I have been greatly influenced by the western novels by Louis L’Amour. Louis had great appreciation for the skills and accomplishments of the red man. I do too. Only a few years ago a very respected family in our community discovered that their great grandfather was a union soldier, who fought in Alabama during the civil war. After the war was over he came back south and married a beautiful Cherokee maiden. She was the great grandmother of this most respected family. Today, they are so proud of their Cherokee heritage. We are proud of them. My wife, Clara, is one of those great grandchildren. Our sons, Stephen and Philip proudly claim their heritage.

The once busy plains seem as empty as a broken glass,
With long shadows on the endless grass.
The slain, both red and white, lay forgotten on the same.
The victorious try in vain to hide the Indians’ pain.
But there are witnesses who tell the real story.
In the victories there was very little glory.

Most starved from the slaughter of the buffalo,
And from illegal immigrants stealing their land.
The military’s “total war”, the red man couldn’t understand.
Historically, he believed one battle can decide all claims.
To him one great victory achieved all aims.
He was not ready for continuous war games.
The U.S. army kept a coming, seeking total victory.

But the Indian, not able to win the war campaign,
Still had a long term battle plan.
In vanishing, he never gave up his battle array.
Like a Roman senator in his toga,
He continues to impress America today.
Many places and faces wear Indian names, they say.
When West Point teaches about great military leaders,
The best of the West are listed in “who’s who.”
They always tell about Crazy Horse and the Sioux.
For General Custer and his 700 veterans, it was a “Waterloo.”

When the battle against the world’s finest cavalry was through,
There were no US army attackers left for the Sioux to pursue.
Therefore, we ask, where have all the red men gone?
They are undefeated! They are living among us, everyone.
We find more Americans every day with the red man’s DNA.
They are butchers and bakers and “candlestick makers.”
They are bankers and teachers and child caretakers.
They are city officers and drivers of buses and vans.
And many are decorated soldiers, protecting this free land.

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