It is fascinating how time and perspective color things. I am watching in horror the invasion of Ukraine. I am descended from both sides of the American West, both invader and defender. I have been in a camp in New Mexico. And so I read such things as this with wonder:

The Navahos soon learned that Star Chief Carleton had a great hunger for their land and whatever metal wealth might be hidden under it. “A princely realm,” he called it, “a magnificent pastoral and mineral country.” As he had many soldiers with nothing to do but march around their parade grounds rattling their guns, Carleton began looking about for Indians to fight. The Navahos, he said, were “wolves that run through the mountains” and must be subdued.


In September, 1862, he sent out an order: There is to be no council held with the Indians, nor any talks. The men are to be slain whenever and wherever they can be found. The women and children may be taken as prisoners, but, of course, they are not to be killed.

Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, Dee Brown

General Carleton