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Chronicles of Oklahoma
Volume 13, No. 3
September, 1935

Gen. Hugh L. Scott

Page 355

In an article appearing in this issue of the Chronicles, under the caption "Sergeant I-See-O, Kiowa Indian Scout," by Morris Swett, a great deal is said concerning Gen. Hugh L. Scott, including a letter from Scott to this Indian Scout. General Scott was commandant at Fort Sill for many years and was always recognized as a military man whose life was devoted to the promotion of peace rather than war. While stationed at Fort Sill he was recognized as a friend of the Indians and did much toward the advancement and civilization of the southwestern tribes. It is doubtful whether any white man ever had such a thorough knowlege of the Indian sign language as General Scott. In fact he was for many years considered the authority on this subject by the Bureau of Ethnology. General Scott was always a friend of Oklahoma where he spent so many years of his life in government service.

The following is an epitome of the biographical sketch, including the military career of General Hugh L. Scott, as published in Who's Who in America, 1932:

General Hugh Lenox Scott, officer in the United States Army; born Danville, Ky., September 22, 1853. Graduated from West Point, 1876. He had a number of college degrees conferred upon him from leading educational institutions of the United States, including LL.D., Columbia. He was assigned to the 9th Cavalry, June 15, 1876; transferred to 7th Cavalry, June 26, 1876; he was promoted through grades to Major General of the United States Army, April 30, 1915. He served in the Sioux expedition in 1876; Nez Perce´ expedition, 1877. He was transferred to Oklahoma in 1891 and was placed in charge of the investigation of the Ghost Dance disturbances in 1890-91. He enlisted and commanded the Kiowa, Comanche and Apache Indians, troop L, 7th Cavalry in 1892; he was also in charge of Geronimo's band of Apache Indians; 1894-97. He was also on duty in the Bureau of Ethnology writing work on the sign language in 1897. He was Adjutant General of Cuba in 1898 to 1903; governor of Sulu Archipelago and commanding

Page 356

the military post at Jolo, 1903-06; abolished slavery and the slave trade in Sulu Archipelago; he was superintendent and commandant at U. S. Military Academy at West Point, with rank of Colonel, September 1, 1906 to August 31, 1910. He had some military experience with the Hopi Indians in Arizona, he commanded the 3d Cavalry at Fort Sam Houston, 1912; commanded the 2nd Cavalry Brigade on the Mexican border, 1913-14; settled by diplomacy the Navajo Indian trouble at Beautiful Mountain, Ariz., November, 1913. He was assistant chief of general staff of the army, April 22, 1914. Settled by diplomacy the impending conflict on the Mexican border at Naco, Ariz., as well as on two other occasions at El Paso; settled Piute Indian trouble at Bluff, Utah, March 1915; he recovered property of foreigners confiscated by Villa, 1915. He was chief of staff of the U. S. Army from November 17, 1914 to September 22, 1917. Retired by operation of law September 22, 1917, but retained on active duty to May 12, 1919. He located in New Jersey and became State Highway Commissioner in 1932; member U. S. Commission to Russia in 1917. During the World War he was at the front but not in active command. He served at the front with the French Division, also with the British Division.

Besides his long and distinguished military service, Gen. Hugh Scott was the author of books; one, "Some Memories of a Soldier," 1928, and wrote much pertaining to the Plains Indians.

General Hugh Scott, retired Army Officer, lived at Princeton, N. J. . He was elected an honorary member of the Oklahoma Historical Society, November 16, 1923, and received the Chronicles of Oklahoma until his death which, according to the records of the Society, occurred April 30, 1934.

—D. W. P.

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