In January 1873, Secretary of War William W. Belknap authorized the Military District of New Mexico to enlist fifty Indian scouts for campaigns against the Apaches and other tribes. In an overwhelming response, many more Navajos came to Fort Wingate to enlist than the ten requested. Why, so soon after the Navajo War, the Long Walk and imprisonment at Fort Sumner, would young Navajos volunteer to join the United States military? Author John Lewis Taylor explores this question and the relationship between the Navajo Nation and the United States military in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.
John Lewis Taylor is a former teacher and principal for the Bureau of Indian Affairs and instructor at the University of New Mexico-Gallup. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in history from Western Kentucky University and a Master of Arts in education from the University of New Mexico. He currently lives with his wife, Betty, in Gallup, New Mexico. He is the author of Looking for Dan: The Puzzling Life of a Frontier Character Daniel, Dubois--the biography of a fellow Navajo in-law.