Last Known Activity|
Sgt. Albert W. McMillan (sometimes written ‚??McMillian‚??) was a member of the Class of 1884, though he left after three years. ‚??His restless spirit took him west for more ‚??action‚?? than a college course afforded,‚?? the Nassau Herald noted. Out West, he joined the 7th Cavalry of Little Big Horn fame.¬†¬†He entered the U.S. Army at Jefferson Barracks, Missouri.
McMillan was one of 20 7th Cavalry troopers to receive the Medal of Honor for deeds on Dec. 29, 1890, at Wounded Knee Creek, S.D. The citation reads: ‚??He assisted the men on the skirmish line, directed their fire, encouraged them by example, and used every effort to dislodge the enemy.‚??
Most historians today call Wounded Knee a massacre, not a battle. A scuffle began between two soldiers and a Lakota warrior, and within an hour, more than 150 Lakota Sioux, including women and children, had been killed and 50 wounded. Army casualties numbered 25 dead and 39 wounded, many of them victims of friendly fire from their own Hotchkiss guns.
McMillan was promoted to sergeant major, but for unknown reasons he was demoted to private before his discharge in September 1892. After he left the Army, he went to the University of Minnesota law school but never practiced. While working as a legal editor, he had a breakdown, called ‚??nervous prostration.‚?? Still, at age 54, he joined the Red Cross when the United States entered World War I and went to Europe, where he was appointed a first lieutenant in the Red Cross‚?? casualty branch and worked in hospitals through the end of the war. He died in Minnesota in 1948.
In 2001, the National Congress of American Indians passed two resolutions that condemned the Medals of Honor awarded and called on the U.S. government to rescind them. However, the medals received by McMillan and the other troopers at Wounded Knee still stand.