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Seminole Negro Indian Scouts Historical Society
Throughout the year, the Society will post selected original documents and transcriptions of military correspondence to help deepen and foster a broader understanding about the origins of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts and their interactions with the U.S. Government and Military.
Origins of the Scouts
These first six letters document the creation of the Scouts, starting from military reports about the initial discussions with the Seminole Negroes living in Mexico to the first Muster-In-Roll of the first 11 Seminole Negro Indian Scouts at Fort Duncan, TX.
March 17, 1870: Captain Jacob DeGress, Commander, Fort Duncan, to Assistant Adjutant General H. Clay Wood, War Dept.
Captain DeGress requests approval to permitting Seminole Negroes to come to the the U.S.
March 17, 1870: Captain Jacob DeGress, Commander, Fort Duncan, to Whom It May Concern
Safe Passage letter to permit Seminole Negroes to cross into the U. S.
April 26, 1870: Bureau of Indian Affairs Commissioner Ely Parker to Secretary of the Interior J.D Cox
Commissioner Parker discusses what to do with the Seminole Negroes.
May 21, 1870: AAG Clay Wood for General Reynolds, Commanding Dept of Texas, to Captain Perry, Commanding, Fort Duncan
General Reynolds authorizes rations, requests Seminole Negro aid against the Kickapoo.
July 14, 1870: Major Zenas Bliss, newly Commanding, Fort Duncan to Assistant Adjutant General Clay Wood
Bliss requests permission to enlist Seminole Negroes as Indian Scouts.
July 20, 1870: AAG Clay Wood and J.J. Reynolds, Commanding Dept of Texas, to Major Zenas Bliss, Commanding, Fort Duncan
General Reynolds authorizes the first enlistment of the Seminole Negro Indian Scouts.
August 16, 1870
The first Seminole Negro Indian Scout Detachment was mustered in at Fort Duncan for a six-month enlistment and consisted of eleven men. Later units were also enlisted at Fort Clark.
Riding with the Scouts: Letters and Documents About Their Service
The 1877 Winter Campaign Documents
These documents provide insights into the Scouts harsh and dangerous work conditions. Between Nov.14 and Dec. 16, 1877, they marched 610 miles in pursuit of a band of Mescalero Apaches. On Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 29, 1877, what was a physically challenging expedition erupted into armed conflict.
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