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The Poet Scout; Part I

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Scaramouche, Nov 12, 2017.

  1. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    SPOILER ALERT: I went off the rails with this one, plus the next phase of Captain Jack's life gets involved in some complicated stuff and I'm trying to work out how to simplify it yet not skip the nuance. I want to make these posts memorable...though the direction this one is going it'll be memorable for all the wrong reasons.


    John Wallace "Captain Jack" Crawford (1847 - 1917) was born in Ireland, his family emigrated to the United States when he was 14 and settled in Pennsylvania where he worked as a coal miner.

    At age 17 he enlisted into the 48th Pennsylvania Regiment and saw heavy fighting in the last stages of the Civil War, he was wounded at Spottsylvania and again at Petersburg. At the end of the war he went back home and resumed coal mining.

    He was the son of a hopeless drunk and upon his return from the war he swore to his dying mother that no strong drink would ever touch his lips, he held to that promise his whole life. Later in his life, sobriety, a rare condition amongst army scouts, prompted Buffalo Bill Cody, a bona fide two fisted drinker, to remark that Crawford was the only man he knew that could be trusted to deliver an unopened bottle of whiskey without pulling the cork.

    In 1869 he married the local school teacher, Anna Maria Stokes and together they had five children, including a girl he would name after his friend, William Buffalo Bill Cody; naming her May Cody Crawford. During this time he served as postmaster in Numida, Pennsylvania.

    In 1875 he headed out west, claiming he was prompted by reading to many of them dime novels of high adventure and daring do. He got a job as a correspondent for the Omaha Daily Bee and got in on the Black Hills Gold Rush. While there he was elected to the first city council of the small mining town, Custer. The following year they organized a 125 man militia known as the "Black Hills Rangers' and he was named the Chief of Scouts which is where he most likely picked up the 'Captain Jack' moniker. The Black Hills Rangers helped guide wagon trains and provide a security screen for them and all the mining going on in the heart of Lakota Nation's most sacred land.

    I always found it shameful, what disregard white men had for the Black Hills. What disregard for the treaties that we made with the tribes and defining boundaries and didn't wait for the ink to dry to break these agreements.

    Paha-Sapa, the Black Hills, was the holiest of holies, violating the Black Hills was exactly like violating the white man's most exalted cathedral. The Hunkpapa Sioux, Miniconjou, Northern and Southern Oglala, Blackfeet, Sans Arc, and Brule tribes all came to the Paha-Sapa in summer to hunt and commune with the Great Spirit and were doing so for centuries...way before the white man finally figured out the earth wasn't flat, centuries before the majority of white man figured out how to read or write. The Paha-Sapa was where the tribes joined one another for religious ceremonies, seeking visions and pity from the Great Spirit.


    Making mountains into giant sculptures are physical sign of the stupidity and lack of respect the white man has for the Great Spirit, the earth and the people who's land this was.

    Just imagine if someone went to your church and carved four presidents into it, and then went inside and started digging through the floor boards looking for gold, and these people said they wouldn't and you had a piece of paper that said they wouldn't.

    I understand this is ridiculous argument, I use it to give perspective. Nothing stopped manifest destiny.


    When I was a young man I was interested in all things Native American and I used to hang around the Northern Paiute people in northern Nevada. This is were Wovoka, the messiah of the second Ghost Dance movement, came from. Their take on them four presidents carved into a mountainside was the white man had to put something up in them hills to look at cause they would never be able to see the Great Spirit.

    The Poet Scout will continue once I get the train back up on the rails

    Last edited: Nov 12, 2017
  2. ZoidMeister

    ZoidMeister Consider my signature line before replying . . . . Supporting Addict

    Dec 4, 2014
    Not off the rails Mouche, direct and to the point. Manifest evil may triumph in the short term, but in the eternal true destinies are made known . . .
    ronin11, Bro. Pappaw, jrj and 3 others like this.

  3. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
  4. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    Great lesson, mouche! Looking forward to the sequel!
    Scaramouche likes this.
  5. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    Great story so far.
    Scaramouche likes this.
  6. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    Thanks guys, but I'm kind of stumped on this one, I do have something prepared for tomorrow but I'm not very satisfied with it. Soon after Captain Jack joins the 5th cavalry they get into a 'death march' & end up finding a small Indian camp and go on a killing spree, slaughtering raping and whatall and I don't know how to tell it without an inherent bias, plus it takes me away from the original subject of the post...I think I'll just cancel it...let me see what I can do with it...don't get your hopes up
    Bro. Pappaw likes this.
  7. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    History is not all sunshine and rainbows. I think any factual presentation would be welcomed. In a footnote perhaps talk about your personal reaction to it. I'm sure others have feelings or thoughts about these situations as well.
  8. tac45

    tac45 What me worry ? Supporting Addict

    Mar 4, 2012
    Tell it like it is,Mouche
    Telling the facts as you see them is appreciated
    41 Charlie and Scaramouche like this.
  9. Scaramouche

    Scaramouche Student of the Columbian Exchange Supporting Addict

    Sep 15, 2015
    Thanks Ted, I'm going to abandon it. I was working on it this evening and it takes me so far away from Captain Jack I don't know how to get back to him and make him mildly interesting after the trials, high drama and missteps of the 5th cavalry and their commander. That outfit almost mutinied after running out of food and forage...and then they came upon a small Indian village of 38 - 40 tepees and our soldiers behaved like them Nazi killing squads in eastern Russia...I start on that, I can give you a list of names right now on the forum that won't like it, I lost my way, and to be honest got wore out defending myself last week
    I've turned over a new leaf, I'm all about marksmanship and good fellowship, call me Happy and I'll be your Pappy, I'm going to try and leave the editorializing to those way smarter than me.
  10. Ethanol Red

    Ethanol Red Make it a double Supporting Addict

    Jul 12, 2015
    I'm on the list that enjoys these reports. Do what your heart tells you to do.
  11. Bro. Pappaw

    Bro. Pappaw Well-Known Member Supporting Addict

    Mar 18, 2016
    I have really enjoyed everything you have written and appreciate your perspective on the history you educate us with. If you can finish the Captain Jack story that would be great. I understand how you feel though and will relish anything you share with us.
  12. 41 Charlie

    41 Charlie Get off my lawn...

    Feb 4, 2014
    I'm all in, Let er' rip Richard! "You can please some of the people, some of the time."
    Scaramouche likes this.
  13. Rpowell911

    Rpowell911 Active Member

    Feb 24, 2017
    Like my old daddy used to say, "Son, you can't buff a turd, no matter how hard you try, ain't no way to put a shine on it."

    I think he meant that there ain't no way to put a good spin on some things. Sometimes, you just have to throw it out there, bumps, smell, and all, and let others make up their own minds.
    41 Charlie and Scaramouche like this.

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