It's just another Maniac Monday: the subjects of each of today's posts have something in common - the eradication of the Red Man.....
COLONEL FRANK SKIMMERHORN
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A recent Colorado settler named Frank Skimmerhorn (Richard Crenna) forms a volunteer militia to deal with the tribes. Skimmerhorn, a survivor of tribal wars in Minnesota, is a charismatic but mentally unbalanced leader who has a pathological hatred of all native Americans. He leads an attack on a band of peaceful unarmed Arapaho ordering the slaughter of everyone in the camp including women and children.
Captain John McIntosh (Mark Harmon), a young officer under Skimmerhorn's command, refuses to join in the massacre and is court martialed for insubordination. At the trial, graphic testimony from a young soldier turns public opinion against Skimmerhorn. However, by manipulating the facts, Skimmerhorn is able to regain favor with the people, culminating with his capture and summary execution of Jake Pasquinel.
Seeing no hope, Mike Pasquinel is convinced by the Zendts to surrender to the Regular Army in Denver where, in theory at least, he will receive a fair trial. As they are marching to the Army's command headquarters waving white flags Skimmerhorn (who is giving an interview to a local newspaper editor) shoots Mike in the back killing him in cold blood. Public opinion is then firmly turned against Skimmerhorn.
Maxwell Mercy, outraged at his brothers-in law's murders, challenges Skimmerhorn to a duel and nearly kills him only to be stopped by Levi Zendt. Disgraced and rejected by his son John, Skimmerhorn leaves Colorado.
James A. Michener loosely based his character Frank Skimmerhorn in the novel Centennial on Chivington. In the 1978 miniseries based on Michener's novel, Frank Skimmerhorn was portrayed by Richard Crenna.