Here is the fascinating and little-known story of the Galvanized Yankees, who stood watch over a nation that they had once sought to destroy. They were Confederate soldiers who were recruited from Union prison camps in the North to serve in the West. On the condition they would not be sent south to fight their former comrades, they exchanged gray for blue uniforms.
From 1864 to 1866 six regiments of Galvanized Yankees fought Indians, escorted supply trains along the Oregon and Sante Fe trails, accompanied expeditions, guarded surveying parties for the Union Pacific Railroad, and manned lonely outposts on the frontier. Dee Brown, the author of Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee, tells what happened to a lost legion, unhonored and unsung.