Re: Eastern Woodland Warfare Tactics

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Posted by Dana S. on October 15, 1999 at 07:04:08:

In Reply to: Re: Eastern Woodland Warfare Tactics posted by Rich on October 15, 1999 at 04:26:40:

: : Thanks, Rich! I am curious about the pre-contact period and then the changes that occured after contact. From casual reading I have done so far, it seems Europeans had to do most of the adjusting as far as tactics were concerned. Who wins the battles? Is it really the side with the most meat for the grinder? Or is it the side with the best strategy? The best weapons? Or the most courage?

: All of the above! For my money, though, strategy would top the list ...

: The victor is not always clear. Braddock's Defeat in 1755 Pennsylvania, during the F & I War, WAS a clear-cut victory for the Indians, even though they were out numbered and had inferior weapons. Tactics & motivation carried the day. If you look at the Battle of the Rosebud, in eastern Montana, 1876, the picture is not nearly as clear. After the battle, General George Crook declared it a victory for his superior force (numbers & weapons-wise). After all, he held the field at day's end. History, though, usually looks at it as a victory for the Crazy Horse-led Sioux & Cheyenne, who seriously crippled the Army's plan of crushing the "hostile" tribes with 3 strong, converging columns ... A week later, with Crook out of the fray - he returned to base in Wyoming to re-supply - the Battle of the Little Bighorn took place, perhaps the greatest of all Indian victories (though St. Clair's Defeat, in the Ohio Country, at the hands of a Miami Indian-led alliance, would get my vote). Here (at LBH), the Indians had superior weapons, superior numbers, the most motivation, better tactics ... courage is hard to quantify!


Very interesting! It's the development of both sides tactics, motivations and leaders that seems to drive me to start from the beginning. From "howdy do and welcome to our world" to the Battle of Little Bighorn and all the leaders in between. What were they thinking? Leadership is another fasinating aspect. Are battles really one leader against another? Who can out think who?

Just thinking,thinking. Thank you for all your commentaries. This is going to be very interesting!


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