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Catalog Number 7775-21
Title Pants, White Dress, Military, USA, Cavalry, Capt. John G. Bourke
Object Name Pants
Description White duck cotton (canvas) trousers for summer uniform; two horizontal side pockets; watch pocket at top right; back pocket on right side; button fly, ivory buttons for suspenders; metal buckle in back.
Date 1889
Year Range from 1889
Year Range to 1896
Culture American
Material cotton duck, ivory, metal
Length (in) 41
People Bourke, John Gregory, 1846-1896
Search Terms U.S. Army
U.S. Army, Cavalry
Other Name Pants, Military, Men's
History John Gregory Bourke (June 23, 1846 - June 8, 1896), soldier and ethnologist, was born in Philadelphia. In August 1862, at the age of sixteen, Bourke joined the 15th Pennsylvania Cavalry, serving until July 1865. Bourke's first tour of duty was distinguished by action at the battle of Stone River, Tennessee in 1862, for which he was later awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor.

Upon the recommendation of Gen. George H. Thomas, for whom Bourke had served as aide-de-camp, Pres. Lincoln appointed Bourke as a cadet in the U.S. Military Academy. Upon graduation in 1869 he was commissioned a second lieutenant with the Third Cavalry in the Southwest. As aide-de-camp to Gen. George Crook from 1871-1883, Bourke campaigned against the "hostile Indians," and was frequently mentioned in orders for valor and for his competence. When Crook was ordered to Omaha in 1875, Bourke accompanied him, and saw action against the Cheyenne, Sioux, and Nez Perce. In 1883 he returned to Arizona with Crook's expedition against the Apache.

Bourke is also noted for his contributions in the study of Native American culture. His fight to preserve the rights of the Apaches and other tribes earned him their respect and friendship, but alienated many people in Washington as did, apparently, his close relationship with Gen. Crook. In 1881 Bourke was recorder of the Ponca Indian Commission, and from 1882-1886 was assigned to Gen. Phil Sheridan, at which time he rendered his study of the snake-dance of the Moquis of Arizona. After taking a prominent part in the surrender of Geronimo in 1886, Bourke was ordered to Washington to elaborate the voluminous notes which he had taken in his years of contact with Indians. He spent many months in research, which yielded his "Medicine Men of the Apache;" a work on ordure rites of native peoples; and his "Scatological Rites of All Nations." He was detailed to work with the Pan American Congress, and later rejoined his regiment in 1891, in command of Fort McIntosh, Texas. In that same year, and until 1893, he was in command of Fort Ringgold, Texas, when he spent much time in the field against the marauders of Catarino Garza. During the Columbian World's Exposition he was again on special duty as translator and interpreter at the Spanish mission of La Rabida. In 1894 he was at Fort Riley, Kansas; Chicago, Illinois; and Fort Ethan Allen, Vermont, until his failing health prevented him from carrying on with his duties. He died in Philadelphia in June, 1896.
Credit line Mrs. Alexander H. Richardson, Omaha (Douglas), Nebraska
Collection Richardson, Mrs. Alexander H.