I served in US Army SF, and have worked with many MACV-SOG vets. That means Vietnam, before when I served. MACV-SOG and associated programs lost an estimated 50 POWs to North Vietnam/Russia. None came home. Evidence is overwhelming that all were murdered. And even those who did return testify to massive torture.
I think I would rather be captured by the Sioux than Vietnamese/Russians. And just a reminder, the Germans were worse in WW2. (Ummm, and they have shown no improvement in civilized behavior then or now).
I am conducting book research concerning LBH. Based on the testimony of the Native accounts many Soldiers committed suicide. I expect the testimony from these accounts must have some portion of truth; thusly those Soldiers must have had a misconception that it was better to die by your own hand than risk being taken captive. So far I have not found much in the way to substantiate any torture claim. Of course this is an obscure detail, but as you would understand it would weigh heavily on anyone fighting for his life and running low on ammunition.
I would opinion that rumors of torture were incorrectly assumed by the Soldiers but influenced some of their actions. Since I was unable to locate any reference, I posed the question to further confirm evidence did not exist. All references I found were attributed to Southern and Eastern Tribes. End result, I will possibly make a remark in my work about this ill conceived perception.
Post by Dark Cloud on Feb 26, 2015 19:19:33 GMT -5
I don't believe you, jf. There are ample records that suggest they tortured captives. Bragged about it, and it was considered a gift to an enemy warrior to display courage, or so goes the theory.
You have the fake tribute of unnecessary capitalization, the pretend way to claim respect is shown. So familiar and still unconvincing. But, to your point: "Is there any other written accounts...." ? After you correct the grammar, there's still the issue of whether you mean captives in general or just captive soldiers, because you bounce between them.
At the LBH, the black scout was clearly tortured. To be be doubted they cared if a down enemy was dead before scalping, and there are several accounts from people who survived scalping. Isn't that torture? Their religion and society demanded masochism of a high order, as in the Sun Dance, and there is a detailed account quoted in SOTMS reflective on how they treated each other when captured. There would be no reason for soldiers to doubt they wouldn't be treated the same way. That doesn't mean Marquis' theory is correct, but there are Indian accounts - generally 4th generation - that support the theory soldiers killed themselves at the LBH. Know I would have, probably within sight of Ft. AL, but that wouldn't prove anything.
They didn't torture for information or fiscal benefit, the torture was sadism, pure and simple. There was no goal but their enjoyment if the captive fell apart and screamed and so regretted whatever he had done. The women had to near cripple themselves to show grief for family members. Isn't it torture to make a necklace of the hands of infants you killed in a raid and the enemy knows you wear it yet?
There is a theory that sadists would never hurt masochists, though....
".. all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed...." T.Jefferson, Declaration of Independence
Perhaps DC is saying, Hi jf, welcome aboard. Perhaps not.
In pure DC style of warmth and good cheer.
DC does make a couple of good points though. Your question is a bit vague. I personally believe that soldiers had a real sense that if they were overtaken by NA, their fates were terrible. The NA didn't take prisoners during war and any body of a fallen comrade at arms that was recovered would have been horribly mutilated. They had no way of knowing if the mutilations happened post or perimortem. I imagine in some cases it was both.
As for suicides at LBH, we have no way of knowing if they happened other than by NA accounts but things happened so quickly and people were fighting for survival. I really wonder if they had time to process the thoughts it would take to realize that it was time to give up and kill yourself. It requires a total switch in your thinking at a time when you would be really focused on fighting. Just my opinion of course.
Some tribes were worse than others. Somebody mentioned eastern tribes and they did have a reputation. They also learned some of their "bad habits" from the French and British. Comanche were particularly tough on enemies caught, as were Apache. The bodies found after battle or fight with Northern Plains Tribes were mostly mutilated after death. Some of the worst treatment was visited upon Cheyenne, by whites at Sand Creek.
A curiosity on my part, jf, what makes you think there was a large number of suicides?