Topic Letter to Commanding Officer


As an officer in the U.S. cavalry, you serve under General William T. Sherman and Colonel Richard Dodge. You served under Sherman in the Civil War and were part of his scorched earth campaign through Georgia, now called “Sherman’s March to the Sea.” It is now 1872 and the cavalry is engaged in an attempt to subjugate the Plains Indians in the West. Scorched earth is being used again, but this time against the Native Americans by killing off the buffalo. Five years ago, you were there when Colonel Dodge said that every dead buffalo is a Native American gone. Just last week, the Secretary of the Interior, Columbus Delano, wrote that the disappearance of bison from areas that were delegated for hunting must play a part in our efforts to relocate Native Americans to confined, smaller areas and influence them to change their nomadic ways. The Army has been asked to give their opinion on this matter (removing the buffalo).
You have been ordered to advise your commanding officer in writing on the legitimacy of this strategy (killing off the buffalo) and provide other alternatives for the subjugation of the Native Americans. What are your thoughts on this matter? What do you feel should be done? Address your letter to your commanding officer.

200 – 300 words

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Millett, A. R., Maslowski, P. & Feis, W. B. (2012). For the common defense: A military history of

the United States from 1607-2012 (3rd Ed.).

coursework, history, 1/300

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