Title: Real Soldiers, Real Indians, Real Heroes March, Fight, Die, in Great War Films

More metadata


Pictured History Drama, That Shows End of Three Hundred Years of Savagery, Comes to Denver Stamped With President Wilson's Approval.


Three hundred years of savagery, hatred, bloodshed brought to a close.

Eight thousand Indians and soldiers trailing, fighting, killing, and then the survivors, marching to martial music under one flag into friendship and peace.

Six of the nation's greatest fighting men, led by the lieutenant general of the United States army, Nelson A. Miles, come again to direct those events that flamed like prairie fire across the pages of our history.

The best beloved American, Colonel Cody (Buffalo Bill), scouting, guiding, conquering, befriending.

All set in a scene such as the good God alone could create and imprinted on six miles of film so that the boys and girls of today, the citizens of tomorrow, may lift their heads a little higher when the word American is uttered.

For two and a half hours yesterday a small group of us watched the unfolding of the story of the Indian wars on a tiny screen in a little office of the General Film company.

This was the Denver tryout of the pictures which came straight from Washington bearing the approving mark of President Wilson, of his cabinet, of official and diplomatic Washington.

Sunday afternoon and for the following week these pictures are to be shown at the Tabor opera house and there every father and mother in Denver should take their boys and girls to let them see with their own eyes how it is that certain men have become, by the written word, heroes in their hearts and imaginations.

Next week — beginning Sunday — should be the red letter week of the school year as it would be a red letter week if some man, long holding back a secret treasure, should come to town and say:

"This moving picture business is not new. See, I have here a picture of the actual Minute Men at Concord who fired the shot heard around the world. I have Washington taking command of the Continental army. I have out soldiers freezing and starving and holding on at Valley Forge. I have Lincoln at Gettysburg and Grant and Lee at Appomattox."

Nothing Could Be More Thrilling.

Would we rush and crowd and jostle to see them?. We would see nothing more thrilling, more dignified, or more American than we see in these pictures of the Indian wars which prove there is no place for savagery in our civilization, but there is plenty of room for any man who swears allegiance to our flag and institutions and proves himself brave and loyal.

The picture story opens with the introduction of Lieutenant General Nelson A. Miles, Major General Jesse M. Lee, Major General Charles King, Brigadier General Frank Baldwin, Brigadier General Marion P. Maus, Colonel H. C. Sickles, Colonel William Cody and the gallant Fifth United States cavalry, all participants in the original events.

They stand against a pallid plain stretching to the gray horizon. There is a flurry of snow, in the air — just as there was a flurry of snow when the battles they directed were fought and won. Then onto the screen comes the figure of Chief Tall Bull crowned with feathers, resplendent in beads and buckskin and facing the future that is hidden behind a curtain of gold made by the sunset.

Way back in '69 the last chapter of these Indian wars begins at Summit Springs. Chief Tall Bull had been making trouble with his dog soldiers — regenades [sic] from every tribe. For 1,800 miles over a barren, forbidding country Cody, Carr and King followed, fought, fought, and worsted them, and Tall Bull bit dust under Cody's knife.

All this we see; the bleak country, the troops striking camp, the long desolate marches, the dangerous reconnoiters of brave scouts, their discovery by the Indians; for a moment our blood stops flowing until we see them escape and rejoin their comrades. Every second is one of breath suspended thrills.

Chief Yellowhand Rides Forth.

Then comes the battle of War Bonnet creek when Chief Yellow Hand, hearing that his hated enemy, Cody, is acting as scout for General Wesley Merritt's command, rides out before the angered Ogolallah [sic] Red-Top Sioux with a defiant challenge.

A duncolored world stretches before us. For a long time we wait and suddenly over the top of a bluff we see the feathered head-piece of the chief. He comes riding like the wind into the camera's eye. In the foreground in a cloud of dust come the troops headed by Cody and Merritt, and then at last the hand-to-hand tussle between the scout and chief, ending in Yellow Hand's death at Cody's hand.

The Ogolallah Red-Top Sioux were on their way to join the band of Sitting Bull in the north and had been stopped by Merritt, Carr and Cody and their gallant fighting men. Though they never effected the meeting Sitting Bull comes into the picture: a picture of such [...?] suspense, desperate fighting that the palms of one's [photo] Buffalo Bill Telling the Kiddies Indian Stories. hands are wet and one's lips are dry when the flicker and flash denoting the act's end comes.

A deep religious element comes into these pictures when the Messiah appears unto and heads them toward extermination at Wounded Knee and the Mission. With his words this stranger tells the feathered braves that by donning the ghost shirt they will come again into possession of lands; they will be protected from death; they will be happy. From this word spoken, from a towering cliff, the pictures become one splendid panorama of brave deeds, superb horsemanship, of nature in that violent, destructive mood that produced the bad lands of South Dakota — than which the mind of Dante conceived nothing more desolate or terrible.

There Miles and Baldwin, King, Maus and Captain Wallace, Lieutenants Garlington, Hawthorne, MacKensie, Father Craft and the Seventh cavalry and the scouts take the spotlight, while of the Indians we have Big Foot, Short Bull, Red Cloud and their tribes, and that strange new fury, the Hotchkiss gun, which the Indians described as "shooting today, killing tomorrow," comes here to play its part in modern warfare.

Splendid drama is here; indescribable courage; craft, cunning, cruelty pitted against brains, experience, knowledge, science and in the end those unforgettable tableaux wherein General Lee, as the friend of the hitherto unconquered Brules, and Major Burke for the Ogolallah, give pledge of their submission and our friendship, and General Miles receives their oath of allegiance.

The review of the victorious troops in a biting snowstorm, bands playing, guidons fluttering, flags waving and the final exit of the twenty-seven chiefs who give themselves as hostage to the nation, forms a memory that must be counted with those large ventures which are the high lights of life.

No boy or girl should be allowed to miss these pictures. If you are a lonely man or woman pick up some equally lonely kiddie and take him for an afternoon with the great leaders of our army, with the great chiefs of our Indian tribes and two hours in the open world that has been made sacred by heroic blood of the nation's fighting heroes.