Re: "Have you seen the Red Man?"

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Posted by Elaine on January 19, 1999 at 08:45:05:

In Reply to: posted by Champ on January 19, 1999 at 01:59:50:

: :"Have you seen the Red Man?" ...Of course we did, Alice! Though in reality, the British regulars would not have seen them as they sometimes did in Mann's film. While the scenes depicted in The Last of the Mohicans of Magua & company stealthily stalking the unsuspecting English from the shadows of the forest are accurate, other scenes are not. The Indian allies of the French would not have charged into the open field (as they did during the 'courier diversion' scene - seen only in the network TV airing!), exposing themselves to the readied muskets of the British regulars. A direct charge into the enemy's line of fire was a European fighting style, and though it was effective on the battlefields of Europe, in the American wilderness such tactics produced insufferable casualties. It was a lesson European troops learned slowly, but learned nonetheless.

: O'siyo,

: was watching my tape of the History Channel presentation of "Frontiers" [have y'all seen it], and remembering the above noted at least one historical exception to this rule.
: During the summer of 1763, in what is known as "Pontiac's War" or "Pontiac's Rebellion", his forces did indeed launch a large scale assualt on Fort Detroit, which was repulsed. This, as noted by historians on the show, was a very rare thing, included the long-term sieges of the fort[s], due to substained casualties & the relationship between the Indian forces [cousins, brothers, etc]...

: I also seem to recall at least one incident during the Revolutionary War, in the year of the "Bloody Sevens" [1777] when the Shawnee, under Blackfish, first laid siege to Boonesborough and caught Dan'l Boone and others in the open [the incident where Simon Kenton saved Boone's life], that they also charged the fort & were repulsed.

: I maybe mistaken, but I believe there was also such an incident in the Mohawk Valley [NY] involving Butler's Rangers & Brant's Mohawk Indian Allies, but this could've been after those within the fort surrendered. I dont recall off hand...

: These frontal assualts were defintly rare, but did happen at least twice that I've read about...

: "Champ"
: Southern Cherokee Nation

Thanks for noting the exceptions to the rule, Champ. As you say, such frontal assaults were rare. Indian warriors didn't look too favorably upon suicide missions. Such tactics generally required a collective mindset of discipline and submission to orders to be carried out; something that was not characteristic of Indian forces but was certainly the glue that held the British army together.

The cases you cite were under the leadership of powerful men who were able to rally and unite those whom they led into battle. They also occurred post F & I WAR. Do you think these factors played a part in the incidents you describe?


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