whose troops had been ordered to drive them out from their happy homes, and they treacherously killed him. And I doubt not, if more blood must be shed, he preferred to be the first to die. This is the true history of the ‘Canby
After a long contest, costing many lives, the Modocs were subdued and made prisoners.
Those Indians who had been engaged in the massacre were tried and justly executed according to the laws of civilized war, while those white men who, in no less flagrant disregard of the laws of civilization, brought on the war were not called to any account for their crime.
But President Grant
, when I called his attention to the abuse of that old regulation, promptly abolished it. Since that time, as I understand it, no man but the head of the nation can order the army to kill unless necessary in defense, nor determine for what purposes the army may be employed.
The people of the United States
are advancing, though slowly, in civilization.
Their fundamental law has very wisely always provided that Congress alone should have power to ‘declare war’; but for many years any Indian agent, or any bloodthirsty white man on the frontier, who chose to kill an Indian in cold blood, could inaugurate a war without waiting for anybody to declare it, and that without the slightest danger of punishment.
A little military justice, in the absence of any possible civil government, in what was so long called the ‘Indian country’ would have saved many hundreds of millions of dollars and many thousands of lives.
But the inherited prejudice against ‘military despotism’ has hardly yet been eradicated from the minds of the millions of freemen who inhabit this country—as if seventy or fifty, or even thirty, millions of people could not defend their liberties against a little standing army!
A white murderer was long regarded as so much better than an honest Indian that the murderer must go free because there