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Native American Medal of Honor Winners
Below are a very few of the American Indians that have been among those soldiers to be distinguished by receiving the United States' highest military honor: the Medal of Honor. Given for military heroism "above and beyond the call of duty," these warriors exhibited extraordinary bravery in the face of the enemy and, in some cases, made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.
Jack C. Montgomery. A Cherokee from Oklahoma, and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division Thunderbirds. On 22 February 1944, near Padiglione, Italy, Montgomery's rifle platoon was under fire by three echelons of enemy forces, when he single-handedly attacked all three positions, taking prisoners in the process. As a result of his courage, Montgomery's actions demoralized the enemy and inspired his men to defeat the Axis troops.
Ernest Childers. A Creek from Oklahoma, and a First Lieutenant with the 45th Infantry Division. Childers received the Medal of Honor for heroic action in 1943 when, up against machine gun fire, he and eight men charged the enemy. Although suffering a broken foot in the assault, Childers ordered covering fire and advanced up the hill, single-handedly killing two snipers, silencing two machine gun nests, and capturing an enemy mortar observer.
Raymond Harvey. Captain Harvey, a Chickasaw, was commanding officer of Co. C, 17th Infantry, 7th Infantry Division during the Korean War. When Harvey's company as pinned down by automatic weapons fire from several well-entrenched emplacements, he braved bullets and grenades to advance to the first Norht Korean machine gun nest and killed its crew with grenades. Rushing to the edge of the next emplacement, he killed its crew with carbine fire. Captain Harvey then moved the 1st Platoon forward, but it was again stopped by automatic weapons. Disregarding the hail of fire, he charged and destroyed a third emplacement. Miraculously Harvey continued to lead the assult through the intense crossfire. After spotting a well-camouflaged enemy pillbox, he moved close enough to sweep the emplacmeent with carbine fire and throw grenades through the openings killing its five occupants. Though wounded and in agonizing pain, he ordered his company forward and continued to direct the attack on the remaining hostile positions. Harvey refused evalucation until assured that the mission would be accomplished.
Van Barfoot. A Choctaw from Mississippi, and a Second Lieutenant in the Thunderbirds. On 23 May 1944, during the breakout from Anzio to Rome, Barfoot knocked out two machine gun nests and captured 17 German soldiers. Later that same day, he repelled a German tank assault, destroyed a Nazi fieldpiece and while returning to camp carried two wounded commanders to safety.
William Stewart. Sergeant First Class Stewart, a Crow, was wounded during the battle for Christmas Hill (Korea) and also saw action with the 45th Infantry Division.
Jerome Adams. Private First Class Adams, a Devil's Lake Sioux, served with the Army's 2nd Infantry Divsion in Korea and was evacuted after receiving gunshot wounds in th back, chest and arms and also shrapenl wounds in both legs.
Mitchell Red Cloud Jr. A Winnebago from Wisconsin, and a Corporal in Company E., 19th Infantry Regiment in Korea. On 5 November 1950, Red Cloud was on a ridge guarding his company command post when he was surprised by Chinese communist forces. He sounded the alarm and stayed in his position firing his automatic rifle and point-blank to check the assault. This gave his company time to consolidate their defenses. After being severely wounded by enemy fire, he refused assistance and continued firing upon the enemy until he was fatally wounded. His heroic action prevented the enemy from overrunning his company's position and gained time for evacuation of the wounded.
Charles George. A Cherokee from North Carolina, and Private First Class in Korea when he was killed on 30 November 1952. During battle, George threw himself upon a grenade and smothered it with his body. In doing so, he sacrificed his own life but saved the lives of his comrades. For this brave and selfless act, George was posthumously award the Medal of Honor in 1954.
The Pack is strong because of the strength of the Wolf...
the Wolf is strong because of the strength of the Pack.
In honoring the way our warriors in arms worked for the United States government and military, realize that there were also American Indians who fought during the Civil War, the War of 1812, the Revolutionary War and during the Indian War Period. A few of these were:
Isaac Payne, Pompey Factor and John Ward - 24th US Infantry, Indian Scouts - on April 25, 1875 these three men participated in a charge against 25 hostiles while on a scounting patrol (Pecos River, Texas).
Co-Rux-te-Chod-ish (Mad Bear) - A Sergeant with the Pawnee Scouts of the U.S. Army. On July 8, 1869, at Republican River in Kansas, Mad Bear ran out from the command in pursuit of a dismounted indian and was shot down and badly wounded by a bullet from his own command.
Elsatsoosu - Corporal, Indian Scounts. During the winter of 1872-73 received a citation for gallant conduct during campaigns and engagements with the Apaches.
Troops of Confederate Soldiers in Indian Territory include:
1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles
As officially reported by Colonel Douglas E. Cooper (more about him below), Confederate Commander after the Battle of Round Mountains, November 19, 1861:
"The promptness with which the Choctaws and Chickasaws came into line and the steadiness with which they maintained their position during the entire action merit unqualified praise, especially when it is considered that the night was extremely dark, the number and position of the enemy uncertain, and that they stood for the first time under an enemy’s fire."
This little known flag was given to the 1st Cherokee Mounted Rifles in July 1862. Serving on the extreme left flank of the Confederacy, the Indian Territories, the five red stars within the circle of 11 white ones represent the 5 "civilized tribes" recognized by the Confederacy: Seminole, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Creek and Cherokee.
Ever hear of Douglas Hancock Cooper (November 1, 1815 - April 29, 1879)?
Born in Mississippi in 1815, Douglas Hancock Cooper had fought in the Mexican War and was the U.S. agent to the Chickasaw and Choctaw Indian tribes from 1853 until the start of the Civil War. Since he wielded a great deal of influence with the "Five Civilized Tribes", Cooper was authorized by the Confederate War Department in 1861 to seek military alliances with the tribes. Cooper raised the 1st Choctaw and Chickasaw Mounted Rifles and served as their colonel. In the fall of 1861 Colonel Cooper tried to sway the chief of the Creek tribe to become an ally of the Confederacy. When the chief refused, Cooper collected forces to attack. In November and December of 1861 Cooper and his mostly white troops fought the Creeks, who sided with the Union in the battles of Chusto-Talasah and Chustenahlah, and forced the Creeks into Kansas for the winter. But 5,000 Union troops massed in July 1862 and drove the Rebels out of the Indian territory north of the Arkansas River.
In September 1862 Cooper commanded 2,000 Choctaw, Chickasaw, Texans and mixed-blood Cherokee, plus 2,300 Missourians, in Newtonia, MO, where they drove out two brigades of Union soldiers. Once again the Union sent reinforcements and the outnumbered Confederates were beaten back to the Arkansas River. Promoted to brigadier general May 2, 1863, Cooper fought in July at Honey Springs, where his forces lost the largest cavalry battle fought in Indian territory. In July 1864 Cooper received district command of Indian territory and eventually commanded all Confederate Native Americans in the Trans-Mississippi Department. Cooper took advantage of the Indians' skills both in scouting and in tracking the occasional escaped prisoner.
After the war Cooper continued working with the Indians. On their behalf he pressed and won claims against the U.S. government for Indian losses during the Civil War. He died a poor man at Old Fort Washita in the Indian territory at the age of 63.
Cooper's mother was half-Chickasaw, as was his wife.
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