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On This Day: July 26

1796 - Artist George Catlin Born

On this date George Catlin, famous painter of Native Americans and scenes from the Old West, was born. Catlin was interested in Native American life since his childhood, and had heard much about Indians from his mother, who at the age of eight had been captured by them. After studying art for many years, Catlin went West with William Clark (of the Lewis and Clark expedition). He traveled with Clark for two years, negotiating Indian treaties, and painting Iowa, Missouri, Otoe, Omaha, Sauk and Fox and eastern Sioux Indians. Catlin then focused on the Mississippi and Plains Indians, and he spent substantial time in Wisconsin with the Ojibwa tribe. Catlin spent eight years visiting over 45 different tribes, where he participated in buffalo hunts and observed Indian ceremonies, games, dances and rituals. He emerged with 520 oil portraits and paintings. He is known to have said: ". . .nothing short of the loss of my life shall prevent me from visiting [the Indians'] country and becoming their historian."  [Source: AskArt.com]

1865 - (Civil War) 37th and 38th Infantry regiments muster out

The 37th and 38th Wisconsin Infantry regiments mustered out. The 37th had spent its 14-month-long term of service in and around Washington D.C. It participated in the Siege of Petersburg and the Appomattox Campaign in pursuit of General Lee's army. It lost 247 men during service. The 38th served in the same campaigns as the 37th but was also on duty at Arsenal, Washington, during trial and execution of President Lincoln's assassins. It lost 113 men during service.