Indian Wars

U.S. Cavalry & Infantry on the Frontier 1866-1890
by Gen. Helms

American Indians
Frontier Army
Newsletter and Events



Historians generally agree that the year 1890, if a definite year has to be picked, marked the end of the American Frontier. The buffalo were gone, the railroads were completed, the roving Indians were on reservations, virtually all of the good land was occupied and the open range was almost a memory. From the first settlement in Virginia, in 1607, the effect of the frontier on American character had been enormous due to the constant struggle against nature and Indians, all of which had a hand in developing the national traits of democracy, self-reliance, ingenuity and to a certain extent, lawlessness. The frontier may have literally ended in 1890 but its spirit lives on in the hearts and minds of Americans, and it is symbolized for eternity by the Indian, the frontiersman, the cowboy and the Frontier Army. There was still restlessness and resentment after 1890, we will cover the lesser known battles before the Little Big Horn and after Wounded Knee.

The U.S. Cavalry

The story of the U.S. Cavalry history is a look at a genuine, often romanticized institution in the pageant of American history. It will shed light on the personalities of cavalry officers and enlisted men and on the lesser known facts of cavalry life and on lesser and major battles and campaigns.

There will be numerous illustrations - both photographs and drawings of regiments, troops, battles and the men on both sides of the many conflicts in which the Frontier Army engaged.

The history of the U.S. Cavalry is a proud one, that of an integral force in the making and shaping of America that lives on today. It makes fascinating reading and reenacting for anyone interested in military strategy, in horses and riding and in the history of the nation during the Indian Wars period - 1870-1890.

The U.S. Infantry

Walk-A-Heap, as they were called by the Plains Indians. The Army doctrine of that era did not credit infantry with a decisive role in crushing Indian outbreaks. Since most hostile tribes were well mounted, it made sense to hunt them with the pony soldiers. Infantry usually accompanied the major field columns, guarding supply trains and base depots to free the cavalry for offensive sorties, yet even after the reorganization of 1876, the U.S. Cavalry was never big enough to spearhead an Army lunge into Indian country. The Infantry received their share of chances for death and glory in the final stands of the Indian campaign. For most foot soldiers, however, an Indian campaign brought nothing more than blisters and exhaustion. It was with good reason that the Indians called frontier foot soldiers - Walk-A-Heap.