updated March 20, 2012

Veterans of the Indian Wars

Did your ancestor fight in the Indian Wars? Contribute your information & photos for inclusion on this page.

Jim Douglas

Waukon Oldster Fought in Dakota Indian Battle

Just before Christmas, 1890, the Sioux Indians of South Dakota went on the warpath.

These ferocious, cheek-dyed warriors had for years been known for their prowess in battle against the neighboring Winnebagos, Kiowas, Sac and Fox tribes.

Their pre-holiday enmity was not, however, directed against neighboring Indian tribes, with whom they were now living in comparative peace, but against the white man who had driven the copper-colored man farther and farther from his original haunts.

Last Battle.

What precipitated the attack, usually regarded as the last of the Indian battles against the white man, is not known for sure. Custer's last stand at the Little Big Horn had been 15 years before.

Some reports say that an Indian chief had been slaughtered by soldiers at the Pine Creek reservation to which the tribe had been assigned by the government at Washington. Whatever the cause, the Sioux began marshalling their warriors along the south bank of the White River.

Word of their proposed attack reached the American garrison at Rapid City and the word went out for volunteers. Among the volunteers was at least one from Allamakee county.

He was Jim Douglas, who had gone to Dakota in search of employment, and who at the time of his volunteering to fight the massing Indians, wass working on a farm outside of Rapid City.

Now Living Here.

Jim, now 80 years old, lives alone in a two-story frame house on West Main street, one block west of the post office. When asked about his adventures with the Indians, Jim will speak freely, but in the wisdom of his eight decades he has learned that one of the prime rules of being a good conversationalist is being a good listener.

Despite his age, Jim speaks with a clarity of thought and enthusiasm as if the battle had occurred only last week.

Jim, who knows more about the lore of Allamakee county in its earlier days than most folks do nowadays, has relived those intense moments over many times, as he has sought to establish a pension claim with the federal government. In his remembering, he has sought to recall someone who was there with him and who could vouch for his participation in the midwinter campaign of '90.

Because of the lack of red tape that war used in those days when a man volunteered for army duty, no official records are now apparently [in existence]. For this reason Jim has never received the pension to which all Indian fighters are entitled.

Jim traveled with a cavalry unit during the two-month long siege of the Indians' position. He drove an ammunition wagon for the troops of "H" company as they marched from Rapid Creek, to Iron Springs, to Red Brush, to White River and to the site where the battle was enjoined at Wounded Knee Bend.

Pincers Movement.

A second body of government troops was drawing up a pincers on the Indians fanned out in Buffalo Gap. When the brief battle was over, 268 Indians were counted dead, with not a single white man listed as missing. This despite the fact that the Indians were armed with American-made Winchester rifles.

Stage Driver.

Later Jim drove the Rapid City to Rockford stage line and eventually came back to Allamakee county where for years he was regarded as the best bridge-builder and house-mover in these parts.

~source: clipping, unknown paper, likely a Waukon newspaper, hand-dated 1950
~contributed by Russell Topel

William Fitzgerald

William Fitzgerald, September 29, 1862. In Allamakee county, enlisted for three years and became a member of Co. F., 6th Iowa Cavalry under Captain Scott Shattuck and Col. David S. Wilson, of Dubuque. He participated in the engagement at White Stone Hill, September 3, 1863, when they encountered 3000 Indian warriors, and in the engagement that ensued, 300 warriors and 80 soldiers were killed or wounded, and 136 warriors taken captive. In the fall of 1864, he was with a detachment of 1,500 soldiers, that met about 2,500 Indians at Killed Deer, and in a skirmish that lasted all day, many were wounded. He participated also in the battle In the Bad Lands where the Indians made an attack on the troops while on their way to Fort Union, located near the junction of the Yellowstone and Missouri rivers. He was mustered out at Sioux City in October, 1865. Resident Dover twp. Pocahontas county, Iowa

~Pioneer History of Pocahontas County, Iowa; by Robert Elliott Flickinger; Fonda, Iowa, 1904; pg 43
~More info. in this biography

~contributed by S. Ferrall

Charles Guy

Charles Guy, an aged resident of Postville died on the 16th.  He was of a very inventive turn of mind and is said to have invented the Colt revolver, but was euchered out of the fruits of his genious by other parties.  He served as a soldier in the Seminole Indian war and in the Mexican war. 

~Waukon Democrat, 1894 (unknown month & day)

Notes (all gleaned from ancestry.com):
1) U.S. Army enlistments 1798-1914: age 23, born in Peachham (Caledonia co.), Vermont, enlisted May 31, 1837 at Boston, enlisted by Lt. Vandervere, Regiment & Company: 1 Drag II (or H), discharged on May 31st, 1840, for expiration of service, at Fort Leavenworth (Private), eyes: gray , hair: brown, complexion: florid, ht: 6.0', trade: blacksmith
2) 1850 US census, he is living in Lybrand
3) 1880 US census Charles B. Guy, age 64, b. VT, parents b. VT, blacksmith; and his wife Sarah A., age 55, b. OH, parents b. MD, are living in Postville
4) 1885 Iowa State census, Postville, Charles (68) & Sarah (65) are enumerated in Postville.

From Wikipedia: The Second Seminole War, also known as the Florida War, was a conflict from 1835 to 1842 in Florida between various groups of Native Americans collectively known as Seminoles and the United States, part of a series of conflicts called the Seminole Wars. The Second Seminole War, often referred to as the Seminole War, was the most expensive Indian War fought by the United States.

~contributed by S. Ferrall

George C. Shattuck

An early settler in Waukon, George C. Shattuck was engaged in the public defense of the Winnebago Indian war of 1827, and in the Black Hawk war of 1832.

~biography of George C. Shattuck

Phillip S. Walton

An expert marksman and sharpshooter, Phillip S. Walton was a scout during the Indian wars in the west from 1888-1890.

1895 Iowa State census, Makee twp., Allamakee co., Iowa
Philip Walton, age 25; married; b. New Jersey; occupation: Painting & Taping; Presbyterian
Lizzie Walton, age 20; married; b. Allamakee co. Iowa; Baptist
Jane Elliott, age 83; widow; b. New York state; Presbyterian C.P.

1900 U.S. census, Waukon town, Makee twp., Allamakee co., Iowa; June 19, 1900
Phillip S. Walton, age 31; b. May 1869; age 31; married 5 yrs.; b. N.J.; parents b. N.J.; occupation: House painter
Elizabeth J. Walton, age 24; b. Aug 1875; married 5 yrs.; b. Iowa; father b. N.Y.; mother b. Iowa
Major F. Walton, son, age 3; b. Aug 1896 in Iowa
William H. Walton, son, age 2; b. Feb 1898 in Iowa
William B. Elliott, brother-in-law, age 20; b. Sep 1880; in Iowa; father b. N.Y.; mother b. Iowa; occupation: House painter

~obit of Philip S. Walton Note: the obit does not mention wife Elizabeth/Lizzie, who must have been his first wife

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