Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

General James Carleton Character Analysis

U.S. general who ordered the massacre of Apaches in the Southwest and ordered the relocation of the Navaho tribe onto small, barren reservations. Carleton is one of the most unambiguously cruel characters in Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee: he seems to relish the chance to enact murderous policies and clear the Southwest of Native Americans.
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General James Carleton Character Timeline in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee

The timeline below shows where the character General James Carleton appears in Bury My Heart at Wounded Knee. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 2: The Long Walk of the Navahos
Law and Property Theme Icon
Resistance and Violence Theme Icon
...and Northern armies arrived in New Mexico and crossed the Rio Grande. Union General James Carleton believed that there was gold on native land. He ordered his soldiers to massacre any... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
On June 23, Carleton ordered that all Navahos be relocated by force to Bosque Redondo. He ordered one of... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
By September, Carleton ordered that all Navahos be slaughtered or arrested on sight. By the end of the... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
Law and Property Theme Icon
Carleton next ordered Carson to move into the Canyon de Chelly region and wage a similar... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
...Navaho chiefs to hold out against the U.S. military, met with U.S. military representatives, including Carleton. He asked why the military was forcing the Navaho to relocate: the Navaho, he claimed,... (full context)
Expansion and Manifest Destiny Theme Icon
To General Carleton, the Navahos were “mouths to feed” and nothing more. He claimed that it was the... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
Expansion and Manifest Destiny Theme Icon
By February 1865, Manuelito still refused to surrender to Carleton’s troops. The U.S. army arranged for Manuelito to speak to some of the chiefs who... (full context)
Genocide Theme Icon
Resistance and Violence Theme Icon
Shortly after Manuelito’s surrender, Carleton was relieved of his command and replaced with a new reservation superintendent, A. B. Norton.... (full context)