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150th Anniversary of the First Scout Enlistment: 1870-2020

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.

May_21_1870_confirming permission to cro

Headquarters Department of Texas

Texas and Louisiana

Office of the Assistant Adjutant General

Austin, Texas May 21st 1870


Captain F. W. Perry

24th U.S. Infantry

Commanding Fort Duncan Texas




Referring to your letter of the 15th instant: You will encourage the "Seminole Negro Indians” and “Seminoles” proper, to remain at your Post until further orders with reference to them. The rations issued to them will consist of,

18 oz Fresh Beef (Whole Beef) or 12 oz Salt Meat

18 oz Corn Meal, Hard Bread or Flour, each

10 lbs Sugar, 5 lbs Coffee and 3 lbs Coffee to 100 rations - (See paragraph 1203 Reg Army Reg 1863. 1/2 this ration to children under 12 years of Age)


While awaiting definite instructions, ascertain all you can with reference to the localities most frequented by the “Kickapoos” and “Lepans”, also whether the “Indian Negroes” will enlist in our Service, against the “Kickapoo" and “Lepans”:


Report as early as practicable the number of “Indian Negroes” and “Seminole” proper that have already, or will probably, come into Fort Duncan, Texas.


By Command of

Brevet Major General Reynolds:

(Signed) H. Clay Wood

Assistant Adjutant General

This is the first approval from the War Dept of efforts to find out if the Seminole Negroes will “enlist in our service” against the Kickapoo and Lipan. At this time there were no Indian Scout detachments available for the Seminole Negroes to enlist in, so the more likely role would be as guides, who were hired briefly, for specific purposes, such as identifying crossings of raiding Indians. Each state did have an assigned military budget for a certain number of Indian Scouts, but Perry had not been given authority to hire anyone – merely to find out if they might have interest.

Source Information:

National Archives Microfilm Publications

Microcopy Number: 619

Collection: Letters Received by the Office of the Adjutant General (Main Series), 1861-1870

Roll: 799 (Papers Relating to the Return of the Kickapoo and the Seminole (Negro) Indians from Mexico to the United States, 1870 – 1914)

Digital Images: 1040.jpg

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