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The 1st Michigan Sharpshooters regiment of the Union Army during the Civil War had several hundred Indians serve between 1862 and 1865. Company K was all Indian except for the top officers. Other companies also had Indians. Most of them were from Michigan, some were from other states, and at least one was from Walpole Island in Canada.
Google for more information on this regiment here.
Many native families in Michigan and in other Great Lakes stqtes are descended from these veterans. Some of them know they have an ancestor from that regiment, but they don’t know his name. This is partly because of lost records, partly because families of those years were illiterate, partly because records have been destroyed, and partly because natives of that time would use several different names over the course of their lives.
There is a lot still to be discovered about this history. The National Archives maintains military service records and military pension records for Civil War veterans. These can be retrieved and examined for no charge by someone showing up in person at the archives in Washington DC. The same can be ordered by mail for charges starting at $75 and up – for each individual. Since there were over 200 Indians in Co. K alone, the cost to order all the records is rather high, to say the least.
The pension records in particular often have many details about the veteran, his family, his relationships, and his life story. Comrades, family and friends would also submit sworn statements to support claims for pensions, and these statements would go into the file. These affidavits often disclose details about the people submitting the documents. There is genealogical information and tribal history in some of these files, available nowhere else.
The Civil War is a popular topic for professional and amateur historians alike. Many researchers have already obtained some or all of these records. However, they very seldom share them with anyone else.
Some files have been obtained, and images of them are available on Microsoft OneDrive, free to anyone who cares to view them. Additional historic material is in some or all of these files.
The top level folder is here.
File for Albert Pisherbay, Co K is here.
File for Captain Edward Vonshoultz Andress is here.
File for Betois Awanakwad is here.
File for David George is here.
File for Benjamin Greensky is here.
File for Amable Ketchebatis is here.
File for Louis Genereau Jr. is here.
File for James Mashkaw is here.
File for William Mesenesaw is here.
File for Joseph Na-Baw-Na-Ya-Sang is here.
File for Peter South is here.
File for George Ashkabug is here. Clicking on this link will start downloading of a PDF containing his entire file.
Please contact me if you have National Archives information on Indians from this regiment that you would like to share.
Coming full circle, a war story:
Antoine Carre (fl. 1786-1808) was a French explorer and fur trader. After marrying the daughter of an Ottawa chieftain, he himself became founder and leader of the Bear River Ottawas during the mid-18th century as Neaatooshing (or Nee-i-too-shing).
His son Chief Petosegay and grandson Ignatius Petoskey were prominent Ottawa leaders throughout the 19th century, the land of the Bear River Ottawas being the site of the present day town Petoskey, Michigan.
A Frenchman reportedly of aristocratic origins, Carre arrived from France in the 1770s or early 1780s according to traditional accounts. While working as a fur trader for the John Jacob Astor Fur Company, he explored much of northern Illinois and Michigan living among the local tribes. He eventually married the daughter of an Ottawa chieftain and, adopted by the tribe, Carre was given the name Neaatooshing. During the late 1780s, he founded his own tribe along the Bear River. His lodge was established about seven miles northwest of Harbor Springs, near Middle Village.
Now jump forward to 3 Oct 1918, Brooklyn NY, at a Liberty Loan rally.
Brooklyn Daily Eagle, p. 6, quoted excerpt follows:
Wounded Marines Here, Tell of Fight in Belleau Wood Continue reading
Talking with a ham radio friend of mine about the need to get radio antennas off the ground and up in the air to improve the reach of the signal being transmitted. Most all the permanent ways of doing this are expensive & difficult.
Balloons have been used to get antennas up in the air for years now.
How about using drones to carry at least one end of an antenna up 200 feet or so? Us radio operators don’t spend all day transmitting, so this should be at least theoretically possible, and not nearly as expensive as rigging a tower or finding a different kind of skyhook. After 20 minutes of talking, I need a rest.
Drone+antenna = dronentenna, just like the two words separately.
Balloons might be just as well if a cheap supply of lifting gas were available. Here’s a very simply DIY way of making hydrogen gas from scrap aluminum and lye: Youtube
I read a poem by GK Chesterton recently, which he wrote about a century ago. It was a heroic poem about British resistance to a Danish invasion over a millennium earlier. In it, he described Ireland as a “land of broken heads and broken hearts”. A very apt description. That inspired me to come up with this term for the situation native Americans find themselves in: conquered more by treaty than by warfare, treaties which for a very long time were not taken seriously by the USA, giving up their land and their ancient way of life, and so heart broken by being cheated and also by being separated from what mattered most to them, home. Now they are strangers in their ancestral lands. Who wouldn’t be heartbroken at this?
Previously un-Google-able. Google “land of broken treaties and broken hearts”