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Writing for The Illustrated American in 1895, Thomas H. "43 He cited the Indians' lack of discipline, ignorance, and marrying at a young age as the primary reasons for the experiment's failure. 44 Hugh L. Scott attributed the failure of enlisting units of Native American soldiers to high-ranking military officials who were angry with General Schofield for mustering out white men and replacing them with Indians. In wake of the depression of 1893 and subsequent high unemployment, white enlisted men were bitter about losing their jobs to Native Americans.

49 Thus, military service equipped Indian veterans with certain advantages over other reservation Indians. Through their newly acquired knowledge and experience of the "white man's world," Native American veterans could more effectively resist further Anglo encroachments on their lands, cultures, and liberties. The experiment also allowed Native Americans to escape restrictive legislation on later military service. An August 1894 law prohibited from enlistment aliens and persons who could not read, write, or speak English.

When an Indian soldier failed to obey an order he found himself in the guardhouse, pulling kitchen patrol, or perhaps cleaning out the post stables. 39 There were other culture-based problems. Native Americans were reluctant to adopt military-style haircuts, live in frame dwellings, or undergo routine physical examinations, which some found to be uncomfortable and humiliating. Several Indian soldiers refused to be vaccinated, while others found frequent bathing to be a waste of time. According to William Bruce White, Native American soldiers disliked wearing uniforms because they missed the contact of their leg muscles against the horse.

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