered transparent the Southwest. The civil war lugged dramatic adjust to these outposts. Shortly prior to the bombardment of ft Sumter, U.S. Army responsibility for national protection and also security set in motion an extraordinary eastward movement of soldiers and also equipment.Originally meant to protect the understanding of a decimal of settlers and also miners, these soldiers were ill-positioned for guaranteeing the fine being of practically 97% that the U.S. Population that resided eastern of the Missouri River. These continual soldiers were spirited east as quickly as possible. With more than 10,000 soldiers offer in the west posts, this eastward motion triggered pertains to over defense for those left behind. Chairman Abraham Lincoln shortly authorized elevating of volunteers within the states and territories "to help in enforcing the laws and also protecting windy property," come replace plenty of of the departing Regular army soldiers and also established extr forts come protect brand-new interests. California, for example, quickly raised one infantry regiment and also five cavalry companies "for the security of the Overland mail Route between California and also the eastern States, by method of Salt Lake City."Such problem for defense was warranted, specifically in locations with populations sympathetic come the Confederacy or with interests in forging an live independence Pacific Republic. Caches of U.S. Arms and ammunition in west arsenals attracted special attention. In Oregon and Washington Territory, pro-Union citizens exposed a plot hatched by "conspiring traitors" to capture the arsenal at fort Vancouver. . On February 16, confronted with a hostile state militia, Gen. David Twiggs agreed come evacuate all federal troops indigenous Texas, and also surrendered federal buildings, the arsenal, and also military shop valued in ~ $1 million to the state. Confederate forces seized several various other arsenals in Arkansas, and Louisiana as well.The Confederacy was fast to realize the value of the Southwest . Utilizing Texas together a base, the Confederate plan focused top top dislodging Union forces from the Southwest and continuing north to the resource-rich mines the Colorado, and possibly on come the California gold fields. Wending across Texas and also then north follow me the Rio Grande, pressures under the newly-minted Confederate Gen. Henry Hopkins Sibley outmaneuvered Canby"s Anglo and Native new Mexican volunteer at Valverde, occupying both Albuquerque and also Santa Fe. Only fort Union in front and an isolated fort Craig behind challenged Sibley"s plan; the was, until the swift winter march of volunteer - well-known as Pike"s Peakers - native Colorado Territory, commanded by Col. John P. Slough involved the rescue. Alarmed by word of Sibley"s progress, Slough"s guys raced southward. At ft Union, they gained additional strength from the garrison and also followed the Santa Fe Trail toward the occupied cities. At the exact same time, Confederate forces under Col. William R. Scurry adhered to the trail eastern from Santa Fe, setting the two militaries on a collision course.While the fighting in the subsequent battle - known as Glorieta Pass and also heralded due to the fact that as the "Gettysburg of the West" - was fierce however inconclusive, it was the plot of a losing under Maj. Man Chivington, guided through Lt. Col. Manuel Chaves and also his native new Mexico Volunteers, that finished the threat of a Confederate West. Chaves led Chivington"s troops west across mountainous terrain in an initiative to flank the Confederates. Reaching a 200-foot cliff and also finding the foe supply train listed below lightly guarded, Chivington"s males scrambled down and also destroyed every little thing - much more than 80 wagons and 500 mules and also horses. The Confederate army left brand-new Mexico, retreating south and east to san Antonio. Main later, the California column of Union troops moved eastward from the Pacific come Tucson along the overland stagecoach route, skirmishing with Confederates in ~ Pichaco pass (in present day Arizona), the war"s westernmost battle. After other western campaigns, finishing in the Confederate defeat at the Arkansas fight of Pea Ridge in 1862, the Confederacy was never again to provide a viable risk to the southwest.Military action was but one tool of the federal government"s wartime strategy in the West. Secession initiated much change, consisting of the elimination of southerly Congressional opposition come Republican sustained "internal improvement" tasks aimed at much more tightly binding west states and also territories come the Union. The morl reel Land grant Act that 1862 allotted 30,000 acre of land for the facility of land grant colleges in every state remaining in the Union. While concentrated on agriculture and mechanical arts, consist of of the to teach of army tactics buttressed the last act. The homestead Act the 1862 - designed, in part, to free eastern family members from poverty and also overcrowding - permitted any citizen or citizenship-seeker who had actually not borne arms against the federal government to lay insurance claim to 160 acre of available public land, noted he live on it for five years or payment $1.25 per acre ~ a 6 month residency. The Pacific Railway action of 1862 and also subsequent amendments listed aid for building and construction of a transcontinental railroad and also telegraph heat - assist in the type of generous land grants (in some instances, as much as ten miles for every mile of monitor laid) and also government bonds come the Union Pacific and central Pacific rail companies. "The proposition is a plain one," exclaimed man R. Barret, a U.S. Representative native Missouri, "and any business man must see how, through this great measure, ours brethren top top the Pacific slope have the right to be protected and accommodated, our nation furnished through a important defense; our business promoted, and also the many economical means provided for transportation of mails, supplies of war."The benefit of a supportive political environment was not shed on president Lincoln; he played an active function in propagating an environment where the Union would certainly be sustained, his supporters would be rewarded, and, where possible, Republican political views can be advanced. Ar patronage was a an important tool because that Lincoln. The capacity to appoint guys of his selection to key territorial roles -such together governors, secretaries, commonwealth district judgeships, floor office commissioners, and territorial marshals - served not only to recognize those who had actually lent support to the but likewise to institutionalize assistance for the issues he valued. With 7 western regions ripe because that patronage appointments in 1861, Lincoln predominantly called Republican pendant - well-known pejoratively together "The tribe of Abraham" -to the territories" thirty-five element positions and also dozens that others. These had gubernatorial nominees william Gilpin the Colorado Territory and William Jayne the Dakota Territory, who both sustained federal jae won of the transcontinental railroad.Although progressed under the mantle the protection, the nation"s American Indian population in the West boring the price of these military and also political undertakings, which accelerated the dispossession that American Indians and also threatened the security of their lands, property, culture, and core existence. American Indian tribal solution was as complex as it to be individualized. Couple of actively seek war, yet concerns because that safety often led come conflict, when some observed the battle as an possibility to defend or reclaim timeless lands and also reassert sovereignty. The Indian Territory"s 5 Civilized Nations, for example, increased over 5,000 soldiers who fought for the Confederacy at battles consisting of Pea Ridge. Compelled northward right into Kansas, after refusing to align with the Confederacy, other Cherokees, Choctaws, Chickasaws, Seminoles, and Creeks battled Confederates - consisting of their very own tribal members - as the Union Indian Brigade.With the it spreads widely of political initiatives aimed at encouraging white settlement, the function of implementation often fell to the volunteer units who had replaced soldiers of the continual Army. Although much from advocates of preserving American Indian culture, before the war Regular army units had occasionally offered a moderating function between settler and American Indian interests.. The western volunteer filling in behind the Regular army soldiers were of a distinctly different mettle. As one officer noted, lock were men "made the stern stuff. . . Inured to hill life. . . Pioneers and also miners; guys self-reliant and also enduring" but likewise prone to have "advocated the extermination the the Indians." back overwhelmingly white, including some native the western Jewish population, numerous were Hispanic, others to be African American, and still others were American Indian. A number- known as "galvanized Yankees" - were former Confederates who swore allegiance to the Union. As residents of the West, they possessed a an ext vested interest in problems that motivated settlement and also internal improvements, and many took an active, aggressive duty in protecting these interests. Instances of the resulting aggressions are rife. In addition to the Bear river Massacre inflicted by California volunteers on Shoshones in Washington are in 1863, in 1864, Col. Chivington led Colorado and new Mexico volunteers in "a foul and dastardly massacre" of Arapahos and also Cheyennes, mostly women and also children. Later on investigators uncovered that the had, "surprised and murdered, in cold blood, the unsuspecting men, women, and also children ~ above Sand Creek, who had actually every reason to believe they were under the protection of the United claims authorities," and also then "returned to Denver and also boasted of the brave deed he and also the guys under his command had actually performed." various other actions were much more complex. In spite of Canby"s initiatives in 1861, a "permanent peace" v the Navajo did no occur. Three years later, his replacement sent Kit Carson and also his native new Mexico volunteer on a burned earth campaign against the Navajo that resulted in their relocation via the tragic long Walk to Bosque Redondo.By war"s end, commonwealth actions come encourage white settlement in the West and more tightly bind the western areas to the Union were institutionalized and gathering momentum. The morl role Act, the homestead Act, and also the Pacific railroad Act, aimed in ~ fomenting and also sustaining access to the West"s huge acreage, and President Lincoln"s use of territorial appointments maintained the Union, and - in many instances - inserted like-minded pendant in location to uphold and continue these programs. Initially, the vacuum developed by Regular military troops relocating eastward decreased the government"s capacity to shield from the west expansion, yet volunteer units quickly filled, occasionally aggressively, the military"s duty and presence in the West.This all come at an extraordinary expense - the dispossession that the West"s American Indians. In the expansionist polite War-era, commonwealth American Indian policies frequently resulted in violated treaties, violence, and the end of accessibility to timeless lands, trade and migratory routes, water, food sources, and cultural practices. Weeks prior to the war"s finish in 1865, native of the Sand Creek Massacre and also other offenses versus American Indians finally triggered broader indignation. "The dealings that this country toward the Indians," editorialized the brand-new York Times, "form among the many disgraceful chapters in contemporary history." This stimulated a conference inquiry, led by councilor James R. Doolittle, who began a two-year investigation scrutinizing federal monitoring of Indian affairs. It established that "he ind everywhere. . . Are promptly decreasing in numbers from assorted causes: through disease; by intemperance; by wars, among themselves and also with the whites; by the steady and also resistless emigration that white men into the regions of the west, which, confining the indians to still narrow limits, destroys that video game which, in their typical state, constitutes their principal way of subsistence; and by the irrepressible conflict between a superior and also an inferior gyeongju when brought in visibility of every other." Such monitorings came as well late, though. Mirroring Emanuel Leutze"s mural study, the commonwealth government"s consciousness of security had currently helped redefine and accelerate the west Movement and shape the region"s future for years to come.

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By the finish of the war, the foundation for a distinctly various West had been laid.This essay is taken native The Civil war Remembered, published by the national Park Service and Eastern National. This richly portrayed handbook is accessible in numerous national park bookstores or may be purchased digital from eastern at www.eparks.com/store.