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Cavalry Swagger Stick
Cavalry swagger stick used by an officer in the Eighth Cavalry, "White Buffalo." Indian War period. The Eighth Cavalry Regiment was constituted 28 July 1866 and was organized as a regiment on 21 September 1866 at Camp Reynolds, Angel Island, California. The enlisted soldiers were "composed chiefly of men enlisted on the Pacific Coast, and included many of the class styled 'Forty-niners'; men who had worked months or years in the mines and were typical specimens of the roving order of citizens. Many of them were wild characters who enlisted in the same spirit of adventure which led them to the frontier, and typically had difficulty in adapting themselves to the conformity of a military life." Many desertions followed, the number reaching 41% by the end of 1867. The Eighth Cavalry would serve on the frontier throughout the late 19th century. The 8th was actively engaged in trying to control various Native American tribes and bands in Nevada, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in the Indian Wars between 1867 and 1888. Two years after the capture of Geronimo, they were transferred to South Dakota, Montana and North Dakota where they participated in several actions. The Eighth Cavalry was involved in New Mexico protecting settlers and travelers to the Mesilla Valley and San Augustine Pass. In 1875 the regiment was engaged in a brawl with members of the John Kiney gang in a Las Cruces, Mexico saloon. In May 1888 the regiment prepared for the largest march ever taken by a Cavalry regiment. With increased numbers of settlers moving to the Northwest United States, the regiment was ordered to march more than 2600 miles to it's new regimental headquarters located at Fort Mead, South Dakota and stationed at Fort Keogh, Montana. Some of it's march was along the famous Santa Fe trail in New Mexico near where carvings on large boulders and trees still give testimony of the troops on the longest of all trails. 17" overall. 19th century.