Cherokee Indian Receives Medal of Honor
Private First Class Charles George
Medal of Honor Citation
Name: Charles George
Rank: Private First Class
Organization: U.S. Army, Company C, 179th Infantry
Regiment, 45th Infantry Division.
Place and date: Near Songnae-dong, Korea, Nov. 30, 1952.
Entered service at: Whittier,
Birth: 1932, Cherokee, N.C.
Killed in action: Nov. 30, 1952
G.O. NO.: 19, March 18, 1954.
Citation: Private First Class Charles George, Infantry, United States
Army, a member of Company C 179th Infantry Regiment, 45th Infantry Division, distinguished himself by conspicuous gallantry
and outstanding courage above and beyond the call of duty in action against the enemy on the night of 30 November 1952, near
Songnae-dong, Korea. He was a member of a raiding party committed to engage the enemy and capture a prisoner for interrogation.
Forging up the rugged slope of the key terrain feature, the group was subjected to intense mortar and machinegun fire and
suffered several casualties. Throughout the advance, he fought valiantly and, upon reaching the crest of the hill, leaped
into the trenches and closed with the enemy in hand-to-hand combat. When friendly troops were ordered to move back upon completion
of the assignment, he and two comrades remained to cover the withdrawal. While in the process of leaving the trenches a hostile
soldier hurled a grenade into their midst. Pfc. George shouted a warning to one comrade, pushed the other soldier out of danger,
and, with full knowledge of the consequences, unhesitatingly threw himself upon the grenade, absorbing the full blast of the
explosion. Although seriously wounded in this display of valor, he refrained from any outcry which would divulge the position
of his companions. The two soldiers evacuated him to the forward aid station and shortly thereafter he succumbed to his wound.
Private George's indomitable courage, consummate devotion to duty, and willing self-sacrifice
reflect the highest credit upon himself and uphold the finest traditions of the military service.
Source: United States Army
Reading: 1491: New Revelations
of the Americas Before Columbus.
Description: 1491 is not so much the story of a year, as of what that year stands for: the long-debated
(and often-dismissed) question of what human civilization in the Americas
was like before the Europeans crashed the party. The history books most Americans were (and still are) raised on describe
the continents before Columbus as a vast, underused territory,
sparsely populated by primitives whose cultures would inevitably bow before the advanced technologies of the Europeans. For
decades, though, among the archaeologists, anthropologists, paleolinguists, and others whose discoveries Charles C. Mann brings
together in 1491, different stories have been emerging. Among the revelations: the first Americans may not have come over
the Bering land bridge around 12,000 B.C. but by boat along the Pacific coast 10 or even 20 thousand years earlier; the Americas
were a far more urban, more populated, and more technologically advanced region than generally assumed; and the Indians, rather
than living in static harmony with nature, radically engineered the landscape across the continents, to the point that even
"timeless" natural features like the Amazon rainforest can be seen as products of human intervention. Continued below...
Mann is well
aware that much of the history he relates is necessarily speculative, the product of pot-shard interpretation and precise
scientific measurements that often end up being radically revised in later decades. But the most compelling of his eye-opening
revisionist stories are among the best-founded: the stories of early American-European contact. To many of those who were
there, the earliest encounters felt more like a meeting of equals than one of natural domination. And those who came later
and found an emptied landscape that seemed ripe for the taking, Mann argues convincingly, encountered not the natural and
unchanging state of the native American, but the evidence of a sudden calamity: the ravages of what was likely the greatest
epidemic in human history, the smallpox and other diseases introduced inadvertently by Europeans to a population without immunity,
which swept through the Americas faster than the explorers who brought it, and left behind for their discovery a land that
held only a shadow of the thriving cultures that it had sustained for centuries before. Includes outstanding photos and maps.
Reading: Famous Indian Chiefs: Their Battles, Treaties, Sieges And Struggles With The Whites For The Possession Of America
(Hardcover: 516 pages). Description: This comprehensive book, regarding famous
Native American Indian Chiefs, is drawn from the chiefs' own words from rare manuscripts,
diaries, treaties, Bureau of Indian Affairs, special collections, national archives, and repositories, and it vividly portrays
the chiefs' struggles, thoughts and views. There are two sides to every story and this is their story - the untold story and
it has finally been explored and portrayed with this scholarly research. I highly recommend it!
Reading: Trail of Tears: The
Rise and Fall of the Cherokee Nation. Description: One of the many ironies
of U.S. government policy toward Indians
in the early 1800s is that it persisted in removing to the West those who had most successfully adapted to European values.
As whites encroached on Cherokee land, many Native leaders responded by educating their children, learning English, and developing
plantations. Such a leader was Ridge, who had fought with Andrew Jackson against the British. Continued below...
As he and other
Cherokee leaders grappled with the issue of moving, the land-hungry Georgia legislators, with the aid of Jackson, succeeded
in ousting the Cherokee from their land, forcing them to make the arduous journey West on the infamous "Trail of Tears." ...A
treasured addition for the individual remotely interested in American Indian history as well as general American
Recommended Reading: James
Mooney's History, Myths, and Sacred Formulas of the Cherokees (768 pages). Description: This incredible volume collects the works of the early anthropologist James Mooney
who did extensive studies of the Eastern Cherokee Nation (those who remained in Appalachia) at the turn of the century. The introduction is by Mooney's biographer
and gives a nice overview of both Mooney and the Cherokee Nation, as well as notes on Mooney's sources. It then goes straight
into the first book "Myths of the Cherokee", which starts with a history of the Cherokee Nation. Continued below...
It progresses from the earliest days, through de Soto, the Indian wars, Tecumseh, the Trail of Tears, the
Civil War and ultimately to 1900. Continuing, it explores Cherokee mythology and storytellers. This book is truly monumental
in its scope and covers origin myths, animal stories, Kanati and Selu, the Nunnehi and Yunwi'Tsundi (little people), Tlanuwa
(thunderbirds), Uktena (horned water snake), interactions with other Nations and numerous other myths, as well as local legends
from various parts of the Southeast (North Carolina, Tennessee, Georgia, etc). There is also a section of herbal lore. Mooney
closes with a glossary of Cherokee terms (in the Latin alphabet rather than the Sequoya Syllabary) and abundant notes. We
advance to the next book, Sacred Formulaes of the Cherokee, which covers a number of magical texts amongst the Cherokee Nation.
This book does a wonderful job talking about such manuals, mentioning how they were obtained, going into depth about the Cherokee
worldview and beliefs on magic, concepts of disease, healing ceremonies, practices such as bleeding, rubbing and bathing,
Shamanism, the use of wording, explanations of the formulae and so forth. It then gives an amazingly varied collection of
Cherokee formulae, first in the original Cherokee (again, in the Latin alphabet) and then translated into English. Everything
from healing to killing witches, to medicine for stick ball games, war and warfare. Both books include numerous photographs
and illustrations of famous historical figures, Cherokee manuscripts and petroglyphs and a map of Cherokee lands. Again, this
is a truly massive book and even today is considered one of the essential writings of Cherokee religion. Anyone with an interest
in the subject, whether anthropologist, descendant of the Cherokee or just a curious person interested in Native culture,
should definitely give this book a read. I highly recommend it.
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