American Indian Biographies (Magill's Choice) by Carole A. Barrett, Harvey Markowitz, R. Kent Rasmussen

By Carole A. Barrett, Harvey Markowitz, R. Kent Rasmussen

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It was not an easy childhood for him, and when he was fourteen, another aunt and uncle became the guardians of him and his brothers. Beach took out some of the anger he felt as a teenager by joining a gang. At the age of sixteen, Beach enrolled in a drama class at Gordon Bell High School. He found an outlet for his emotions in acting, which served as a kind of symbolic “sweat Image Not Available lodge” for him. He eventually was able to let go of his bitterness and find peace. Meanwhile, he continued to take advantage of acting opportunities by performing in local theater productions.

Largely unimpeded by sparsely stationed federal troops during the early years of the Civil War, on several occasions Shoshone war parties attacked mail carriers and emigrants. In order to protect the telegraph lines and mail coaches, their only communication with the east, the Third California Infantry under Patrick E. Connor and a portion of the Second California Cavalry, a volunteer force of more than one hundred troops, traveled to Utah to reinforce federal troops at several forts. In January, 1863, Connor led more than three hundred men 140 miles through deep snow from Fort Douglas north to Bear Hunter’s village.

Over the next twelve months, Bent rode with Cheyenne, Lakota, and Arapaho warriors avenging the deaths of those slaughtered at Sand Creek. However, this campaign merely drew more government troops after them. After the conclusion of the Civil War, Bent and his brethren soon realized they could no longer compete with the hordes of white settlers—and Army regulars—streaming west. S. government and Indian tribes, serving both as an interpreter and as a diplomatic liaison between the two negotiating parties.

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