Captain Joseph Henry Hurst and Lieutenant Harry Clay Hale, 12th Infantry – Courage, Fortitude, Good Judgment, and Tact

Army at Wounded Knee

The statement of the services immediately performed by Capt. Hurst and Lieut. Hale carries with it so evident a suggestion of every meritorious conduct on their part that special remark thereof would seem superfluous.
–Brigadier General Thomas H. Ruger

Second Lieutenant Harry Clay Hale of the 12th Infantry was twenty-nine years old and seven years out of the United States Military Academy when his duty called him into action during the Sioux campaign.  Captain Joseph Henry Hurst was fifty-four and an emigrant from England who served with the 141st Pennsylvania Volunteers during the Civil War receiving brevet promotions for gallantry at Chancellorsville and Spotsylvania.  Hurst had been a captain with the 12th Infantry since 1886.  If there were only two men in the United States Army that winter of 1890-1891 capable of convincing hundreds of “hostile” Indians to surrender their weapons and submit peacefully to the will of the government, it was…

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