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James Seaman Casey


U.S. Army
Medal Of Honor, Indian Campaigns

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On January 8, 1877, Colonel Nelson Miles' cavalry detachment engaged 600 Indians in a five-hour battle in a canyon in the Wolf Mountain range. At one point he Indian force surrounded the cavalry from bluffs above the canyon, but were dispersed by two Napoleon guns. One band of warriors, attired in battle dress and led by a Medicine Man named Big Crow, were poised in a strategic location on a high bluff to the left and above the column of soldiers. For several minutes Big Crow did a war dance before the astonished cavalrymen who did not fire a shot, for several minutes, then missed repeatedly. Incited by the "magic" of their medicine man, the Indian warriors prepared to destroy the cavalry when a bullet pitched Big Crow into the snow. Captain James Casey, along with Captain Edmond Butler and First Lieutenant Robert McDonald, immediately and valiantly stormed the high bluff, leading their men in scattering the warriors. For this gallant charge, all three officers were awarded the Medal of Honor. 

(Two-time Medal of Honor recipient Lieutenant Frank Baldwin was a fourth officer involved in leading this charge and was cited by General Miles for his courage. He was NOT awarded the Medal of Honor--which would have been his third.)

 

 

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